On 25 January 2022, the OECD Council decided to open accession discussions with Romania. This follows careful deliberation by OECD Members on the basis of its evidence-based Framework for Consideration of Prospective Members and the progress made by Romania since its first request for OECD membership.
An individual roadmap for the detailed assessment process has been prepared in line with the values, vision and priorities reflected in the OECD’s 60th Anniversary Vision Statement and the Ministerial Council Statement adopted last year.
Romania, the largest country in South East Europe, experienced a slow start in its transition to a market economy as well as a difficult structural re-adjustment. At the turn of the 21st century, growth accelerated thanks to foreign direct investment, exports to EU markets, growing domestic consumption and EU accession reforms.
Romania had to deal with the scars of the global economic crisis while implementing a set of austerity measures under an EU-IMF assistance programme. Growth resumed in 2011 and was driven by private consumption and recovering investment until Romania was hit by the economic consequences of the pandemic crisis and the war in neighbouring Ukraine. In order to reinvigorate growth, Romania needs to continue implementing structural reforms to boost competitiveness, further improve the investment climate, strengthen public administration, and fight corruption, poverty and social exclusion.
Co-operation with the OECD
(Pictured L-R): OECD Secretary-General, Mathias Cormann, and Mr. Bogdan Aurescu, Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, 6 October 2021, OECD, Paris, France
Romania has co-operated with the Organisation via thematic initiatives and a country-specific programme since the early stages of transition. Likewise, Romania has been a part of the OECD SEE regional programme since its inception. In the early 2000s, Romania participated in policy reviews on education, investment, enterprise reform, corporate governance etc. The latest Economic Survey of Romania was published in 2022. Its co-operation with the OECD has continued to deepen and broaden to include greater participation in statistical reporting and information systems as well as benchmarking exercises such as the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). The co-operation with the OECD is co-ordinated by an inter-ministerial group under the authority of a secretary-of-state.
Romanian officials have repeatedly expressed their country’s interest in becoming an OECD member since 1991 in related official correspondence and a number of visits, including the head of government level. An official request was also made by Prime Minister Ciolos during his address to the OECD Council in 2016.
Participation in OECD Bodies and adherence to OECD standards
Romania has joined as many of OECD bodies and legal instruments as possible, thus taking part in important dialogue with senior officials from member and partner countries on cutting-edge thematic issues. In 2004, it became a member of the Development Centre and in 2017 formalised its accession to the Nuclear Energy Agency.
Romania is an associate/member in more OECD bodies and projects than any other OECD partner country. Its growing alignment with OECD values is demonstrated by its adherence to major OECD standards such as the Declaration on International Investment and Multinational Enterprises. For example, Romania also participates in the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes and in the G20/OECD Project on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting of the Committee on Fiscal Affairs as an Associate. Romania has also joined the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, the Multilateral Agreement on Exchange of Information for Tax purposes and signed the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS). The BEPS Convention entered into force on 1 January 2023.
Romania participates in other bodies and instruments and is part of (or has pending requests for participation in) the bodies and instruments of the OECD's Framework for the Consideration of Prospective Members.
In view of its OECD accession process, Romania can now participate in all OECD bodies and instruments.