Accession to the OECD has long been one of the top priorities for Latvia’s economy and foreign policy. In 1996, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia signed a joint declaration stating the intention of the Baltic States to become full members of the OECD in the future.
In 2004, Latvia reiterated its goal of accession to the Organisation, which was confirmed in the Basic Principles of Co-operation between Latvia and the OECD approved by the Cabinet of Ministers on 17 August 2004.
In 2006, Latvia again restated its intention of joining the OECD.
On 26 June 2012, the OECD Secretary General was presented with a letter from the Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis with Latvia’s renewed application to join the organisation.
On 30 May 2013 in Paris, the meeting of the Council at Ministerial Level of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) authorised the organisation’s Secretary-General to launch accession negotiations with Latvia.
On 15 October 2013, the OECD Council approved the Roadmap for the Accession of Latvia to the OECD Convention, which sets out an individualised plan, procedures and conditions for the process. The Roadmap in English can be accessed here.
On 18 April, Latvia received the final formal opinion from a committee of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on Latvia’s readiness for accession to the organisation. Together then, Latvia had received positive formal opinions from each one of the 21 committees which evaluated Latvia’s compliance with OECD standards and best practices. In accordance with the Roadmap for Latvia’s Accession to the OECD Convention, the technical review process for membership in the OECD had been concluded.
As pointed out by Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs, the process of accession to the Organisation has demonstrated that joining the OECD has never been merely a goal in itself or to be viewed simply as membership in yet another international organisation; instead, it is an instrument for a country to improve its policies in almost any realm of economic or social activity. Latvia has received valuable recommendations which on certain occasions have been a strong impetus for domestic reforms. The Minister offers gratitude to all Latvian institutions involved and more than 110 experts and policy makers for their efforts to introduce OECD recommendations and make improvements in accordance with the OECD’s best practices in order to jointly complete the technical review which is also the longest and most complex stage in the OECD accession process.
On 11 May 2016, the OECD Council made a decision to invite Latvia to join the organisation.
On 2 June 2016, Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis and the OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría signed the Agreement on the Terms of Accession of the Republic of Latvia to the OECD Convention, which was supported by the Saeima (the Latvian Parliament) on 16 June. Latvia becomes a member of the OECD on the day of the deposit of its instrument of ratification with the depositary of the OECD Convention – the Government of France. This is to be confirmed by a respective decision of the OECD Council.