According to the observations of experts, the last time similar developments occurred in the early 2000s, when Latvia's manual carefully "polished facade" before joining the EU and NATO. In the spring of 2016 at stake is the question of membership in another Alliance international — the Organisation for economic cooperation and development (OECD). Why Latvia wants to join the elite club of rich countries? What price is she willing to pay? And what happens if you receive a waiver? Delfi tried to find answers to these questions.
Knowledge of the effect
The OECD was established in 1948 to coordinate the economic reconstruction of Europe under the "Marshall plan". Unlike the world Bank and the International monetary Fund, the OECD is not engaged in the distribution of funds. The organization describes itself as "a forum to generate new ideas based on research and discussion with the aim of assisting national governments". In simple words, the OECD is an influential participant in international policy, whose assessments and recommendations refer to the leaders of the major countries when making decisions about fiscal and economic reforms domestically and at the international level (for example, the format of the G20 or the European Union).
A powerful advantage of the OECD is the strongest team of experts, which publishes hundreds of analytical studies, develops recommendations for member countries and serves as a platform to organize multilateral negotiations on economic issues. A significant proportion of the work of the OECD related to combating money laundering, tax evasion, corruption and bribery. With the participation of the OECD, for example, were developed various mechanisms to end the practice of creating so-called "tax havens".
Although the headquarters of the organization is located in Paris, the leading role it has traditionally played in the USA. Washington is a major sponsor of the club (membership fee provides 25% of the total 200-million budget OECD) and one of its founders (up to 1961 on the site of the OECD there was a so-called Organization for European Economic Cooperation, which coordinated American and canadian aid to victims of the Second World war, European countries).
Currently the OECD includes 34 countries, which together account for 80% of the global economy. The OECD includes most countries-EU members, and the governing Council delegated the representative of the European Commission. The OECD has close ties with the European Parliament and the European Central Bank, and its recommendations often become the basis for changes in European legislation.
Difficulties face control
Latvia wants to join the OECD for almost 20 years — its application together with Lithuania, Estonia and Russia it filed in 1996. Then the OECD responded to all failure. Later, in 2010, the prestigious club let the Estonians. Russia called for negotiations in 2007, but in 2014 they were stopped after the events in Crimea. For Latvia the green light loomed only in 2013, when was approved a roadmap for negotiations.
To get blazer OECD country as specified on the website of the organization must "demonstrate a commitment to the principles of market economy and pluralistic democracy". And this solution must maintain all current Alliance members.
Latvian "success story" in 2015, had to be considered in 18 out of 21 specialized committees of the OECD. Under the statement of the Latvian Foreign Ministry, in General, reviews were positive, but indicated the need for more progress in the field of "fighting corruption in international business transactions" (read: laundering in the territory of Latvia foreign capital) and "corporate governance" (read: management of large state-owned enterprises).
According to unofficial information, the auditors of the promised progress in reality is achieved not as fast as hoped in Riga. If earlier it was assumed that membership of the OECD Latvia can get in the first half of 2016, now in diplomatic circles predict that featured a streamlined formulation of "the end of the year". While making the reservation that the leading partners of the OECD (read: US) want to see in Latvia is more effective and consistent measures to prevent "money laundering". The latter means that the observed in the moment to activate the "tax" and "corruption fighters" will be long.
At the official level is not mentioned anywhere, what would happen if Latvia will also get a waiver from the OECD. But from the article Minister of foreign Affairs of Edgars Rinkēvičs, published in the newspaper Dienas Bizness in February, you can see it looks like the matrix of opportunities and risks: international credit rating, investor confidence, standards in the sphere of entrepreneurial activities, financial transactions and corporate governance, reforms in education and health. It should be noted that only in the last week of February, the Latvian foreign Ministry was devoted to the question of the importance of the OECD six (!) official messages.