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Accession of the Czech Republic to the OECD

The Czech Republic became a Member country of the OECD on 21st December 1995 - by the deposit of the instrument of accession to the OECD Convention.

The accession to the OECD was preceded with several years of co-operation between the Czech Republic (and Czechoslovakia before) and the OECD.

After the political changes in Central and Eastern European countries in 1989 the cooperation of those countries with the OECD, aimed at preparing reforms and new legislation for the market economy, strengthened. The OECD has never provided these countries with loans or other forms of financial assistance, the cooperation has always been based on policy advice, consultation and analysis. In 1990 the OECD established the Centre for Co-operation with European Economies in Transition (CCEET) which coordinated the OECD activities for the transition economies in the region. Today´s Centre for Cooperation with Non-Members (CCNM) continues in this kind of work.

In 1991 the Programme "Partners in Transition" (PIT) was created for Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland. It was designed for those countries, which had demonstrated a resolute efforts to a rapid transition to a market economy and to pluralistic democracy and had expressed their wish to entertain special links with the OECD. The OECD provided these countries with special assistance and services. The selection of activities carried out under each PIT programme was influenced by the need to assist each country to succeed in its transition toward a market economy and to prepare to meet the conditions for membership in the OECD.

Thanks to the PIT programme the Czech Republic, as well as Czechoslovakia before, obtained the observer status at a number of working bodies of the OECD.

In January 1994 the Czech Republic submitted the official request for the full-fledged membership in the OECD. The Ministerial Council meeting in June 1994 decided to launch the accession procedure.

In the case of the Czech Republic the compatibility of legislation vis-á-vis the OECD instruments was discussed in 1994-95 in the following areas:

  • capital movements, current invisible operations and international investment

    - on the basis of the OECD Codes of Liberalisation, Declaration on International Investment and Multinational Enterprises and corresponding Decisions of the OECD Council

  • fiscal affairs (taxation)

    - on the basis of Decisions and Recommendations of the OECD Council

  • environment, waste management and chemicals -

    on the basis of Decisions and Recommendations of the OECD Council

The Czech Republic had the opportunity to lodge a reservation or an exception to these instruments or even not accept the instrument at all, however, it had to submit a detailed explanation of such positions. Reservations to the OECD Codes of Liberalisation and exceptions from national treatment had to be based on the existing legislation. On the other hand, instruments could be accepted even if the Czech legislation was not in full harmony with them, on the condition that the Czech Republic set a realistic deadline for introducing the necessary changes in the legislation.

After the scrutiny process in the OECD committees had been finished, all the obligations and reservations of the Czech Republic were incorporated into a single document "Statement of the Government of the Czech Republic concerning the Acceptance by the Czech Republic of the Obligations of Membership in the OECD", which was approved by the Czech Government on 15 th November 1995.

On its basis the OECD Council took the decision to invite the Czech Republic to accede to the OECD Convention. The agreement on the invitation was signed on 28 th November 1995 by the then Minister of Foreign Affairs Josef Zieleniec and the then Secretery-General of the OECD Jean-Claude Paye.

(c) Photo OECD - OCDE

The Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic approved the OECD Convention as well as the Agreement between the Czech Republic and the OECD on the privileges, immunities and facilities granted to the OECD on 19 th December 1995. At the same day the President of the Republic Václav Havel signed the instrument of accession to the OECD Convention. The instrument was deposited at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 21 st December 1995.


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