The Secretary General of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Ángel Gurría, met in Madrid on Thursday with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, who supported Croatia's bid to join this club of 37 industrial nations.
Gurría and Sánchez discussed the membership bids of Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Croatia, Peru, and Romania as well as other topics, including the coronavirus pandemic and Spain’s economic recovery plan.
These countries’ candidacies for OECD membership have Spain’s support, Sánchez said at a press conference.
Last year, Spain chaired a ministerial meeting of the OECD.
Croatia’s bid to join the organisation was blocked in 2017 by Slovenia and Hungary. Slovenia used its veto power because Croatia had refused to accept a compromised border arbitration ruling, while Hungary did so because of the prosecution of the CEO of the MOL energy company, Zsolt Hernadi, who was wanted in Croatia on corruption charges.
We, members of the OECD, have said that countries that meet the criteria must be admitted to the organisation, that we must not make this a political issue, but that it should remain a technical issue, Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gónzalez Laya told the Croatian state news agency Hina.
Once Croatia meets all eight criteria, it should enter. Negotiations are clear: once a country meets the criteria, it should become a member, she added.
Of the 27 EU countries, all but Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Malta, and Romania are members of the OECD.
The European Commission supports the entry of all 27 members into the OECD because their membership of this organisation further confirms their public finance management in line with the EU’s economic policy.