The collaboration between the OECD and the EU covers dimensions such as political dialogue, economy and development. The collaboration between UNESCO and the EU covers dimensions such as support to education, cultural diversity, science and youth. The achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), climate change action, gender equality and support for rules-based multilateralism are cross-cutting cooperation areas as well.  

The OECD and the EU


The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) was set up in 1961 by building on the post-war Organisation for European Economic Cooperation (OEEC) established in 1948 to manage the US Marshall Plan for the reconstruction of Europe.  

The OECD is a member-driven organisation gathering 38 countries and the EU as full participants. The OECD “form(s) a community of nations committed to the values of democracy based on the rule of law and human rights and adherence to open and transparent market-economy principles” (OECD 50th Anniversary Vision Statement, 2011).  

The European Union greatly values the OECD's role as a forum for facilitating discussions and exchanges between like-minded countries, by sharing national experiences, identifying best practices and finding solutions to common problems. The European Union contributes to large areas of its work with a strong spirit of cooperation and partnership. 

The Organisation's work through cross-sectoral analysis and peer reviews, regular production of statistical data and economic comparisons is also of great value to us. This work feeds the development of best practice guidelines or other policy instruments. As such, the OECD develops standards and benchmarks with a global impact that are particularly useful. The OECD offers a forum where governments can come together and share their experiences, their challenges and success, but also look for solutions to pressing problems. Some of the OECD flagship publications include the Economic Outlook, the Going for Growth Report, the Pisa Report, Education at a Glance, the Migration Outlook and more. The OECD contributes to the negotiation of international agreements and acts as a standard-setter through the adoption of guidelines and the sharing of best practices (on finance, transparency, taxation, anti-bribery, etc.). 

The work of the OECD with non-Members is also important. OECD is engaged with its five Key Partners (Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, South Africa) through their participation in some OECD committees and subsidiary bodies, adherence to legal instruments and integration into OECD statistical reporting and information systems. Additionally, the OECD has established various Regional and Country Programmes with non-Members through which it facilitates policy benchmarking and the exchange of good practices within and across regions to foster regional cooperation and integration.  These regional programmes are significant for the EU, in particular with neighbouring countries (MENA, South-East Europe). 

The OECD and the EU 

Today, the OECD counts 38 Members, 22 of which are the EU Member States. The European Commission enjoys a special and unique full participant status, which enables it to fully engage, participate and contribute to the work of the OECD on an equal footing with full Members, except for voting rights (as per the Supplementary Protocol No.1 to the OECD Convention).  

Moreover, the EU is a full member of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC), the body through which the OECD deals with issues related to cooperation with developing countries. The EU also participates fully in the Development Centre, which includes countries from Africa, Asia and Latin America. 

The EU Delegation to the OECD as well as counsellors and experts from the European Commission, agencies and the European Central Bank actively engage in regular dialogue, through the OECD technical committees, in the areas of taxation, agriculture, health, statistics, trade, investment, climate, digitalisation, education, employment, social affairs, innovation, development cooperation and many other issues. The EU Delegation also participates in the OECD's governing and budgeting bodies to help steer and shape the Organisation's work and resource planning.  

The EU is a major contributor to the overall OECD budget through voluntary contributions, with EU funds representing a third of all voluntary funding given to the Organisation in 2020.  

Here you can find more information about EU-related work and other important areas of work of the OECD.  

The UNESCO and the EU

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) was established in 1945, with its Constitution coming into force on 4 November 1946. As a specialised agency of the United Nations based in Paris, UNESCO's mission is to promote international cooperation in education, science, culture and communication. Through its actions, UNESCO strives to support peace, poverty eradication, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue. UNESCO brings together 193 member states

The EU has an observer status and has been working with and supporting the organisation since its creation. On 8 October 2012, UNESCO and the EU signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a view to enhance dialogue, strengthen cooperation and foster an exchange of best practices. 

Today, EU's voluntary funding represents the 2nd largest extra-budgetary funding source for UNESCO, after Sweden. In 2019 alone, the EU provided 65.3 million EUR of voluntary contributions. The European Union 2020-2021 planned expenditures represent at least 50 million USD across all UNESCO sectors. The EU is supporting several UNESCO projects on world heritage protection (Central and East Africa, Middle East, and Europe), trust-building (South East Europe), education, youth and skills (Iraq, Malawi, the Mediterranean), media and freedom of expression (Jordan, South East Europe) and in several other areas. The EU also acted as a strong UNESCO partner in the reaction to Covid-19 pandemic consequences, through the implementation of different programmes in UNESCO areas of work. 

Below you can find useful links to UNESCO work and the work of the EU at the UN. 


EU-UNESCO cooperation 

Key EU-UNESCO projects in different UNESCO areas of work 

EU at the UN 

The IEA and the EU

The International Energy Agency (IEA) covers a vast number of energy issues including oil, gas and coal, renewable energy technologies, energy efficiency, access to energy, markets and more. 

The International Energy Agency (IEA) was set up in 1974 in Paris in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis. Its work has considerably expanded since to cover a vast number of energy issues including oil, gas and coal, renewable energy technologies, energy efficiency, access to energy, markets and more. IEA focuses on specific areas of work: promoting energy efficiency, ensuring energy security, international collaborations, data collection, training and capacity building, technology collaboration, global engagement and industry engagement. 

The IEA brings together its 30 member countries and the EU, which has partnered with the organisation since its creation. It is reputed for the quality and depth of its publications such as the World Energy Outlook, the Monthly Oil Data Service and the Key World Energy Statistics. 

The EU has been a strong supporter of the IEA both through the regular participation in and contribution to discussions by EU energy experts and also through the significant EU voluntary funding provided. In 2019, the EU was the second-largest contributor, providing over 5,5 million EUR, or 19% of the total voluntary contributions to the organisation. 

Below you can find more information about the EU at the IEA and about general IEA work. 

The EU at the IEA 

EU funded programmes  

General IEA