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International Issues

Multilateral relations - OECD


The OECD is composed of 30 countries sharing the principles of the market economy, pluralist democracy and respect for human rights. With active relationships with some 70 other countries, NGOs and civil society, it has a global reach. The OECD produces internationally agreed instruments, decisions and recommendations to promote rules in areas where multilateral agreement is necessary for individual countries to make progress in a globalised economy.

The European Commission (EC) is a full participant in the OECD. This means that it has the same rights and duties as Members, except participation in the annual budget and the right to vote. An exception is the Development Assistance Committee (DAC), where the EC has the status of Member.

DG ENV participates mainly in the Environmental Policy Committee (EPOC). The EPOC is one of the major policy committees of the OECD. It is in charge of implementing the environment part of the OECD's programme of work. EPOC oversees both the content and the running of the programme.

The EPOC Mandate is to provide a forum for Member governments to:

  • Address common problems and encourage co-operation on new approaches to policy.
  • Promote, in support of sustainable development, the integration of environmental and economic policies, technological innovation and diffusion, and the protection of unique environmental assets and ecosystems.
  • Share data, information and experience; assess the environmental performance of Member countries.
  • Promote the exchange of knowledge with non-member countries.
  • Ensure that the views and expertise of non-government institutions are drawn upon in its work.

EPOC oversees three Working Parties - Global and Structural Policies, National Environmental Policies, and Environmental Performance - which are supported by Working Groups of experts on such topics as transport and biodiversity. EPOC also co-operates with other OECD Committees and Bodies, participating in two Joint Working Parties - Trade and Environment and Agriculture and Environment - and in Joint Meetings of Experts on Taxation and Environment. EPOC regularly holds dialogues with stakeholder partners, including representatives of business, trade unions and environmental non-government organisations

For further information, please consult: For documentation, please consult: