Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD)
The OECD Council is the decision-making body of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Established in 1961, the OECD is an intergovernmental economic organisation that aims at promoting policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world. In order to do so, the OECD’s work is based on continued data collection and analysis concerning economic developments in member countries as well as outside the OECD area. Based on these analyses the OECD Council has the power to adopt legal instruments.
In the OECD Council representatives of 35 member states come together. The majority of those are the world’s most economically advanced nations but also emerging countries are part of the OECD.
Topic A: Avoiding another financial crisis – How to regulate the housing market?
The financial crisis of 2008 shocked the OECD countries in particular and changed the face of the world. Almost a decade later many of the members are still struggling with the consequences as the Euro-Crisis and low interest rates. What was quickly forgotten is that one of the root-causes was the collapse of the American housing market. By now – unrecognized by large parts of the public – housing prices worldwide have recovered and have in fact reached the level of 2008 accompanied by a sharp increase since 2012. Some experts already fear that due to low interest rates and lax regulation the next bubble on the housing market could burst soon. Potential candidates like Australia or Canada have already been spotted. Of course regulators already worked on solutions in the past but now it’s time to assess them and further develop the existing instruments: Do we need higher capital requirements for banks? Are stricter rules for lending money to potential homeowners necessary? Furthermore the OECD countries should be aware of the potential negative effects of strict regulations, which could slow down economic growth and prevent many households from buying a house and thereby increasing the wealth inequality. The housing market already shattered the world more than ten years ago. Can the OECD prevent another global crisis?
Topic B: Strengthening entrepreneurship to empower individuals
Microsoft, Apple, Google or Skype are globally known companies that changed our life. Without entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs or Sergej Brin the biggest companies of our age would not exist. Therefore supporting entrepreneurs and building up an entrepreneurial mindset needs to be a key priority to foster a more diverse and dynamic economy. Entrepreneurs contribute with new ideas and solutions to problems as well as they create jobs. Societies need to be less dependent on multinational corporations and entrepreneurs as a perpetual source of innovation can help in reaching this goal. Various strategies have been applied to strengthen entrepreneurship among the OECD member countries. Nevertheless they strongly differ in their success and too many countries do not focus as much on an environment for entrepreneurship than it would deserve. The OECD council is now tasked to discuss strategies that effectively foster entrepreneurship. This ranges from taxation matters and subsidies for young business founders to educational programs and the involvement of NGOs. Supporting a culture of failures in a society is an important step to build a climate where it is nothing negative to become an entrepreneur. Furthermore, still more men than women decide to found companies, showing that there is a need for women empowerment so that they can more easily engage in entrepreneurship. Finally the council should discuss what can be learned from policies that OECD members have already implemented to boost their national startup scenes and how effective structural support by governments is, or if too much engagement may be counterproductive.
|Czech Republic||Iceland||Luxembourg||Spain||European Commission (Observer)*|
Only 28 of the 30 spots will be distributed due to logistical concerns.
Note: * indicates that the country is advised for experienced delegates.