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Support to agricultural producers trends downwards

Over the past 20 years, support provided to agricultural producers in 49 countries analysed by the OECD has been following a downward trend. 

city, governance, urban sprawl, oecd
Governing megacities

The ancient Roman scholar Marcus Terentius Varro once wrote, “Divine Nature gave the fields, human art built the cities.” The adage is still very relevant at the turn of the 21st century. Nowadays, nearly two-thirds of the population of the OECD area lives in cities. Ten years from now there are expected to be about 500 “megacities”, each one home to over 1 million inhabitants. How do cities govern themselves as they expand beyond their boundaries?

entrepreneurs, oecd, jobs
Missing entrepreneurs

Becoming an entrepreneur has become increasingly popular since the economic meltdown of 2008, not least in Europe.

Africa in the fight against climate change

"Regional authorities in Africa are now getting involved in the fight against climate change by making concrete commitments."

Interview with Jeannot Ahoussou-Kouadio, President of the Assembly of Regions and Districts of Côte d’Ivoire (ARDCI)

Getting public policies in line with climate goals

Policies that are not aligned with efforts to fight global warming risk hindering the transition to a low-carbon economy, and can worsen climate change. They should be addressed. 

Reaching maturity in government use of social media
Holding business to account

The promotion of responsible business conduct has taken an important step forward with the launch of a new reporting framework. Businesses now have no excuse for not explaining how they’re meeting their human rights obligations. 

E-government generation

Are digital tools simplifying our interactions with public authorities? From document browsing to downloading of forms as well as administrative procedures, governments in most of OECD countries now offer a wide range of online services. 

Water: Unclogging the finance

How to improve water systems is one challenge; financing them is another. Public authorities in most countries play the main role in implementing and funding water infrastructure, but it is a model that is under increasing pressure, with government budgets stretched and banks still prudent about issuing credit. 

Water governance at stake

Investing in infrastructure for water is important, but how we govern water is more critical than ever. 

Measuring government impact in a social media world

There is hardly a government around the world that has not yet felt the impact of social media on how it communicates and engages with citizens.

French justice minister Taubira attacks bribery

“It is unacceptable to allow corruption to undermine the functioning of public authority.” So said Christiane Taubira, French minister for justice, in launching the first OECD Foreign Bribery Report at the organisation’s headquarters in Paris on 2 December. “To fight against international bribery, it is important that we have international standards. The OECD work on producing this comparable data is essential”, she said.

Mapping global risks in 2015

What are the main threats to the world’s stability in the 10 coming years? Geopolitical risks as well as a water crisis have become a bigger threat than an economic breakdown, according to the World Economic Forum.

Building the conditions of a safer world

The terrorist murders of 17 people in Paris on 7, 8 and 9 January were not only a human tragedy. They were a direct attack on the values of living together in the free, law-abiding, pluralistic societies we hold dear. 

A new agreement on climate change

The world is still not moving fast enough to fight climate change.  Fossils fuels remain the dominant energy source with billions of dollars still being spent on subsidising their use.

Lobbying: an opaque activity of dubious integrity?

On receiving my copy of Lobbyists, Governments and Public Trust, Volume 3, I rushed straight to Chapter 15, History of Slovenian lobbying regulations at a glance (and who wouldn’t?).

Better policies for better lives – this time, in your region

Fostering well-being at the local level is a way to build stronger and more sustainable communities. The OECD Regional Well-Being framework provides a tool to help governments at all levels design and refine the policies that will help achieve this goal.

Fairer taxation for trust: the time is now!

Overhauling the global tax system and its practices is fundamental if we are to deliver stronger, cleaner and fairer growth for a post-Crisis world. The Secretary-General explains how the OECD, with the support of the G20, is finding ways to fix the current international tax situation.

Australia and Asia: The power of proximity

Australia has established itself as a G20 force in Asia-Pacific, and is now embarking on a new wave of engagement in the Asian Century.

New leadership for growth

Although South Africa has had an impressive track record among emerging economies, it has recently hit economic difficulties. We asked FEDUSA General Secretary, Dennis George, what have been the effects, and what steps the G20 and South African government must take to return to the path of healthy growth.

Combating BEPS and making sure we have fair tax systems: An OECD/G20 venture

In September the OECD presented its first package of recommendations to the G20 for an international approach to stopping artificial tax base erosion and profit shifting. Seven recommendations were proposed as part of the 15-point BEPS Action Plan.

G20 should fix the world’s economy for the working people!

As G20 leaders look distraught at a global economy that is faced with weak growth, high unemployment and rising income inequality, they should repeat to themselves that this is not inevitable. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), while putting out another downward revision of growth forecasts, admitted that recovery is too slow and fragile, while recognising the problem of income inequality. The OECD, in its reports on New Approaches and Economic Challenges (NAEC) and its 2014 OECD Employment Outlook, acknowledges that rising inequality affects economic growth and social cohesion, sapping trust in markets and institutions.

Enlargement conundrum

Former Ambassador Seiichiro Noboru urges the OECD to expand by including the BRIICS* ("Serving a new world" in OECD Observer No 298, Q1 2014). Only when these countries adopt OECD best practices can governments and firms enjoy a true level playing field. As the organisation helps aspiring members to adhere with OECD instruments, important reforms can be pushed forward.

For a stronger investment treaties system

International investment treaties are in the spotlight as recent articles in the Financial Times and The Economist show. An ad hoc investment arbitration tribunal recently awarded $50 billion (€40 billion) to shareholders in Yukos. EU consultations on proposed investment provisions in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the United States generated a record 150,000 comments. There is intense public interest in treaty challenges to the regulation of tobacco marketing, nuclear power and health care.

Governing the Internet

Rudolf van der Berg of the OECD writes about Internet governance.

Economic outlook: Achieving a resilient recovery

The recovery from the Great Recession has been slow and arduous, and has at times threatened to derail altogether.

How to stop wasting food
"Each year about one-third of all the food produced globally ends up wasted even as hundreds of millions of people go hungry."

Politics and the trust conundrum

There’s a very obvious remedy for governments that wish to restore the public’s trust: become transparent, honest and inclusive. This, however, is intrinsically difficult. Any government that managed it would not be a government as we know it, but something else entirely.

Corporate Social Responsibility: Emerging good practice for a new era

Are global companies improving their environmental, social and governance performance? There is good reason to be optimistic, though there is much work to be done.  

Ready-made garments in Bangladesh: No longer a forgotten sector

The collapse of Rana Plaza in Dhaka, killing over a thousand workers, was not just a human tragedy. The ready-made garments sector is hugely important in Bangladesh, both economically and socially. This gives dealing with the Rana Plaza aftermath even greater importance.