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Pictorial Map Celebrating the Organization for European Economic Cooperation

The Organization for European Economic Cooperation (OEEC) was established on April 16, 1948, created from the Marshall Plan and the Conference of the Sixteen (European Economic Cooperation Conference) which worked for the establishment of a permanent organization in charge of ensuring the implementation of a common recovery program and, in particular, to supervise the distribution of aid. The headquarters of the Organization were established in Paris  at the Château de la Muette.

The European organization which was created was a permanent structure of economic cooperation which was to function according to the following principles:

  • promote cooperation between participating countries and national production programs to hasten the reconstruction of Europe
  • intensify intra-European trade by lowering customs duties and other obstacles to the development of trade
  • study the possibility of creating a customs union or a free trade area
  • study the possibility of multilateralization of payments
  • create conditions conducive to better use of the workforce

In September 1961, the OEEC was replaced by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), a world organization. In 1961, the OECD consisted of the European Member countries originating from the OEEC plus the United States and Canada. The list of Member countries has grown steadily over the years and the Organization now has 37 Member countries.