|Year of approval of the
SD strategy and updates
The first NSDS was adopted by
the Council of Ministers in 2002. The second NSDS was prepared in 2007 and had
been partially implemented till 2009.
Since 2009 when “ the Ministry of
Environment, Energy and Climate Change” (MEECC), was established, the political
priorities for Greece, throughout the whole Government structure, have been set
under the overarching objective of “Green Growth”. Since 2010 when the economic difficulties has been
increased due to the financial crisis, until today Greece’s overarching political strategic objective, remains
that of “Green Growth”, taking into account the constraints and obligations
arising from the structural reform.
In the framework of this structural reform for more efficient and effective
public administration, a new
organisation chart of the Ministry is in force, aiming at enhancing the
sustainable management of environmental sector through the improvement of the horizontal coordination at the central level,
optimization of human resources management, promotion of administrative
efficacy and decentralisation of responsibilities, modernization,
rationalization and adaptation to international and EU standards.
|Type of SD strategy
NSDS aims at covering all three dimensions
|Lead ministry/institution in
the SD strategy process
Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change (2002-2009)
Ministry of Finance (2009-2014)
|Link to the SD strategy
Strategy for Sustainable Development (2002) (English executive summary)
|Further information about
the SD strategy process
National Profile 2004 (Commission on SD, United Nations)
Greek National Profile 2006 (Commission on SD, United Nations)
Greek National Profile 2008 (Commission on SD, United Nations)
Greek National Profile 2011
(Commission on SD, United Nations)
National Report on implementing the EU SDS
-- Back to overview --
National Implementation of 2030 Agenda for SD
Greece, after a preparatory phase for
setting up the required governance structure that will undertake the
responsibility of coordinating efforts, at national level, for the
implementation of the SDGs, is currently “adapting” the SDGs to national
priorities and circumstances.
§ Given that all SDGs are equal,
interlinked and need to be addressed holistically, Greece’s general objective is to benefit from the opportunity
that the SDGs provide, in order to revisit the country’s overall development
perspectives from a sustainable and more balanced point of view, through an
“SDGs lens”, while improving policy coherence for sustainable development and
promoting new win-win-win opportunities for the country.
|Leading Ministry and
of Foreign Affairs
|Other ministries involved
All line / thematic Ministries of the government.
Special burden falls on the Ministry of Environment and Energy as is
thematically involved in the majority of SDGs (e.g. more than 7 out of the
overall 17 SDGs)
§ Regarding the governance scheme for
coordinating national efforts to implement the SDGs, since December 2016
following a decision by the Greek Prime Minister, the task has been allocated
by Law, adopted by the Hellenic Parliament, to the General Secretariat of the
Government (GSG), with emphasis on enhancing inter-ministerial coordination,
given the fact that the GSG is a permanent structure well positioned, standing
close to the political leadership of the country (inter alia Governmental
Council of Economic Policy, Governmental Council of Social Policy etc),
indicating commitment at the highest level, as well as close to the public
administration and all line Ministries for law making issues, ensuring the
continuity of efforts. Moreover, it works closely and on a daily basis with the
Hellenic Parliament on legislative and regulatory issues and coordinates the
legislative work of the whole government. Thus, the GSG is capable of ensuring a
whole-of-government approach, reducing silos across thematic policies from the
design to implementation, ensuring coherence and cooperating directly with all
governmental bodies and line Ministries.
§ In parallel, the Hellenic Ministry
of Foreign Affairs continues to be responsible for the external dimension of
our national efforts while the Hellenic Ministry of Environment and Energy is
“thematically/technically” responsible for the implementation of 7 out of the
overall 17 SDGs (i.e. 6, 7, 11, 12, 13, 14 partly and 15) with past experience
on the matter being the national Focal Point for the UNCSD for around 20 years
§ Under the coordination of the
General Secretariat of the Government (GSG), an “Inter-ministerial Coordination
Network for SDGs” with representatives from all line Ministries, was officially
re-established in December 20016 to oversee and steer national efforts for the
implementation of the SDGs at national level and in particular, as a first
urgent initial step, to undertake the completion of a mapping / gap analysis
exercise by all Ministries.
§ The above mentioned mapping exercise
has been completed by all Ministries in February 2017 in order to explore the existing and missing
policy instruments for SDGs implementation in Greece. The Ministries identified
which goals and targets they are covering and by which policies and measures.
The measures vary from national and EU legislation to sectoral or thematic
strategies and action plans, as well as implementation of the international
agreements and commitments. This exercise resulted in compiling all relevant
policies and measures that are still missing, indicating the state-of-play and
budgetary status, and analysing areas of insufficient action or potential for
cross-sectoral co-operation. Moreover, all Ministries had to rank and
prioritise all SDG targets under their competences according to their existing
priorities and on-going work, from 0 (little emphasis / priority) to 3 (high
priority target for Greece).
§ This overall analysis and mapping resulted in
defining 8 overarching National Priorities for Greece linked to the SDGs and in
line with the overall Government priorities that should be pursued through our
national efforts for adapting the SDGs to national circumstances. These are:
1. Promotion of a competitive, innovative and
sustainable economic growth (SDGs 8,9)
2. Promotion of full employment and decent work for
all (SDGs 8,4),
3. Addressing poverty and social exclusion and
promote universal access to quality health care services (SDGs 1, 2, 3, 8, 10),
4. Reduction of social and regional inequalities
and ensuring equal opportunities for all (SDGs 10, 5, 4, 8, 1, 3, 11, 16),
5. Promotion of a high quality and inclusive
education for all (SDG 4),
6. Strengthen the protection and sustainable
management of the natural capital as a base for social development/prosperity and transition to a low-carbon economy (SDGs 6, 7, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15),
7. Building of effective, accountable and
transparent institutions / institutional mechanisms (SDGs 16, 17),
8. Strengthen and promote open, participatory and
democratic processes (SDGs 16, 17).
§ The above-mentioned National Priorities along
with the mapping/gap analysis exercise regarding the SDGs are going to be
further discussed and reviewed by the Parliament in the context of the
elaboration and evaluation of the National Implementation Action Plan on SDGs scheduled for 2019.
|Main contact point for the
of Foreign Affairs
|Links to main websites/
documents on national
implementation of the
2030 Agenda and SDGs
§ In this abovementioned overall context, the
National Development Strategy of Greece which is currently going though the
final stages of elaboration, has been made “SDG aware” by including references
and operational linkages to the SDGs, and vice versa as the Strategy will serve
as the basis and strategic framework the implementation of the SDGs at national
§ Moreover, there is an effort and intention to
make all programmes and strategies “SDG aware” through the involvement of the GSG both in law-making,
generally in Greece,
and recently in the implementation of the SDGs. This involvement can ensure
greater coherence in legislation and addressing of trade-offs from the policy
design phase, right from the start, so that the legislation that is enacted /
institutionalised as well as the various national programmes and strategies
adopted, thereinafter, can be
complementary and aligned to the principles and objectives of Agenda 2030.
§ Greece will be going through the VNR process in New York during the
HLPF, next year, in July 2018. To this end, Greece, through the “Inter-ministerial Coordination
Committee” and under the leading of the General Secretariat of the
Government, national preparations for
the drafting of the National VNR Report have already started: the outline of
the Report has been agreed by all Ministries and now all Ministries are in the
process of providing their inputs to the actual elaboration of the Report.
§ The plan is to submit a draft of the VNR Report to
the Parliament, for its guidance and comments in order to finalise it.
Therefore, the Parliament’s involvement will clearly be an important one in
§ Since the 5 SDGs selected for the in-depth
thematic review during the 2018 HLPF are of an “environmental nature” (i.e.
SDGs 6, 7, 11, 12, 15), an important part of the work to be done regarding the
thematic analysis falls under the responsibilities of the Hellenic Ministry of
Environment and Energy.
§ Greece plans to elaborate a National
Implementation Action Plan after the VNR process is completed, which is due to
be finalised in 2019, also with the involvement of the Parliament (see also
answers provided for question no 4 below).
||[No information available]
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Mechanisms of Vertical Integration
National — sub-national linkages
For the preparation of the 2002 NSDS as
well as its 2007 Implementation Report to the EU, representatives of local
authorities, civil society, academia, private sector, NGOs etc actively
participated in general or thematic workshops.
difficult financial situation has required the promotion of a new model of development that will serve
citizens’ needs while in parallel respecting the environment as a reserve for
development.To this end the new model, in the form of a green economy in the
context of sustainable development, provides the ability to address the
multifaceted current challenges in the financial, energy, food and
environmental sectors, while fostering sustainable livelihoods and social
cohesion.To name an example, the promotion of renewable energy sources, such as
photovoltaic and wind turbines have been driven. In parallel the new model
serves the fulfillment of requirements
of the aquis communautaire in the environmental sector.
As mentioned above, since 2009 the
Government's structure, objectives and priorities have been redefined and
redesigned in order to foster actual development based on the principles of
“Green Growth”, while adapted to the constaints and international obligations .
To this end, MEECC has drawn up a revised National Strategy on “Green Growth”
for growth and sustainable development respecting the environment, while
responding to actual needs with practical means. This Strategy is also
linked/inspired of to the recent Europe 2020 EU Strategy.
More specifically, it aims at:
of development investments
the production basis of the economy and reinvigorating economic activity
new jobs and reducing unemployment
Its principles and requirements include:
in knowledge-base expansion
in new technologies
The Strategy introduces a cross-sectoral approach.
The priority sectors encompassed include:
/ infrastructure development
· Energy /promotion
of renewable energy
The thematic pillars of the Strategy are
four and include:
climate change challenges and transition to a competitive low-carbon economy
(e.g. by promoting the penetration of RES, energy saving and energy demand
management, increase of energy efficiency etc);
management of natural resources (e.g. integrated management of ecosystems and
biodiversity, water and forest resources, risk planning and management,
rehabilitation and landscape preservation);
of quality of life based on an environmental-friendly approach (e.g.
improvement of social and productivity cohesion, revitalizing of rural and
degraded urban areas, sustainable mobility, integrated waste management etc);
of institutional tools and mechanisms for environmental governance (e.g.
reinforcement of inspection instruments, improvement of public access to
environmental information, education and awareness raising etc).
The Law 4014/2011 considerably contributes to the implementation of the
above-mentioned aims through the procedural simplification of the environmental
permitting process of projects and activities.
More specifically, Law 4014/2011 aims at
accelerating environmental permitting and licensing procedures, decentralizing
competencies for environmental licencing, reducing bureaucratic and
administrative burdens, enhancing transparency and promoting stakeholder
participation in decision making. To this end, the following steps/tools are
1. Standardisation of the administrative
procedure for the approval, renewal or amendment of the decision setting the
environmental terms for the operation of activities and projects.
2. Minimisation of the number of competent
Ministries involved in the permitting procedure.
3. New classification of projects and activities
based on their environmental impact and introduction of Standardised Environmental
Specifications for the permitting of low-impact installations.
4. Improvement of the administrative structure of
environmental licensing services by establishing a single licensing authority
at central level under the Ministry of Environment.
5. Introduction of dispute resolution councils dealing with particular
cases, both at central/Ministry of Environment level, as well as at regional
of a Digital Environmental Registry enhancing public access to environmental
Moreover, at the time being , it is ongoing the
evaluation and revision of the regional spatial plans of the 12 Regions in
Greece (except Attica).
adopted the European Union’s ten-year growth strategy (EU 2020). The aim of
this Strategy is to address the
shortcomings of the European growth model and create the conditions for a
different type of growth that is smarter (through the development of knowledge and
innovation), more sustainable (based on a greener, more resource efficient and
more competitive economy) and more inclusive (aimed at strengthening employment and
social and territorial cohesion).
For the preparation of the NSRF 2014-2020,
the Greek Partnership Agreement has incorporated the Europe 2020 Strategy’s
targets related to:
- 75% of the
population aged 20-64 should be employed.
- 3% of the EU’s GDP
should be invested in R&D.
- The «20-20-20»
climate / energy targets should be met (including an increase to 30% of
emissions reduction if the conditions are right).
- The share of early
school leavers should be 10% and at least 40% of the younger generation
should have a tertiary degree.
- 20 million less
people should be at risk of poverty.
These EU Strategy targets translated into the
11 thematic objectives of the Common Provision Regulation (1303/2013) and
integrated into the Greek Cohesion Policy 2014-2020.
2009 Review of the EU Sustainable
Development Strategy (EU SDS) http://ec.europa.eu/environment/eussd
-- Back to overview --
Mechanisms of Horizontal Integration
Inter-Ministerial coordination was
strengthened for the drafting of the National Strategic Reference Framework
(NSRF 2007- 2013) in
which the principles of the NSDS were embedded. Moreover, under MEECC a new
Service for the Coordination of all Environmental Activities that are being
carried out by all government entities (central Ministries and Regional
Authorities) has been established aiming to effectively coordinate planned and
implemented interventions related to environment, as a cross-cutting issue, in
the context of all sectoral and Regional Operational Programmes under the NSRF
The Special Service for
Coordination of Environmental Projects is the competent authority for
monitoring and assessing the integration of the horizontal environmental issues
derived by the European Environmental Acquis into the Greek Cohesion Policy
The National Development Strategy
(NDS) for the current programming period 2014-2020 expressed by the Greek
Partnership Agreement (PA) 2014-2020 which was approved by the European
Committee on 23/5/2014 with a budget of 26 billion Euro. The Greek PA has
integrated the Sustainable Development Principle with reference to the article
8 of the Common Provision Regulation (CPR 1303/2013) promoting the
environmental protection requirements, resource efficiency, climate change
mitigation and adaptation, biodiversity, disaster resilience and risk
prevention and management through investments under the thematic priorities of
the ERDF, CF, EAFRD, EMFF.
Moreover, the 11 thematic
objectives, set out by the CPR (1303/2013) of the FSI funds, are in line with
the Sustainable Development Principle and with the Union’s aim at preserving,
protecting and improving the quality of the environment taking into
consideration the Polluter Pays Principle (PPP). With regard to supporting of climate change
mitigation and adaptation in the context of the Cohesion policy programs,
the Greek OPs and ROPs have allocated 20% of their budget to support climate
change objectives according to the methodology for the calculation of CC
support by ESI Funds as it described in the articles 1,2 & 3 of the
Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 215/2014.
In addition, the Special Service for
Coordination of Environmental Projects (SSCEP), has produced guidelines related
to the MEECC’s Environmental Development Strategy for the Cohesion Policy
2014-2020. These guidelines provided by the Ministry’s website:http://www.ypeka.gr/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=NrhIgcKoxC4%3D&tabid=759&language=el-GR . Furthermore, the SSCEP has been
in close cooperation with all the Competent Managing Authorities for
integrating the Sustainable Development Principle into the OPs and the ROPs
submitted on 17/7/2014 in the European Committee.
The implementation of the new Strategy of
MEECC on “Green Growth” that reflects the overall government orientation and
focus requires a close cooperation between all relevant Ministry and Government
Agencies as well as a reach out to the private sector and other social
stakeholders. The Strategy itself aims at economic growth, increase of
investment opportunities, creation of jobs, reduction of unemployment,
revitalising degraded urban and rural areas, social cohesion, education on
sustainable development and increased democracy, through an integrated and
sustainable use of natural resources. These goals extend beyond the tasks and
responsibilities of MEECC and focus on the real economy.
For example, in the context of the new
MEECC Strategy, the government has set the goal of reaching a ‘resource
efficient and low carbon economy’. Thus all related Services throughout
competent Ministries are coordinating their work to achieve this target. Two
indicative programmes that will contribute to the implementation of the
Strategy and require horizontal integration include:
saving” is a public-private venture with the active participation of the
banking sector and aluminum frame producers, for providing no or low interest
loans to house and shop owners for replacing door and window frames with
special new ones that ensure best heating and cooling performance and
insulation, thus, resulting in a considerable decrease in energy requirements.
the future” is a larger scale programme that entails the pilot application of
the principles of “green growth” in selected indicative geographic and sectoral
areas like an island, 3 urban neighborhoods, a rural village, selected military
camps and selected industrial sectors that will be linked to academic research
in order to invest in development of new materials for energy
Another example of effective
horizontal integration is the establishment of an Inter-Ministerial Committee
on “Green Public Procurement and Integrated Product Policy”. More than 5 Ministries
actively participate in the works of this Committee that will lead to policy
recommendations for changing the related legal framework in the country.
Greece is also participating in the Bureau of the ESD Steering
Committee, supporting, inter alia, the strengthening of the cooperation and
synergies with other bodies starting to be involved in ESD issues, like the
Union for the Mediterranean.
In this respect, Greece has been working in depth in promoting
activities implementing the three priority areas as decided at the 7th Meeting
of the Steering Committee on ESD, namely (a) to ensure that there is an
education for sustainable development school plan in every school by 2015; (b)
to promote the introduction of ESD into teacher education; and (c) to reorient
technical and vocational education and training in support of sustainable
development and the transition to a green economy; through decisions and
circulars, in line with the endorsed work plan for the 3rd phase of the
implementation of the Strategy.
the preparation of national goals in the framework of the post 2015 Development
agenda discussions in the OWG on SDGs, Greece under the
leadership of the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs, has prepared the national priority areas through interministerial
collaboration during the Hellenic Presidency of the Council of the
EU (A semester 2014).
-- Back to overview --
Evaluation and Review
Greece has published its first
national report on implementing the EU SDS in August 2007. Additionally,
Greece has submitted to the UNCSD Secretariat, in 2007 and 2009, as part of its
regular reporting (i.e. Country Profile) to the UNCSD, updated information on
the implementation of its “National
Sustainable Development Strategy (NSDS) or its equivalent”.
provided through the regular Country Profiles that Greece/MEECC compiles and
submits to the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (UNCSD),
covering various sustainable development themes according to the CSD’s
multi-annual Work Programme, from water management, sanitation and human
settlements (Greek National Profile 2004), to air quality, energy, climate
change and industry (Greek National Profile 2006) and to agriculture,
desertification, drought, physical planning and Africa (Greek National Profile
In 2005, a progress report about
Greece was issued within the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership. This report,
though, focuses mainly on environmental issues, e.g. waste, water resources,
coastal zones, etc. Other important reporting by Greece is done through the
compilation of its National Communications to the UNFCCC (in 2010, the 5th
National Communication was submitted) for tracking progress of implementation
of the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol.
§ The Parliamentary Committees of the Hellenic Parliament are responsible
to elaborate and examine draft laws that fall within the various thematic areas
of the SDGs (i.e. poverty reduction, employment, healthcare and
social protection, economic development, research and innovation, environmental
protection and climate change). These draft laws
are then debated and adopted in Plenary. Thus the Hellenic Parliament, per se,
can ensure legislation and policy coherence for sustainable development.
§ Currently, the GSG is working with the
Parliament the specifics of the involvement of a Parliamentary Committee, where
all political parties are represented, in which the discussion on SDGs will be
taking place, on a regular basis, to contribute to and guide implementation at
the national level.
§ A progress report on
the implementation of the National Action Plan on the SDGs (scheduled to be
elaborated in 2019) and its reviews will be submitted by the GSG to the
Parliament, at regular intervals, for its review and political guidance,
therefore, it is envisaged that, in terms of follow
up and review of the implementation of the SDGs, the Hellenic Parliament will
undertake an important role.
-- Back to overview --
Indicators and Monitoring
In 2003, a preliminary set of 70 SD
indicators was presented in the report 'Environmental signals' produced by the
National Centre for the Environment and Sustainable Development (NCESD),
supervised by MEECC. However, as the indicators were a proposal and not all of
them measurable, the implementation of the NSDS was not monitored across all of
them and the indicators were not used nor expanded to cover all the NSDS’s
A new set of indicators has been developed
by the NCESD, in close co-operation with the National Statistics Service, which
take into account the SD indicator set by Eurostat and the needs of reporting
for the renewed NSDS. This set was developed and established in 2008-2009
within a “State
of the Environment” Report produced by NCESD in 2010. The new indicator set was developed after
the EU SDS Implementation Report (2007) has been adopted: it is not integrated
in the old report (2007). The indicators will be utilized from the government
and administrative departments to keep on track.
Indicators are also used in the
Operational Programmes for period 2007-2013 to evaluate the results and impacts
of the Operational Programmes funded by Structural Funds and also EC Life +
Programme. Those include green and employment growth indicators.
-- Back to overview --
The ‘National Council for Spatial Planning
was established with members coming from the Ministry of Environment, local
authorities, employers’ and trade unions, research institutes and NGOs
participated. However, the coordination between institutions has been rather
weak and on an ad-hoc basis.. In parallel, citizens’ access to environmental
and spatial information is also promoted through the implementation of EU
Different stakeholder groups are invited
to participate regularly in public consultations and workshops organised either
by NCESD or by MEECC. The Minister for EECC (www.ypeka.gr/) also holds regular consultation meetings with
representatives of the civil society and NGOs.
The Government, since the end of 2009, offers a new tool for public
consultation (http://www.opengov.gr/home/), which is internet based, where the
general public can access and submit comments on any new proposal for
legislation, any government position opening etc. Moreover, through the
“CLARITY” programme, (Law 3861/2010), all Ministries are obliged to upload
their decisions on the internet, with the exception of decisions containing
sensitive personal data and/or information on national security. This program
constitutes a major transparency tool, since the decisions of public
administration cannot be implemented prior to their upload on the Clarity
website. The full implementation of the Clarity program (on all public
institutions, regulatory authorities and local government) contributes
substantially to the creation of a more transparent citizens-state
NGO representatives are also included in
the management boards of most entities/Centres supervised by Ministries as well
as in all Management Bodies of NATURA 2000 sites in Greece.
§ In terms of participation and
consultation, and since the implementation of the SDGs goes far beyond the
responsibilities of the government, particular emphasis is given to awareness
raising on SDGs at all levels
and to stakeholders engagement. The aim is to set up a permanent consultation
platform for all stakeholders (both an electronic one / online and also through
regular Meetings and Dialogues) to ensure balance, regularity of consultations
in a structured manner, transparency, partnership and accountability.
§ In this regard, the GSG holds
meetings with stakeholder to also provide the opportunity to stakeholders to
develop a more efficient internal self-coordination process so that they can
more effectively participate to the overall national dialogue and contribute
with concrete proposals. Some of the stakeholders that have been very actively
engaged already, include:
1. the Economic and Social Council
2. the Unions of Municipalities and
3. the Hellenic Federation of
4. Professionals and Trade Unions,
5. Workers Associations,
6. Academia (the National Research Foundation and Universities Rector's Synod), etc.
§ Since March 2017, a series of
high-level multi-stakeholder Events have been organized to raise awareness on
the SDGs and provide a space for multi-stakeholder interaction. The Events were
oganised either by the private sector (e.g. Conference of the Hellenic
Federation of Enterprises on the SDGs on 2 March) of in the form of
international Economic Fora (i.e. the Concordia Economic Summit organized in
Athens, on 5-6 June) where Government representatives participated to provide
their views on how the country should adopt and adapt the SDGs to national
circumstances, or they were organized by Ministries, like the Conference
organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs together with the General
Secretariat of the Government on how to address “Policy Coherence for
Sustainable Development” (Athens, 7 March) as well as the Dialogue organized by
the Hellenic Ministry of Environment and Energy / National Center for Environment
and Sustainable Development with
environmental NGOs on the environmental dimension of the SDGs (Athens, 15
March) that has produced very fruitful results regarding the national
-- Back to overview --
This is a link to the promotion of the Habitat Agenda at the national and
local level in Greece.
-- Back to overview --
This Country Profile has been last updated on: Monday, 25 September 2017
For the sources used in the country profiles, please click here.