Greece Report


Main Actors

As already mentioned, Greece has no explicitly formulated WGA policies on external crises and conflicts. However, the country actively participates in many EU CSDP, NATO and UN missions (e.g. EUFOR Althea, EULEX Kosovo, EUAM Ukraine, EUMM Georgia, EUTM Mali, EUNAVFOR Atalanta, EUNAVFOR MED Sophia, UNIFIL, KFOR, RSM Afghanistan and Operation Active Endeavour), providing both military and civilian personnel, depending on the mission’s nature.
At the national level, the main actors responsible for Greece’s participation in international missions are the government, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), and the Ministry of National Defence (MoD). Elements of a WGA can be found in the cooperation between the MFA and MoD at two different levels: first, at the ministerial level, through the direct communication of the responsible ministers; and, second, at the directorate-general level, between the General Directorate of National Defence Policy and International Relations (GDNDPIR) of the MoD and the various competent directorates of the MFA, depending on the international mission’s framework (e.g. the EU, the UN or NATO). Moreover, regarding the participation of Greece in non-military CSDP missions, a WGA-like coordination is in place between the MFA, the MoD and the Ministry for Citizen Protection. Indeed, the inter-ministerial decision 1027/4/26d of 2010 between the three ministries stipulates that, in close coordination with the MFA and the MoD, the Ministry for Citizen Protection is responsible for selecting police personnel for civilian CSDP missions, when necessary (Government Gazette 2010). Other actors at the national level cooperate in a WGA-like manner, albeit not in relation to external conflicts and crises.
In the policy area of migration, Presidential Decree 123 of 2016 established the Ministry of Migration Policy (MMP) to address the ongoing migration crisis (Government Gazette 2016). Creating the MMP, whose responsibilities had previously been part of the mandate of the Ministry of Interior, was prompted by the realisation that coordinating the wide array of actors involved in the management of migrant populations in Greece demanded a dedicated authority that would assume full responsibility. Indeed, following a WGA on migration policy, the MMP is responsible for coordination among ministries (horizontal coordination) as well as coordination with regional and local authorities, international and national NGOs, and all other civil society actors (vertical coordination). Following the national elections of July 2019, the MMP became an integral part of the Ministry for Citizen Protection (Government Gazette 2019a). Although the government claimed that this would ensure more direct coordination between the relevant agencies dealing with migration, the opposition has criticised this decision as an attempt to treat migration primarily as a security concern.
Regarding sustainable development, a policy area on which Greece has recently been placing particular emphasis, the General Secretariat of the Government is the main actor for the WGA-like coordination of all actors involved. In the relevant inter-ministerial committee, all the ministries of the government are represented by their dedicated focal points at the level of directorate or directorate general. The WGA of the committee’s work is reinforced by the participation of other actors, such as the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) and the office of the deputy prime minister of Greece. Moreover, also in the area of development, the Directorate General of International Development Cooperation (Hellenic Aid) is the responsible agency for coordinating the efforts of national and international actors to provide humanitarian and development support overseas.
Finally, on the policy area of migration management, there are ongoing initiatives that indicate the application of a WGA at the local level, both horizontally (between municipalities) and vertically (between municipalities and civil society organisations that provide services to refugees). The most illustrative example of a WGA at the municipal level is the Athens Coordination Centre for Migrant and Refugee Issues (ACCMR), an organisation created by the City of Athens to map the different actors that provide support to migrants and refugees as well as to effectively coordinate their activities.
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