Rule of Law in Greece

Justice

Effective justice systems are essential for upholding the rule of law. Independence, quality and efficiency are the defined parameters of an effective justice system, whatever the model of the national legal system and tradition in which it is anchored. Whilst the organisation of justice in the Member States falls within the competence of the Member States, when they are exercising that competence, Member States must ensure that their national justice systems provide for effective judicial protection. The independence of national courts is fundamental to ensuring such judicial protection. National courts ensure that the rights and obligations provided under EU law are enforced effectively. As re-affirmed by the European Court of Justice, the very existence of effective judicial review to ensure compliance with EU law is of the essence for the rule of law. Effective justice systems are also the basis for mutual trust, which is the bedrock of the common area of freedom, justice and security, an investment friendly environment, the sustainability of long-term growth and the protection of EU financial interests. The European Court of Justice has further clarified the requirements stemming from EU law regarding judicial independence. The case-law of the European Court of Human Rights also provides for key standards to be respected to safeguard judicial independence.

Independence

yellow
The three branches of the judiciary enjoy a high level of self-administration.
View source | Our evaluation: green
0 comments - add comment
The level of perceived judicial independence is average.
View source | Our evaluation: yellow
0 comments - add comment

Quality

green
A significant number of reforms have been initiated in the context of the economic adjustment programmes in the past years, but the implementation record shows mixed results.
View source | Our evaluation: yellow
0 comments - add comment
In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, Greece has made efforts to accelerate the digitalisation of the public administration.
View source | Our evaluation: green
0 comments - add comment
The authorities recently launched an initiative of creating specialised chambers in civil and administrative courts.
View source | Our evaluation: green
0 comments - add comment

Efficiency

yellow
The justice system continues to face challenges as regards its overall efficiency.
View source | Our evaluation: yellow
0 comments - add comment

Anti-corruption

The fight against corruption is essential for maintaining the rule of law. Corruption undermines the functioning of the state and of public authorities at all levels and is a key enabler of organised crime 48 . Effective anti-corruption frameworks, transparency and integrity in the exercise of state power can strengthen legal systems and trust in public authorities. Fighting corruption needs to be based on evidence about its prevalence and form in a given country, the conditions that enable corruption and the legal, institutional and other incentives that can be used to prevent, detect and sanction corruption.

Institutional Framework

yellow
Whereas Greece scored 36/100 in 2012 on the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index, its score increased to 48/100 in 2019, placing Greece 17th in the EU and 60th globally.
View source | Our evaluation: red
0 comments - add comment
A recent revision of the criminal legislation took place and some further amendments are envisaged.
View source | Our evaluation: green
0 comments - add comment

Prevention

yellow
Several important anti-corruption reforms completed in the past are currently being implemented.
View source | Our evaluation: green
0 comments - add comment
Greece has carried out several reforms to improve and strengthen the legal framework of the asset declarations system.
View source | Our evaluation: green
0 comments - add comment
A recent reform introduces new provisions on conflicts of interest.
View source | Our evaluation: green
0 comments - add comment
Lobbying in Greece remains largely unregulated and the whistle-blower protection framework is incomplete.
View source | Our evaluation: red
0 comments - add comment
As regards ‘revolving doors’, the legal framework has been amended in 2019.
View source | Our evaluation: yellow
0 comments - add comment

Repressive measures

green
The cooperation and coordination among different audit authorities and inspection bodies has been strengthened.
View source | Our evaluation: green
0 comments - add comment
Two specialised anti-corruption units are responsible for tackling corruption committed by politicians and high-ranking officials.
View source | Our evaluation: green
0 comments - add comment
Important steps to address obstacles to prosecuting high-level corruption have been taken through constitutional amendments.
View source | Our evaluation: green
0 comments - add comment

Media Freedom

All Member States have legal frameworks in place to protect media freedom and pluralism and EU citizens broadly enjoy high standards of media freedom and pluralism. Freedom of expression, media freedom and pluralism and the right of access to information are generally enshrined in the Constitution or in secondary law. Media pluralism and media freedom are key enablers for the rule of law, democratic accountability and the fight against corruption. The murders of journalists who were investigating high-level corruption and organised crime allegations have been a wake-up call reminding Member States of the obligation to guarantee an enabling environment for journalists, protect their safety and pro-actively promote media freedom and media pluralism.

Regulatory authorities

yellow
Independence of the regulator for audio-visual media services is ensured, but it lacks resources.
View source | Our evaluation: yellow
0 comments - add comment

Transparency of Media

yellow
Transparency of media ownership is ensured only partially, notably for audio-visual media services.
View source | Our evaluation: yellow
0 comments - add comment
The criteria for the distribution of indirect state subsidies are reported to be fair.
View source | Our evaluation: green
0 comments - add comment

Journalists' Protection

yellow
Freedom of expression is recognised by the Constitution.
View source | Our evaluation: green
0 comments - add comment
Journalists face challenges as regards their working conditions and safety.
View source | Our evaluation: yellow
0 comments - add comment

Other Institutional Issues

Institutional checks and balances are at the core of the rule of law. They guarantee the functioning, cooperation and mutual control of State organs so that power is exercised by one state authority with the scrutiny of others. In addition to an effective justice systems, checks and balances rely on a transparent, accountable, democratic and pluralistic process for enacting laws, the separation of powers, the constitutional and judicial review of laws, a transparent and high-quality public administration as well as effective independent authorities such as ombudsperson institutions or national human rights institutions.

Preparing and enacting laws

green
The legislative process is undergoing reform efforts to standardise and streamline the preparatory phase and to improve its quality.
View source | Our evaluation: green
0 comments - add comment
A comprehensive reform of law-making procedures aims at strengthening the quality of legislation.
View source | Our evaluation: green
0 comments - add comment

Civil Society

yellow
The freedom of association is enshrined in the Constitution, although there is no specific enabling framework for civil society.
View source | Our evaluation: yellow
0 comments - add comment

Accessibility

green
Access to information, including to administrative decisions, is secured and transparency is safeguarded through a policy on access to governmental information.
View source | Our evaluation: green
0 comments - add comment

Independent Authorities

green
Respect for fundamental and constitutional rights is ensured in several ways, including independent authorities.
View source | Our evaluation: green
0 comments - add comment