Thodoris Chondrogiannos
Ministry of Culture and Sports violates the legislation on public consultation
12 • 10 • 2019

On October 7, 2019, the Ministry of Culture and Sports posted a bill to the public consultation website. However, the process followed by the government violated the rules of public consultation and good legislation.

According to Article 61 paragraphs 2, 3 & 4 of the key transparency law (ν. 4622/2019 – ΦΕΚ Α’ 133/07.08.2019), “consultation on bills is done through the website and lasts two weeks,” and only exceptionally can be shortened to one week “for sufficiently substantiated reasons, referred to in the public consultation report accompanying the arrangement” which “is posted on the website where the consultation took place.”

On  7 October 2019, the Ministry of Culture and Sports posted a bill to the public consultation website, accompanied by an explanatory report. It was entitled “Ratification of the Council of Europe Convention signed in Magglingen/Macolin on 18 September 2014 on the manipulation of sports games; urgent measures to combat violence in sport, and other provisions.” The consultation lasted until October 14, which means that the government shortened the duration of the public consultation to the minimum legally permissible period of one week. 

Where is the problem with the Rule of Law?

In a state that adheres to the rule of law, the government strictly follows the rules of good legislation, as this presupposes the improvement of legislative work and addresses the negative consequences of bad legislative practices (such as, for example, the multiplicity and incomprehensibility of provisions that have built up over time in Greek legislation).

Furthermore, the implementation of the rules of good legislation contributes to the consolidation of citizens’ trust in state institutions and the law, as they observe that the government complies with the law, strengthening the democratic principle where citizens and bodies of public power are equal before the law. 

This is even more true of the public consultation process, the establishment of which allows civil society to take an active part in shaping the laws that govern a democratic society.

However, in this case, the Ministry of Culture and Sports did not apply the rules regarding the length of the consultation process, limiting the ability of citizens to express their views on the proposed legislation without providing, as required by law, sufficiently substantiated reasons for doing so.

Thodoris Chondrogiannos
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