European Commission
2020 Rule of Law Report
30 • 09 • 2020

Greece has adopted a significant number of justice reforms initiated in the context of the three economic adjustment programmes. Reform activities included changes in the organisation of courts, measures to improve the management of courts, the broadening of the use of information technology tools in courts and the promotion of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms. However, the implementation record shows mixed results and the justice system continues to face challenges as regards its quality and efficiency. Ongoing efforts to ensure the effective implementation of the recent reforms and further progress in the digitalisation of the justice systems are particularly important for achieving concrete results.

Greece embarked on a wide range of anti-corruption reforms in the past years and continues implementing a comprehensive national anti-corruption plan. Efforts have been made to streamline the institutional framework and improve coordination of various agencies and bodies tasked with fighting corruption. A modern legal framework for asset declarations and political party financing is in place, but implementation still shows some gaps. Some obstacles to the prosecution of high-level corruption were eliminated by way of constitutional
review in 2019, as procedures regarding immunity regimes and statutes of limitation were modified. A revision of the criminal legislation in June 2019 raised a number of concerns, most notably as regards the criminalisation of bribery. While subsequent revisions remedied this situation, ongoing cases remain affected. Lobbying in Greece remains largely unregulated and the whistle-blower protection framework is incomplete.

The Constitution provides for the protection of freedom of expression and the right to access public information. Structures to ensure media pluralism and press rights are in place. However, some questions exist with regard to the effectiveness of rules geared at ensuring transparency of media ownership. Key concerns relate to insufficient mechanisms to ensure respect for professional standards in the practice of journalism, and precarious working conditions for journalists resulting from, among other things, the economic and financial

The system of checks and balances in Greece has been facing some challenges in practice. In particular, the process for enacting laws has been under considerable pressure in past years, mainly due to the consequences of the economic and financial crisis. Better regulation principles were not fully adhered to, but recent comprehensive legislation in this field aims at addressing these challenges and is gradually being implemented.

Fundamental and constitutional rights are protected through the courts and independent authorities. There is no
specific enabling framework for civil society in Greece, and there are civil society organisations active in the field of migration which have expressed concerns that the civic space to operate on the ground has narrowed.

source: European Commission

European Commission
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