Greece Results Report 2019-2022
- Action Plan: Greece Action Plan 2019-2022
- Dates Under Review: 2019-2022
- Report Publication Year: 2023
From Greece’s fourth Action plans are at the core of a government’s participation in OGP. They are the product of a co-creation process in which government and civil society jointly develop commitments to open governmen..., one ambitious OGP commitments are promises for reform co-created by governments and civil society and submitted as part of an action plan. Commitments typically include a description of the problem, concrete action... on whistleblowing in sports saw major Early results refer to concrete changes in government practice related to transparency, citizen participation, and/or public accountability as a result of a commitment’s implementation. OGP’s Inde.... Other commitments, which were largely about opening datasets in different ministries, saw few early results. Civil society was not meaningfully involved in the co-creation of the action plan or the implementation of most commitments, and the action plan cycle suffered overall from a lack of accountability as there was no Regular dialogue between government and civil society is a core element of OGP participation. It builds trust, promotes joint problem-solving, and empowers civil society to influence the design, imple... (MSF). By the end of the action plan cycle, efforts to monitor implementation created opportunities for engagement between civil society and government.
Most commitments in Greece’s fourth action plan centered on publishing By opening up data and making it sharable and reusable, governments can enable informed debate, better decision making, and the development of innovative new services. Technical specifications: Polici.... Out of the eighteen commitments, ten saw marginal early results following implementation, while seven produced no evidence of early results. Only one commitment, on whistleblowing in sports, saw major early results. Under this commitment, a new online reporting platform has received whistleblowing reports from various sports since launching in January 2021, with some reports taken forward for further investigation and at least one report leading to a disciplinary sanction.
Under other commitments, government ministries published many new datasets in several policy areas. For the most part, these improvements only led to marginal early results in opening government—in many cases because they were ongoing practices required by Law 4305/2014 on the “Open access and re-use of documents, information and public sector data.” Furthermore, the added value of the data disclosed was no clearer following its publication as there were no documented cases of reuse, highlighting the likelihood that data was published according to government priorities and interests rather than those of end users or beneficiaries. Other commitments—to hold a teleconference with stakeholders informing them about the openness actions of the Ministry of Rural Development and Food, to implement a participatory process for the annual update of the Digital Transformation Bible (DTB, and to develop an online platform for monitoring Greece’s fourth The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a multi-stakeholder initiative focused on improving government transparency, ensuring opportunities for citizen participation in public matters, and strengthen... More (OGP) action plan—were also implemented with no more than marginal results.
Implementers must follow through on their commitments for them to achieve impact. For each commitment, OGP’s Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) evaluates the degree to which the activities outlin...
The level of implementation of commitments was higher than that of the previous action plan, with 12 out of 18 commitments fully or substantially completed. Commitment 6, to publish data held by the Ministry of Administrative Reconstruction on a new open data website and engage with civil society on open data topics, was canceled as the Ministry of Administrative Reconstruction was dissolved as part of a ministerial reorganization.
Following the OGP Criteria and Standards Subcommittee’s resolution on the COVID-19 pandemic, the government decided to extend the end of the action plan’s implementation period from 2021 to 2022, which may have aided implementation of the commitments as more time was granted than originally planned. As part of the process to extend the action plan implementation period, seven new commitments were added to the original 11-commitment action plan.
For some commitments and topics, evidence of open datasets can be found on the OpenGovMonitor, the central repository, the new open data portal, or various ministries’ websites. However, the lack of links to evidence on the OpenGovMonitor website made it hard to verify the level of completion for all commitments.
Participation and Co-Creation
The Ministry of Digital Governance has guided the OGP process in Greece since the ministerial reorganization that followed the 2019 parliamentary elections and the formation of a new government. Various public officials acknowledged that the changes to OGP leadership and the responsibilities of the public administration, as well as staff turnover, presented challenges to the implementation of the action plan.
The Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) found that Greece acted contrary to the OGP process during the co-creation period (before the elections and before institutional and staff changes) because there was no functioning MSF, there was limited engagement with civil society, and the government did not provide reasoned responses to commitment proposals. The OGP Criteria and Standards Subcommittee subsequently placed Greece under procedural review. At the start of the implementation period, the government sought to strengthen collaboration with civil society after two civic organizations requested that the Ministry reopen the action plan development process. With the outbreak of the pandemic, the government dropped the initial plan to establish working groups and instead moved the process online in the form of an open call for proposals held in July 2020 (named ‘Ideathon’). New commitments were added to the action plan in December 2020 (Commitments A1-A7), but only some stemmed from civic organizations or citizens and few of them were ambitious. Despite greater engagement in the process of amending the action plan, there was still no MSF in place.
During implementation, civil society set in motion an initiative to improve transparency of the OGP process through development of the monitoring website OpenGovMonitor.gr. Civil society organization Open Technologies Alliance (GFOSS) built the website using an open-source platform (with financial support from the OGP Support Unit), with the objective of tracking the progress of the fourth action plan’s implementation. Development and maintenance of the monitoring tool became Commitment A6 in the amended action plan. The website includes a description of commitments and their objectives and milestones. The Ministry of Digital Governance updated the status of these milestones at least once before the end of August 2022. However, not all milestone statuses provide links to evidence. By the end of the implementation period, GFOSS, Transparency International Greece, and the Ministry of Digital Governance formally agreed to change the scope of the website and repurpose it as the central OGP website and repository. It provides comprehensive information on OGP governance and the co-creation process and serves as a common space for public bodies and civil society to openly participate.
Implementation in Context
Greece held general elections in July 2019, just over a month after the adoption of the action plan. This election brought in a new governing party that implemented substantial institutional changes affecting the OGP process—the Ministry of Administrative Reform, the previous institution in charge of the action plan, was dissolved and its competences divided between the Ministry of Digital Transformation and the Ministry of the Interior. The Ministry of Digital Transformation took over responsibility for the OGP process.
During the first half of the implementation period, the COVID-19 pandemic greatly affected the OGP process in Greece. In addition to affecting the process of amending the action plan, the pandemic also affected the government’s capacity to oversee the OGP process as institutional resources were diverted to tackle the crisis.
Overall, while the economic situation in Greece improved over the course of the implementation period, the government came under scrutiny for widespread wiretapping that also led to a drop in Greece’s international rankings in freedom of the press.
 OGP, “Criteria and Standards Subcommittee Resolution – COVID19 Pandemic,” 18 March 2020, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/documents/criteria-and-standards-subcommittee-resolution-covid19-pandemic/.
OpenGovMonitor is available at http://www.opengovmonitor.gr/. The central repository is now archived at https://web.archive.org/web/20230403105933/https://repository.data.gov.gr/ (Until May 2023, it was available at http://www.repository.data.gov.gr/). The new open data portal is available at https://data.gov.gr/. Prior to 2021, each ministry could update their data on the portal http://www.data.gov.gr. However, this information was migrated to http://www.archive.data.gov.gr (now archived at https://web.archive.org/web/20230330173913/http://www.archive.data.gov.gr/) and http://www.repository.data.gov.gr, which includes 10,659 datasets classified by topic and institution (as of 28 October 2022). As of 2021, the Ministry of Digital Governance is now the only ministry that can update information on the new, restructured http://data.gov.gr open data portal, which currently provides access to 49 datasets from public entities, covering 10 topics. The government considers the data on this portal to be high value data and oriented toward their reuse in products and services by external stakeholders. They are accessible and downloadable via API for free but require registration. Anastasios Papazarifis (Special Scientific Personnel, OGP Greece Point of Contact, Ministry of Digital Governance—Secretariat General of As evolving technologies present new opportunities for governments and citizens to advance openness and accountability, OGP participating governments are working to create policies that deal with the ... and Simplification of Procedures, Department of According to OGP’s Articles of Governance, transparency occurs when “government-held information (including on activities and decisions) is open, comprehensive, timely, freely available to the pub... More and Open Government), interview by IRM, 5 October 2022; Hara Tessa (Department of Innovative Services and Simplification of Procedures, Directorate of e-Governance, Ministry of Culture and Sport), interview by IRM, 7 October 2022; Tessa, correspondence with IRM, 6 and 10 October 2022.
 Papazarifis, interview; Papazarifis, correspondence with IRM, 4 October 2022; George Chalkias (Director of Documentation, Research and Innovation Institute [ITEK], National Centre for Public Administration and Local Government [EKDDA]), correspondence with IRM, 7 October 2022; Panagiota Mpoura (Head of Coordination Unit of Hellenic Ministry of To address barriers that prevent citizens from having their justice needs met, OGP participating governments are working to expand transparency, accountability, and inclusion into all systems of justi...), interview by IRM, 7 October 2022; Dimitrios Zampakolas (Head of Digital Governance Agency, Ministry of National Defence), correspondence with IRM, 14 October 2022.
 OGP, “Greece – Under Review Letter – February 2021,” 3 March 2021, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/documents/greece-under-review-letter-february-2021/.
 Alexandros Melidis (Director, Open Technologies Alliance GFOSS), interview by IRM, 4 October 2022.
 OGP Greece Ideathon, Government of Greece, https://covidhackgr.gov.gr/ogp/Ideathon2020-gr.html.
 Papazarifis, interview.
 Melidis, interview; Papazarifis, interview.