Policy Profile Greece

Introduction

Greece is a member state of the European Union and is therefore required to implement all EU directives, laws, regulations and policies, including those related to heritage and culture.

Greece and the EU

The European Commission has a Representation Office and the European Parliament a Liaison Office, both in Athens. The Greek Government has a Permanent Representation to the European Union in Brussels.

National Cultural Policy in Greece

At the national level, the Βουλή των Ελλήνων (Hellenic Parliament) has a key role in cultural affairs, notably, passing legislation on matters related to cultural heritage and the arts, which are introduced by the Υπουργείο Πολιτισμού (Ministry of Culture). The Ministry of Culture and the Υπουργείο Περιβάλλοντος και Ενέργειας (Ministry of Environment and Energy) are jointly responsible for protection of the architectural and natural heritage. The Supreme Administrative Court of Greece is the Συμβούλιο της Επικρατείας (Council of State), which checks the compatibility of the laws with the Constitution and their correct implementation in the event of an appeal.

Several services of the Ministry of Culture are responsible for the on-site implementation of policies on the protection, preservation and valorisation of archaeological heritage. The highest advisory body on all matters related to the protection of ancient monuments, archaeological sites and sites of exceptional historical or legendary importance up to 1830 is the Central Archaeological Council.

Regional Policies in Greece

At the regional level, the Central Council of Architecture (KE.ΣΑ.) of the Ministry of Environment and Energy advises on the permits of heritage buildings and sites dating after 1831. Local Councils of Architecture (Σ.Α) are local committees that advise and control aspects such as the designation of listed buildings, the demolition of dangerous listed buildings etc.

Moreover, the different services of the Ministry of Culture are divided into Regional Offices called Ephorates. The General Directorate of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage, which is responsible for the overall protection and management of cultural heritage, is divided into 51 Ephorates of Antiquities. The General Directorate of Restoration, Museums and Technical Works is an additional general service responsible for the study and implementation of restoration on architectural monuments and sites and is divided into 8 Ephorates.

Finally, a number of archaeological museums are given special regional service status (National Archaeological; Epigraphical; Numismatic; Byzantine; Archaeological Museum of Heraklion; Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki; Museum of Byzantine Culture of Thessaloniki).

View all Greece policies gathered so far

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* = This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence

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