Open letter about the Greek Recovery and Resilience Plan: opacity and lack of participation

Civil society demands that Greece’s Recovery Plan prioritises making society greener and fairer

69 civil society organisations co-signed an open letter to the Deputy Minister of Finance, Theodoros Skylakakis, initiated by Common Ground and Greenpeace, outlining their priorities for a green and just recovery and seeking more public involvement in developing policies

ATHENS, 23 March 2021 – Greece, like all other member states, has until the end of April to submit a plan to the EU outlining how it will spend the €32 billion* it will receive in recovery funds to overcome the effects of the pandemic. Civil society recognises this as an unprecedented opportunity for a truly just, inclusive, and sustainable transition and seeks transparency in the planning process.

So far, civil society has been largely left out of the process and kept in the dark, despite hopes that it would be inclusive and transparent.

Given that recent crises (economic, refugee reception, pandemic) have deepened social inequalities in Greece, the signatories contend that recovery policies should target typically overlooked populations such as impoverished households, the homeless, migrants, and refugees.  At the same time, they call for policies that prioritise protecting the environment and reducing the effects of climate change in order to ensure a sustainable future and stave off future disasters and displacement.

Common Ground and the letter’s co-signers urge the Greek government to:

  • Invite the public, and in particular civil society, to submit their proposals for spending the recovery funds before the government submits its final plan in April and ensure their meaningful participation in the plan’s design, implementation and monitoring.
  • Prepare a detailed action plan detailing proposed programmes, objectives, beneficiaries and expected impact, which includes valid environmental, social and economic indicators.
  • Improve clarity and transparency around the process, including regular information exchange sessions with stakeholders and public awareness campaigns.

Why it matters: If the above mentioned measures are implemented as part of a coordinated effort combined with other initiatives and funding opportunities to strengthen public policies, it will lead Greece out of the pandemic and toward a more just and sustainable future.

After years of austerity, the refugee reception crisis and now the pandemic, this large sum of money can enable society to turn a corner and start truly recovering from economic and social problems. To succeed, Greece must avoid repeating the policies of the past that led us to the difficult position we are in today (confronting rising inequalities, polarisation, injustice, biodiversity loss, and the climate crisis).

 

*In July 2020, the European Union launched a €750 billion pandemic recovery fund, of which 37% is earmarked specifically for fighting climate change with the rest going toward other investments and reforms to strengthen resilience, a digital transformation, fairness, and macroeconomic stability. EU member states now have until the end of April to submit their final spending plans to account for their share of the financial aid. Greece will receive €32 billion in a combination of grants and loans.

Read the complete open letter to the Deputy Minister of Finance

The undersigned organisations

  1. ActionAid Hellas
  2. Lesvos Solidarity
  3. NPCP “Me Alla Matia”
  4. Άνεμος Ανανέωσης
  5. ANTIGONE-Information and Documentation Centre on Racism, Ecology, Peace and Non Violence
  6. ΑΡΙΩΝ-Ερευνητικό Κέντρο Διάσωσης και Περίθαλψης Κητωδών
  7. ARSIS-Association for the Social Support Youth
  8. Better Days Greece
  9. Doctors of the World Greece
  10. Changemakers Lab
  11. Common Ground Greece
  12. Network for Children’s Rights
  13. Δίκτυο Μέλισσα
  14. Action for Wildlife
  15. ECHO100PLUS
  16. Ecocity
  17. Greek Housing Network
  18. Ελληνικό Δίκτυο ΦΙΛΟΙ της ΦΥΣΗΣ
  19. Greek Council for Refugees (GCR)
  20. Greek Forum of Migrants
  21. Greek Forum of Refugees
  22. ELIX
  23. Emfasis Foundation
  24. 24. Fenix-Humanitarian Legal Aid
  25. Food On
  26. Generation 2.0 for Rights, Equality and Diversity
  27. GIVMED
  28. Greenpeace Greece
  29. HIAS
  30. HIGGS
  31. HumanRights360
  32. Thalassa of Solidarity
  33. Ithaca
  34. International Rescue Committee (IRC)
  35. Irida Women’s Center
  36. Centre for Research on Women’s Issues “Diotima”
  37. MEDASSET
  38. Μεσογειακό Ινστιτούτο για την Φύση και τον Άνθρωπο-MedINA
  39. METAdrasi-Action for Migration and Development
  40. Mobile Info Team (MIT)
  41. Boroume
  42. Odyssea
  43. Οικολογική Εταιρεία Ανακύκλωσης
  44. Οικολογική Κίνηση Δράμας
  45. Ecological Movement of Thessaloniki
  46. Organization Earth
  47. SOS Children’s Villages
  48. Πανελλήνιο Δίκτυο Οικολογικών Οργανώσεων (ΠΑΝΔΟΙΚΟ)
  49. Schedia Street Magazine
  50. People Behind
  51. Praksis
  52. Promitheas
  53. Refugee Rights Europe
  54. Samos Volunteers
  55. SolidarityNow
  56. Steps
  57. Σύλλογος Ασθενών Ήπατος Ελλάδος “Προμηθέας”
  58. Society for the Care of Minors and Youth
  59. Greek Association of People Living with HIV “Positive Voice”,
  60. Σύλλογος Τουλίπα Γουλιμή
  61. Symbiosis-School of Political Studies in Greece, affiliated to the Council of Europe Network of Schools
  62. Association of Social Responsibility for Children and Youth -Skep
  63. Syn-eirmos NGO of Social Solidarity
  64. Terre des hommes Hellas
  65. The Bee Camp
  66. The Green Tank
  67. Friends of Monte
  68. Velos Youth
  69. We are Solomon
  70. WWF Greece