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Reform Support

Supporting reforms to foster an attractive business environment and increase competitiveness.

Investment licensing and inspections reform in Greece

The Commission provided support to the Greek Ministry of Development for the review of the national investment licensing and inspections system. The aim of the reform is to improve the efficiency of the system by shifting the focus from ex ante licenses to ex post notifications for starting a business and by making inspections more risk-based and focussed on voluntary compliance from businesses.

Context

Following the adoption of a Framework Law on Investment Licensing, the Greek Government asked for support in the implementation of the new legislative framework. The project focussed on reviewing licensing regulations in selected priority sectors and assisting the Greek authorities in the implementation of the legislative framework, while also preparing a new horizontal framework for inspections.

Support delivered

The Commission provided support over 24 months in the form of technical advisory services by an international organisation with substantial relevant experience. Support measures consisted of:

  • Reviewing selected sectors by preparing an inventory of existing licenses and proposing their replacement by ex post notifications;
  • Undertaking a survey to better identify key reform issues;
  • Designing and developing requirements specifications for an integrated licensing and inspections platform (ILIMS);
  • Dupporting the elaboration of a new horizontal legislative framework for inspections.

Main outputs of the project

  • Action plan for the implementation of the licensing/inspections review;
  • Review of the relevant secondary licensing legislation on the basis of risk assessment to align it with the new regulatory framework;
  • Recommendations for institutional changes, internal procedures and governance;
  • Input for the design of the licensing and inspections electronic platform (ILIMS);
  • Good practices and input for the overhaul of the inspections regulatory framework.

Results achieved

  • More efficiency, transparency and clarity in investment licensing leading to a reduction in the delays and costs;
  • Substantial simplification of the licensing procedures for the reviewed economic sectors;
  • Set up of a specialised service for investment licensing and inspections (Better Regulatory Delivery Directorate - BRDD) in the Greek administration;
  • Overall culture shift from an ex ante approach, based on the granting of licenses to businesses, to an ex post regime based on notification of operations and reinforcement of controls and inspections.