Closer German Greek cooperation

Germany is supporting Greece in its reforms to overcome the crisis, for example through the German Greek Partnership launched in March 2010 by Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel and then Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou. On 28 November, Emily Haber, State Secretary of the Federal Foreign Office, and Stavros Papastavrou, the Greek commissioner of the German Greek Partnership, discussed ten fields in which cooperation is to be stepped up. Emily Haber is the German commissioner for the Partnership.

The German Greek Partnership has the aim of strengthening Greek competitiveness. The ten fields addressed include cooperation on the reform of local and regional administrations, support on reform of the labour market and assistance in the sphere of healthcare. Furthermore, over the next five years Germany is to provide 1000 new scholarships for students from Greece.

German Greek cooperation is conducted through the line ministries. There are six ministries involved on the German side: the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the Federal Ministry of Health, the Federal Ministry of the Interior and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. The Federal Foreign Office is the lead ministry and has a coordinating function.

Promoting cooperation at the social level

As part of the Partnership, links between the German and Greek societies at regional and municipal level are to be intensified. This is why the German Greek Assembly has been created as a component of the Partnership. Hans Joachim Fuchtel, Parliamentary State Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, is the Federal Chancellor’s representative for the German Greek Assembly and has visited Greece on several occasions in recent months to launch numerous local projects, for example town twinning and know how partnerships. The German Greek Assembly has now met three times. In May 2011, some 250 members met to discuss bolstering cooperation at municipal level. The Assembly’s most recent meeting was held in Thessaloniki from 13 to 16 November; another meeting is planned in Nuremberg in 2013.

Germany is providing concrete help in the European framework

The EU Task Force for Greece was created in September 2011 By now, 20 member states are providing active support for Greece on technical reforms – for example in the administrative and health sectors. The Task Force advises the Greek Government and coordinates the reforms. The projects carried out with Germany’s guidance include dialogue at working level on pension reform or support for the Greek action plan on asylum reform (with the appointment of a liaison officer from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees as well as five workshops since February 2011). Within the Government, the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology is the lead ministry. Steps taken by the German side within the Task Force are automatically part of the German Greek Partnership.

Together with State Secretary Harald Braun, State Secretary Emily Haber is the highest ranking civil servant in the Federal Foreign Office.

Last updated 28.11.2012

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