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

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70 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. “It is vital to have full transparency for the sake of monitoring and accountability and in order to keep the citizenry informed, which is essential for the recovery” says Common Ground spokesperson, Dominika Spyratou.


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.


“On the one hand, we face a pandemic, the collapse of biodiversity, the climate crisis, and increasing social inequalities. On the other hand, we have an opportunity to use the Recovery Fund to protect our health, biodiversity, the planet and to promote social justice not just to pre-pandemic levels, but to make our society stronger, healthier, and more cohesive than ever. Threat and opportunity,” says Nikos Charalambidis, Director of Greenpeace Greece.

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 toturn 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).


Read the open letter here

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DATE
Tuesday, March 23, 2021
To
To Deputy Minister of Finance, Theodoros Skylakakis CC: Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis Minister of Finance, Christos Staikouras The European Commission Recovery and Resilience Task Force (RECOVER)
Subject
Open letter about the Greek Recovery and Resilience Plan: opacity and lack of participation

70 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. “It is vital to have full transparency for the sake of monitoring and accountability and in order to keep the citizenry informed, which is essential for the recovery” says Common Ground spokesperson, Dominika Spyratou.


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.


“On the one hand, we face a pandemic, the collapse of biodiversity, the climate crisis, and increasing social inequalities. On the other hand, we have an opportunity to use the Recovery Fund to protect our health, biodiversity, the planet and to promote social justice not just to pre-pandemic levels, but to make our society stronger, healthier, and more cohesive than ever. Threat and opportunity,” says Nikos Charalambidis, Director of Greenpeace Greece.

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 toturn 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).


Read the open letter here

ActionAid Hellas

Lesvos Solidarity

NPCP “Me Alla Matia”

Άνεμος Ανανέωσης

ANTIGONE-Information and Documentation Centre on Racism, Ecology, Peace and NonViolence

ΑΡΙΩΝ-Ερευνητικό Κέντρο Διάσωσης και Περίθαλψης Κητωδών

ARSIS-Association for the Social Support Youth

Better Days Greece

Doctors of the World Greece

Changemakers Lab

Common Ground Greece

Network for Children’s Rights

Δίκτυο Μέλισσα

Action for Wildlife

ECHO100PLUS

Ecocity

Greek Housing Network

Ελληνικό Δίκτυο ΦΙΛΟΙ της ΦΥΣΗΣ

Greek Council for Refugees (GCR)

Greek Forum of Migrants

Greek Forum of Refugees

ELIX

Emfasis Foundation

Fenix-Humanitarian Legal Aid

Food On‍

Generation 2.0 for Rights, Equality and Diversity27.

GIVMED‍

Greenpeace Greece‍

HIAS‍

HIGGS

HumanRights360‍

Thalassa of Solidarity‍

Ithaca‍

International Rescue Committee (IRC)‍

Irida Women's Center

Centre for Research on Women’s Issues “Diotima”

MEDASSET

Μεσογειακό Ινστιτούτο για την Φύση και τον Άνθρωπο-MedINA39. METAdrasi-Action for Migration and Development

Mobile Info Team (MIT)

Boroume

Odyssea

Οικολογική Εταιρεία Ανακύκλωσης

Οικολογική Κίνηση Δράμας

Ecological Movement of Thessaloniki

Organization Earth

SOS Children’s Villages

Πανελλήνιο Δίκτυο Οικολογικών Οργανώσεων (ΠΑΝΔΟΙΚΟ)

Schedia Street Magazine50. People Behind

Praksis‍

Promitheas

Refugee Rights Europe54. Samos Volunteers

SolidarityNow

Steps

Σύλλογος Ασθενών Ήπατος Ελλάδος “Προμηθέας”58. Society for the Care of Minors and Youth

Greek Association of People Living with HIV “Positive Voice”,

Σύλλογος Τουλίπα Γουλιμή

Symbiosis-School of Political Studies in Greece, affiliated to the Council of Europe Networkof Schools

Association of Social Responsibility for Children and Youth -Skep

Syn-eirmos NGO of Social Solidarity

Terre des hommes Hellas

The Bee Camp

The Green Tank

Friends of Monte

Velos Youth

We are Solomon

WWF Greece

Co-signed by

ActionAid Hellas

Lesvos Solidarity

NPCP “Me Alla Matia”

Άνεμος Ανανέωσης

ANTIGONE-Information and Documentation Centre on Racism, Ecology, Peace and NonViolence

ΑΡΙΩΝ-Ερευνητικό Κέντρο Διάσωσης και Περίθαλψης Κητωδών

ARSIS-Association for the Social Support Youth

Better Days Greece

Doctors of the World Greece

Changemakers Lab

Common Ground Greece

Network for Children’s Rights

Δίκτυο Μέλισσα

Action for Wildlife

ECHO100PLUS

Ecocity

Greek Housing Network

Ελληνικό Δίκτυο ΦΙΛΟΙ της ΦΥΣΗΣ

Greek Council for Refugees (GCR)

Greek Forum of Migrants

Greek Forum of Refugees

ELIX

Emfasis Foundation

Fenix-Humanitarian Legal Aid

Food On‍

Generation 2.0 for Rights, Equality and Diversity27.

GIVMED‍

Greenpeace Greece‍

HIAS‍

HIGGS

HumanRights360‍

Thalassa of Solidarity‍

Ithaca‍

International Rescue Committee (IRC)‍

Irida Women's Center

Centre for Research on Women’s Issues “Diotima”

MEDASSET

Μεσογειακό Ινστιτούτο για την Φύση και τον Άνθρωπο-MedINA39. METAdrasi-Action for Migration and Development

Mobile Info Team (MIT)

Boroume

Odyssea

Οικολογική Εταιρεία Ανακύκλωσης

Οικολογική Κίνηση Δράμας

Ecological Movement of Thessaloniki

Organization Earth

SOS Children’s Villages

Πανελλήνιο Δίκτυο Οικολογικών Οργανώσεων (ΠΑΝΔΟΙΚΟ)

Schedia Street Magazine50. People Behind

Praksis‍

Promitheas

Refugee Rights Europe54. Samos Volunteers

SolidarityNow

Steps

Σύλλογος Ασθενών Ήπατος Ελλάδος “Προμηθέας”58. Society for the Care of Minors and Youth

Greek Association of People Living with HIV “Positive Voice”,

Σύλλογος Τουλίπα Γουλιμή

Symbiosis-School of Political Studies in Greece, affiliated to the Council of Europe Networkof Schools

Association of Social Responsibility for Children and Youth -Skep

Syn-eirmos NGO of Social Solidarity

Terre des hommes Hellas

The Bee Camp

The Green Tank

Friends of Monte

Velos Youth

We are Solomon

WWF Greece

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