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EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level policy measures

Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure GR-2020-29/1080 – measures in Greece

Social partners explore possible joint initiatives for COVID-19 crisis “Support for SMEs and workers”

Διερευνητική συνάντηση κοινωνικών εταίρων (GSEE, ΓΣΕΒΕΕ, ΕΣΕΕ) για ανάληψη κοινών πρωτοβουλιών για τον COVID-19

Country Greece , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 16 July 2020
Context COVID-19, Green Transition, Digital Transformation
Type Non-binding recommendations or other texts
Category Protection of workers, adaptation of workplace
– Occupational health and safety
Author Elena Kousta (INE GSEE) and Eurofound
Measure added 09 September 2020 (updated 11 September 2020)

Background information

On 16 July 2020, a meeting was held between of the presidents of the workers' organization (GSEE) and the employers' associations representing the micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (GSEVEE and ESEE). This meeting was an effort of the peak level national social partners to address the effects of the pandemic of COVID-19 with possible joint initiatives. The three social partners agreed to explore the possibility of joint initiatives and actions in the near future, aimed at protecting work and developing small and medium-sized enterprises. Also they agreed to continue and extend the social dialogue with the other national social partners.

Content of measure

A meeting was held on 16 July 2020 between GSEE and the employers' associations representing the micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (GSEVEE and ESEE).

As noted in the joint press release, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, almost immediately following the long-standing crisis, has accelerated the challenges faced by the Greek society. These can only be effectively addressed through social dialogue, synergies and cooperation. Issues such as digitalisation and green transformation are raised with a new dynamic, which requires effective intervention and adaptation of all stakeholders.

This adjustment is a necessary condition for improving the position of both workers and small and medium-sized enterprises. Cooperation between small-scale entrepreneurship and the valuable resource of human labour can be not only a factor in economic development, promotion of quality employment and social cohesion, but also a means of strengthening democracy and combating inequalities. In this context, the organisations agreed that after the first consultation with the Prime Minister and the Committee on the Plan for the Development of the Greek Economy, the bilateral social dialogue on labour protection and the development of small and medium-sized enterprises will continue with the participation of the other social partners.

Use of measure

This initiative from social partners raises to the possibility of taking joint actions between trade unions and employers organisations, with a focus on protection and support of SMEs and the workers and to mitigate the consequences of COVID-19 crisis.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Applies to all workers SMEs
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Trade unions
Employers' organisations
No special funding required

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative
Form Any other form of consultation, institutionalised (as stable working groups or committees) or informal Any other form of consultation, institutionalised (as stable working groups or committees) or informal

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Social partners jointly
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level


This is an initiative of social partners' organisations (GSEE, ESEE, GSEVEE). The Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) and the Hellenic Federation of Entreprises (SEV) were absent at the meeting. The initiative of social partners addresses to the development of joint actions to protect the SMEs and workers and mitigate the consequences of COVID-19.

Views and reactions

The meeting was positively viewed by the participants.


  • 16 July 2020: Συνάντηση προέδρων ΓΣΕΕ, κ. Γιάννη Παναγόπουλου, ΓΣΕΒΕΕ, κ. Γιώργου Καββαθά, ΕΣΕΕ, κ. Γιώργου Καρανίκα (


Eurofound (2020), Social partners explore possible joint initiatives for COVID-19 crisis “Support for SMEs and workers”, measure GR-2020-29/1080 (measures in Greece), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.