Periodic Report Greece

Executive summary

Greece is committed to the implementation of the Convention on the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions. As a member of the European Union, Greece coordinates its actions with the other member states towards this goal.  

Since the Convention’s ratification in 2007 and until 2011, Greece has been a member of the Intergovernmental Committee to the General Assembly of the states parties to the Convention. It has also acted within the framework of the European Union and the International Organization of la Francophonie preparatory meetings, in formulating proposals to reach consensus at the IGC meetings on the operational guidelines and other issues. It has contributed to the Fund of the Convention with a total of 40.000 € during the period 2009-2010 (approximately 53.000 US dollars).

The main achievements of the public administration during the last five years in terms of activities falling under the policy on cultural diversity are: a new legislation on film production favoring funding proposals which include, to a significant extent, non-Greek language or shootings abroad; a special section on the International Thessaloniki Film Festival, called Balkan Survey, which promotes creators from the South-East of Europe; also worth noting are other initiatives of the Festival in the same field, such as the Balkan Fund, Crossroads and Agora, aiming at funding and networking opportunities to professionals.  

To date there have been several tributes and retrospectives in the International Thessaloniki Festival to established artists from South Eastern Europe. Two thematic tributes have also taken place, the first on modern Turkish cinema (1999, 2008) and the second on the Zagreb School of Animation (2010). Three radio stations of the public radio and television company (ERT SA), i.e. Kosmos FM, playing multicultural music from all over the world, Filia, with programs in 12 languages, and Voice of Greece, which is addressed to Greek immigrants in diaspora, contribute to multilingualism and intercultural exchanges within the Greek society.  

Some considerable results in the book industry sector can be reflected in the fact that 35% of new titles every year are translations from other languages. Biblionet is an online database, which has significantly facilitated research on Greek titles.

In terms of integration policies we retain the contribution of the Intercultural Center, Ilion, Athens to the policy of social integration of Roma mainly with state structures in the local municipality and the central government.

The International Dance Festival of the city of Kalamata is a showcase of activities in education, research and creativity focusing on international cooperation. The same focus is applied by the public television company (ERT SA) in establishing collaborations with broadcasting networks of European countries and beyond, to exchange and co-produce audiovisual content.  

The principal challenge identified by a civil society organization was the need to enrich exchange of information about cultural expressions among neighboring countries in the South East of Europe. Another significant issue was the 25% rise in book prices over the last decade. A particular trend is the predominance of English speaking authors typically chosen for translation by publishers.

Looking to the future, there are mainly two projects planned for implementation: first, the creation of an Immigration Museum, which will reflect on immigration of both Greeks who had left the country and immigrants coming to Greece from abroad; secondly, a concrete effort will be made to raise awareness among the civil society about the purposes of the Convention and the significance of cultural diversity for the Greek society. International and regional cooperation, especially in the South East of Europe, will be amongst the main priorities for intercultural dialogue.  

Greece has been working towards establishing closer relationships with China in the field of cultural diversity, through active participation in EU policies, such as the 2012 Year of Intercultural Dialogue between EU and China, in international major events, such as the Shanghai EXPO 2010, and national blockbuster events, such as the Cultural Year of Greece in China 2007-2008.