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National Implementation of 2030 Agenda for SD


Greece places particular emphasis on achieving sustainable development and is strongly committed to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as they provide an ambitious, visionary and transformative framework for a new, equitable and sustainable development path. Ensuring that “no one is left behind”, including for Education, is a high political priority for Greece, as the country is now exiting a period of prolonged economic crisis (


The National Growth Strategy of Greece adopted in May 2018 (, is in line with the overall themes and provisions of the SDGs.


In July 2018, Greece presented its first Voluntary National Review (VNR) at the 2018 UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable development (HLPF). This VNR report covers all 17 SDGs  ( through eight National Priorities for adapting the SDGs to national needs and circumstances, also in line with the above mentioned National Growth Strategy. These eight overarching National Priorities have been defined, through an open dialogue within all government units and with a wide array of stakeholders, and by an in-depth mapping exercise carried out in 2017.


Apart from the full VNR report, additional information on the Greek presentation at the HLPF are available on-line at


Following the compilation of the VNR comprehensive report, a process that will lead to the elaboration of a National Implementation Plan for the SDGs, in 2019, is currently being launched. This National Implementation Plan is expected to be aligned with the provisions of the National Growth Strategy and will aim to promote cross-sectoral approaches and actions among line Ministries.


Moreover, in 2019, emphasis will also be given to strengthening the involvement of the Hellenic Parliament in terms of follow up of the implementation of the SDGs in Greece, by providing reviews and political guidance with the overall aim to enhance policy coherence for sustainable development and integrate the SDGs further in legislative work.



Leading Ministry and
respective unit



Ministry of Foreign Affairs


Other ministries involved


All line / thematic Ministries of the government. Special burden falls on the Ministry of Environment and Energy as is thematically involved in the majority of SDGs (e.g. more than 7 out of the overall 17 SDGs)  



§ Regarding the governance scheme for coordinating national efforts to implement the SDGs, since December 2016 following a decision by the Greek Prime Minister, the task has been allocated by Law, adopted by the Hellenic Parliament, to the General Secretariat of the Government (GSG), with emphasis on enhancing inter-ministerial coordination, given the fact that the GSG is a permanent structure well positioned, standing close to the political leadership of the country (inter alia  Governmental Council of  Economic Policy,  Governmental Council of Social Policy etc), indicating commitment at the highest level, as well as close to the public administration and all line Ministries for law making issues, ensuring the continuity of efforts. Moreover, it works closely and on a daily basis with the Hellenic Parliament on legislative and regulatory issues and coordinates the legislative work of the whole government. Thus, the GSG is capable of ensuring a whole-of-government approach, reducing silos across thematic policies from the design to implementation, ensuring coherence and cooperating directly with all governmental bodies and line Ministries.

§ In parallel, the Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs continues to be responsible for the external dimension of our national efforts while the Hellenic Ministry of Environment and Energy is “thematically/technically” responsible for the implementation of 7 out of the overall 17 SDGs (i.e. 6, 7, 11, 12, 13, 14 partly and 15) with past experience on the matter being the national Focal Point for the UNCSD for around 20 years (1992-2002).

§ Under the coordination of the General Secretariat of the Government (GSG), an “Inter-ministerial Coordination Network for SDGs” with representatives from all line Ministries, was officially re-established in December 20016 to oversee and steer national efforts for the implementation of the SDGs at national level and in particular, as a first urgent initial step, to undertake the completion of a mapping / gap analysis exercise by all Ministries.



§ The above mentioned mapping exercise has been completed by all Ministries in February 2017 in order to explore the existing and missing policy instruments for SDGs implementation in Greece. The Ministries identified which goals and targets they are covering and by which policies and measures. The measures vary from national and EU legislation to sectoral or thematic strategies and action plans, as well as implementation of the international agreements and commitments. This exercise resulted in compiling all relevant policies and measures that are still missing, indicating the state-of-play and budgetary status, and analysing areas of insufficient action or potential for cross-sectoral co-operation. Moreover, all Ministries had to rank and prioritise all SDG targets under their competences according to their existing priorities and on-going work, from 0 (little emphasis / priority) to 3 (high priority target for Greece).  

§ This overall analysis and mapping resulted in defining 8 overarching National Priorities for Greece linked to the SDGs and in line with the overall Government priorities that should be pursued through our national efforts for adapting the SDGs to national circumstances. These are:

1.       Promotion of a competitive, innovative and sustainable economic growth (SDGs 8,9)

2.       Promotion of full employment and decent work for all (SDGs 8,4),

3.       Addressing poverty and social exclusion and promote universal access to quality health care services (SDGs 1, 2, 3, 8, 10),

4.       Reduction of social and regional inequalities and ensuring equal opportunities for all (SDGs 10, 5, 4, 8, 1, 3, 11, 16),

5.       Promotion of a high quality and inclusive education for all (SDG 4),

6.       Strengthen the protection and sustainable management of the natural capital as a base for social development/prosperity  and  transition to a low-carbon economy (SDGs 6, 7, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15),

7.       Building of effective, accountable and transparent institutions / institutional mechanisms (SDGs 16, 17),

8.       Strengthen and promote open, participatory and democratic processes (SDGs 16, 17).

§ The above-mentioned National Priorities along with the mapping/gap analysis exercise regarding the SDGs are going to be further discussed and reviewed by the Parliament in the context of the elaboration and evaluation of the National Implementation Action Plan on SDGs scheduled for 2019.






Main contact point for the
implementation process



Ministry of Foreign Affairs


Links to main websites/
documents on national
implementation of the
2030 Agenda and SDGs



§ In this abovementioned overall context, the National Development Strategy of Greece which is currently going though the final stages of elaboration, has been made “SDG aware” by including references and operational linkages to the SDGs, and vice versa as the Strategy will serve as the basis and strategic framework the implementation of the SDGs at national level.

§ Moreover, there is an effort and intention to make all programmes and strategies “SDG aware” through the involvement of the GSG both in law-making, generally in Greece, and recently in the implementation of the SDGs. This involvement can ensure greater coherence in legislation and addressing of trade-offs from the policy design phase, right from the start, so that the legislation that is enacted / institutionalised as well as the various national programmes and strategies adopted,  thereinafter, can be complementary and aligned to the principles and objectives of Agenda 2030.



§ Greece will be going through the VNR process in New York during the HLPF, next year, in July 2018. To this end, Greece, through the “Inter-ministerial Coordination Committee” and under the leading of the General Secretariat of the Government, national preparations for the drafting of the National VNR Report have already started: the outline of the Report has been agreed by all Ministries and now all Ministries are in the process of providing their inputs to the actual elaboration of the Report.

§ The plan is to submit a draft of the VNR Report to the Parliament, for its guidance and comments in order to finalise it. Therefore, the Parliament’s involvement will clearly be an important one in this process. 

§ Since the 5 SDGs selected for the in-depth thematic review during the 2018 HLPF are of an “environmental nature” (i.e. SDGs 6, 7, 11, 12, 15), an important part of the work to be done regarding the thematic analysis falls under the responsibilities of the Hellenic Ministry of Environment and Energy.

§ Greece plans to elaborate a National Implementation Action Plan after the VNR process is completed, which is due to be finalised in 2019, also with the involvement of the Parliament (see also answers provided for question no 4 below).





Voluntary National Reviews

Greece conducted its VNR in July 2018 at the HLPF.


This Country Profile has been last updated on: Thursday, 31 January 2019

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