Until recently, the Greek legal framework did not recognise the concepts of social economy and social entrepreneurship. The only legally established entities were Cooperatives, Non-Profit Civil Partnerships, Limited Liability Social Enterprises, Self-Government Enterprises, NGOs and Mutual Aid Societies or Funds.
However, a comprehensive institutional framework for Social Economy was introduced in September 2011, when Law 4019 was passed. The main regulations of Law 4019 include:
- Enactment of framework for Social Economy and Social Entrepreneurship, and recording of all bodies in one Registry
- Enactment of framework for a new type of social enterprise based on the civil model of a Social Cooperative. Said Cooperative may be funded by resources from the European Social Fund (ESF) and must operate in accordance with the fundamental principles of social and solidarity economy.
- Recognition of existing social economy bodies, only if they provide goods and services to society without mainly seeking a profit (e.g. cooperatives, NGOs, societies, foundations, volunteer groups, protected productive labs, etc).
Law 4019/2011, as amended and currently in effect, is available through the following links:
Government Gazette (GG) 216/2011 (Law 4019) - Social Economy and Social Entrepreneurship
GG 221/2012 - Ministerial Decision for keeping and operating a General Social Economy Registry
GG 1360/2012 - Amendment to the Ministerial Decision for keeping and operating a General Social Economy Registry (Ministerial Decision 2.9621/Ref. 4.1200)
GG 17/2013 (Law 4110, Article 10, Paragraph 2) - Abolishment of Paragraph 3, Article 10 of Law 4019/2011 (abolishment of tax exemptions for Social Cooperatives)