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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:

  1. Enactment of framework for Social Economy and Social Entrepreneurship, and recording of all bodies in one Registry
  2. 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.
  3. 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)