The legal framework analysis aims to provide general knowledge of the national cooperative legislation and of its main characteristics and contents, with particular regard to those aspects of regulation regarding the identity of cooperatives and its distinction from other types of business organisations, notably the for-profit shareholder corporation.

It aims to evaluate whether the national legislation in place supports or hampers the development of cooperatives, and is therefore “cooperative friendly” or not, and the degree to which it may be considered so, also in comparison to the legislation in force in other countries of the ICA region, or at the supranational level.

In addition, the research aims to provide recommendations for eventual renewal of the legal frameworks in place in order to understand what changes in the current legislation would be necessary to improve its degree of “cooperative friendliness”, which is to say, to make the legislation more favourable to cooperatives, also in consideration of their specific identity. This webpage presents a snapshot of the legal framework analysis results for Greece. Prior to the completion of the research on key figures, the statistics available above are sourced from The Power of Cooperation – Cooperatives Europe Key Figures (2015).



In Greece, the national constitution refers to agricultural and urban/civil cooperatives. Ordinary law in Greece governs cooperatives through special laws which divide cooperatives into three main categories (agricultural cooperatives, forest-worker cooperatives and urban cooperatives).  Some provisions of the special cooperative laws reflect cooperative principles, such as the principle of democratic member control. However, a reference to all seven cooperative principles is only made in the preamble to the law on agricultural cooperatives.

Here we display a selection of cooperative regulations identified by experts and ICA members. For the full analysis including all relevant regulations, you can download the full report by clicking on the link above. Highlights are also available by clicking the link above.


Law 4384/2016 ‘Αγροτικοί Συνεταιρισμοί, μορφές συλλογικής οργάνωσης του αγροτικού χώρου και άλλες διατάξεις’ or ‘Agricultural Cooperatives, forms of collective organisation of the agricultural sector and other provisions’

Law 4423/2016 ‘Δασικές Συνεταιριστικές Οργανώσεις και άλλες διατάξεις’ or ‘Forest Cooperative Organisations and other provisions’

Law 1667/1986 ‘Αστικοί συνεταιρισμοί και άλλες διατάξεις’ or ‘Urban Cooperatives and other provisions’, which covers building cooperatives, cooperative banks, maritime insurance cooperatives and limited liability social cooperatives.


Cooperative friendliness

Greek cooperative legislation focuses on the heterogeneity between different cooperative types, in effect disregarding their shared cooperative identity. Thus, Greece lacks a a general cooperative law and comprehensive public policy plan for cooperative development. Greek cooperative legislation is also known for its volatility compared with legislation governing other business models, with the effect that interested parties may be dissuaded from choosing the cooperative model.  


Key recommendations for improvement

A major priority is the harmonisation of existing laws on cooperatives, so as to ensure compliance with the cooperative identity and equal treatment for all cooperatives. As a second recommendation, a general cooperative law could be enacted, including the ICA definition of a cooperative, which can limit unjustified divergences in how different types of cooperatives are treated under Greek law.



Greek cooperative legislation is fragmented and unstable in its current form. The cooperative movement in Greece would therefore benefit from both revision of special cooperative laws and the introduction of a general cooperative law.





The legal frameworks analysis is a tool developed under the ICA-EU Partnership #coops4dev. It is an overview of the national legal frameworks at the time of writing. The views expressed within are not necessarily those of the ICA, nor does a reference to any specific content constitute an explicit endorsement or recommendation by the ICA. 


Subscribe to Greece