The German and the Greek Governments have agreed to continue their close bilateral cooperation to support policies for growth. This is the outcome of the fourth round of high-ranking consultations which took place in Berlin on November 10, 2014, in the context of the German-Greek Partnership program.
The Greek delegation included Labor Minister Ionannis Vroutsis and was coordinated by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dimitris Kourkoulas. Deputy Minister for Education Alexandros Dermentzopoulos and high-ranking representatives of the Ministries of Economy (Development), Health and Environment and Energy also participated. On the German side, State Secretary Markus Ederer of the Foreign Ministry hosted the event, in which State Secretaries Baake (Economy and Energy), Asmussen (Labor and Social Affairs), Rachel (Education), Stroppe (Health) and Fuchtel (German-Greek Assembly) took part.
Both sides agreed to initiate new and to expand existing successful cooperation projects with a particular focus on further strengthening the real economy in Greece, taking advantage of the fact that economic recovery is underway. Among those are vocational training programs, Innovation & Research cooperation, export facilitation for agro-food products, health care reform, modernizing of social welfare investments and, strengthening renewable energies and providing liquidity for SME. They highlighted especially that in the field of Innovation & Research cooperation more than 20 common projects are already running since January, that in the field of health care reform ten different areas are being worked on since December 2013 and that the Institution for Growth has been established and is expected to become operational in the coming months in order to provide liquidity for SMEs. The aim of these joint efforts is to enhance structures of a competitive and export-oriented economy creating sustainable employment. Some of these projects are implemented in cooperation with the Taskforce for Greece. Both sides also welcomed the initiative to establish a German-Greek youth office to foster exchange between young people from both countries. A German-Greek youth forum took place last week from November 3 to 6 in Bad Honnef to discuss ideas and future projects.
All these initiatives take place in the framework of the “German-Greek Partnership Program” which was set up in 2010. Since then, both governments have provided substantial human and financial resources to expand this partnership.