A brief background of the Chamber Institution in Greece

The chamber network structure has gone through various legislative stages to reach its current final form, but all these stages moved in the right direction, which is none other than the creation of Chambers in the Prefecture capitols, in the form of Public Low Legal Entities aiming at the protection and promotion of the commercial and industrial interests in their respective districts, with the mandatory membership of all professional traders (Laws 184/ 1914 & 1089/ 1980). Today, Chambers are mandatory, self-sufficient and independent unions of natural persons and legal entities commercially operating in a specific region, they constitute Public Law Legal Entities and are subject to management supervision by the General Secretariat for Commerce of the Ministry of Economy, Infrastructure, Shipping and Tourism, regarding the legality of their actions, in the context of the self-sufficiency they are vested with. Chambers have established an ongoing cooperation with the State, local authorities and other bodies, with a view to supporting economic growth. In this framework, they continue to be the main advisor of the government in power each time, on matters of commerce, industry and development policy in general, a task defined both in the applicable legislative framework, and through the successful practice for a number of decades. Law 2081/ 1992 (that followed Law 1746/ 1988 which was never applied) offered Chambers significant administrative and management self-sufficiency, thus laying the foundation for a new and contemporary chamber legislation. The current legislative framework, regulated by Law 3419/ 2005, resembles the European standards, and has given a breath of fresh air to the chamber institution that was so needed to continue playing its role and fulfilling its work. This Law established the General Trade Register, to be kept by the Chambers and with a Central Administration at the UHCC. The work that Chambers offer entails ο large number of opinion giving and consulting actions addressed to the State and various authorities, but also the provision of various services to the member businesses. Chambers also have noteworthy social contribution.
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