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Greece - Ministry of National Defence

The responsibility for the defence of the country lies with the Government which determines the National Defence Policy and exercises the command of the Armed Forces. The main decision making body on issues of National Defence is the Government Council on Foreign Affairs and National Defence [KYSEA]. The Prime Minister is the Chairman of the Council. other members include the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, National Defence, National Economy, Interior, Public Administration and Decentralisation, Public Order and the Chief, Hellenic National Defence General Staff.

The jurisdiction of the Government Council on Foreign Affairs and National Defence covers the following areas:

  • Formulation of the National Defence Policy based on the evaluation of long term perspectives and approval of long and mid-term development programmes of the defence capabilities of the country as well as major programmes of defence procurement.
  • Decision making on issues of National Defence and especially on issues requiring co-ordination of more than one Ministries.
  • Decision making on declaration and cancellation measures and status of alert, as well as the partial or general mobilisation of the country.
  • Proposal to the President of the Republic, after the recommendation of the Minister of National Defence, for the declaration or cancellation of the general or partial mobilisation as well as the declaration of war.
  • Decision-making on assignments of the Hellenic Armed Forces within the framework of the country's international obligations.
  • Selection of the Chief, Hellenic National Defence General Staff and the Chiefs of the General Staffs, after recommendation of the Minister of National Defence.

The Ministry of National Defence and its subordinate national Armed Forces, that is the Army, the Navy and the Air Force, are responsible for the implementation of the National Defence Policy.

The main agencies of the Ministry of National Defence are:

  • The Minister of National Defence
  • The Deputy Minister(s) of National Defence
  • The Defence Council
  • The Joint Council of Chiefs of General Staffs
  • Chief, Hellenic National Defence General Staff
  • The Supreme Councils of the services of the Armed Forces (Supreme Army Council, Supreme Navy Council, Supreme Air-Force Council)
  • The Chiefs of the General Staffs of the three services
  • The Armed Forces of the country (Army, Navy, Air-Force)
  • The Staff of the Minister of National Defence (MOD Staff)
  • The General Armaments Directorate
  • The Integrated Administrative Agency.

The Minister of National Defence:

  • Is responsible for the command and control of the Armed Forces and the implementation of the National Defence Policy of the Government.
  • Is directing the MOD Staff, the HNDGS as well as every service of the Armed Forces. He commands and controls the Armed Forces through the Chiefs of HAGS, HNGS and HAFGS and is coordinating them through the Chief, Hellenic National Defence General Staff.
  • Approves the National Military Strategy, the military evaluation and assessment and the directions of the defence planning that specify the objectives of Greece's national defence.
  • Recommends to the Government Council on Foreign Affairs and National Defence the future structure of the Armed Forces.
  • Decides upon the structure and organisation of the Armed Forces as well as on the posts allocated to career personnel and civilian personnel of the Ministry of National Defence.
  • Decides upon the required annual reviews of the approved mid-term defence planning.
  • Determines the ceilings of personnel and public investments.
  • Decides upon the establishment and deactivation of the units of the services of the Armed Forces.
  • Directs and co-ordinates the actions of other public organisations and services regarding their contribution to national defence and evaluates the national defence potential.
  • Provides the general directions for the preparation of the annual budget, the programme of public investments and the financial policy of the Ministry.
  • Decides upon infrastructure projects.
  • Recommends to the Government Council on Foreign Affairs and National Defence the policy over the development and modernisation of the defence industry.
  • Proposes and implements the offsets policy.
  • Co-ordinates and approves procurement programmes.
  • Submits to the Parliament an annual report on the most important activities of the Armed Forces.
  • Determines the policy on training and personnel.
  • Determines the policy of participation of the national forces in allied exercises or within the context of international agreements.

The Deputy Minister(s) of National Defence is assigned the tasks decided jointly by the Prime Minister and the Minister of National Defence. The Deputy Minister(s) may delegate them to the Chiefs of the HNDGS, the HAGS, the HNGS, and the HAFGS, as well as to other officers as provided in the regulations in effect.

The Defence Council is a high-level advisory body to the Minister of National Defence. The Defence Council consists of the Minister and the Deputy Minister(s) of National Defence and the Chiefs of the General Staffs. It is also possible that other persons (like representatives of other ministries directly involved in National Defence, experts, diplomats etc.) participate in it, for the provision of additional information and submission of recommendations. The responsibilities of the Defence Council include:

  • Assessment of international developments that could directly influence the national security of the country.
  • The structure of the Armed Forces, the armaments and the R&D programmes, budget and public investment programs.

Practically, it is an institution that promotes the formulation of a broader understanding on matters such as national defence and foreign policy, and the co-ordination between operational and administrative duties of the General Staffs, the development of new ideas and the preparation of proposals to be submitted to other agencies, like the Government Council on Foreign Affairs and National Defence.

Among other issues, the Defence council has examined the following subjects:

  • Greek military participation in the implementation of a peace plan for Bosnia-Herzegovina.
  • Participation of Greece in military exercises in Cyprus.
  • Armed Forces recruitment and Reserves legislation.
  • Exercise of operational command.
  • Revision of the EMPAE for 1996-2000.
  • NATO military budgets.
  • Annual progress report on emergency planning for 1996 and defence expenditures budget for 1997.
  • Civil Defence.
  • Hellenic military participation in the implementation of the humanitarian aid plan 'SUNRISE', in Albania.
  • Future structure of the armed Forces, performance of weapons and other systems, efficiency and productivity of the Cadres.
  • Security developments in the wider area of the Balkans.
  • Assessment of the security environment in the region.
  • Air defence of the country.

A special advisory body, as in other WEU and NATO member-countries the MOD Staff, has been operating since 1-1-96. This staff is not incorporated in the hierarchy of the General Staffs, it is manned with military and civilian personnel with special skills and experience in the administration of human resources, planning of armament programmes, preparation of budgets and strategic studies, international relations, research and development in the military sector, preparation of draft laws and also in social activities and public relations. the Minister of National Defence is, thus, provided with complete information on subjects of his responsibility, which, in turn, contributes to the good performance and the efficiency of the Armed Forces. The management, the programing and the control of the directorates of the MOD Staff fall under the responsibility of the Director General, whose tour of duty is two years. He is appointed by the Minister of National Defence and he must be a person with excellent knowledge and significant experience in the subjects of the competence of the staff.

The Armaments General Directorate was created in 1996 to run the procurement programmes for the main equipment of the Armed Forces, to process and present proposals for the defence technology, research and development, to co-ordinate the procurement of materiel for the Armed Forces, modify and standardise the materiel, take full advantage of the offsets and assume the international representation of the Ministry in the armaments sector.

The Armament Programs Directorate is the agency responsible for the implementation of programmes of acquisition of main defence equipment as well as the signing of the respective contracts. This responsibility covers all the programmes implemented for the first time after the approval of the 1996-2000 EMPAE. The Defence Industry Directorate's aim is to increase the hellenisation rate of MOD procurements. Especially, in order for the domestic production of materiel for the Armed Forces to be increased, a committee was formed with the main task to submit certain proposals.



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Page last modified: 11-07-2011 02:59:12 ZULU