Dionyssis G. Dimitrakopoulos and Argyris G. Passas
This book examines the behaviour of the Greek state as a member of the European Union. It seeks to identify the factors that affect the way in which the Greek state has participated in the EU process of policy formulation and implementation since 1981. In that sense, it is not a history (Kazakos 1994) of Greece’s attempt to join the then European Economic Community (EEC), which started on 8 June 1959 when Greece applied for an association agreement. 1 Neither is it an account of a specific key event, although a number of them occurred since January 1981, when Greece became the tenth member of the then European Communities. Rather, it is an attempt to identify and analyse the dynamics of the involvement of the Greek state in the EU policy process and to do so from the perspective of public policy.
Greece is one of the smaller Member States and one whose post-1945 history has not - unlike that of France and Germany - been at the heart of the process of European integration. Nevertheless, the analysis of its membership from the perspective of public policy is fascinating for a number of reasons. First, for about ten years Greece had behaved as an awkward partner and came to be seen as the ‘black sheep’. Since this is not the place to analyse the specific instances that exemplify this pattern, two examples will suffice. On the one hand, the ‘buy Greek’ policy pursued by Greek governments in the 1980s covered both the private and the public sectors (Dimitrakopoulos 2001) despite increasing attempts on the part of the then EEC to liberalise public sector purchasing. On the other hand, Greece was perceived during the early 1980s as ‘the maverick of EPC’ (Regelsberger 1988:35), i.e. a country that adopted ‘atypical’ positions on various international issues of major European concern. This was exemplified by its refusal to explicitly denounce the Soviet Union in the South Korean Boeing affair (de la Serre 1988:204).
Second, the 1990s saw a partial gradual change on the part of the attitude - and to some extent the effectiveness - of the Greek government vis-à-vis the EU. This process culminated in two events of major strategic significance: qualification for the third and final stage of EMU and the adoption of the euro (Andreou and Koutsiaras, Chapter 7 in this volume) and the successful