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The fundamental role of UHCC in European growth and prosperity

This is the first article in the EBR series: 60 Years EUROCHAMBRES and the role of the national chambers of commerce

By: EBR - Posted: Monday, March 05, 2018

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Through Eurochambres, UHCC has the opportunity to support the demands and to seek solutions to the problems of the productive entities of Greece, taking into account the legislation of the European Commission legislation, as well as identifying the impact of Community institutional initiatives on integration and consolidation of the single European market.
Through Eurochambres, UHCC has the opportunity to support the demands and to seek solutions to the problems of the productive entities of Greece, taking into account the legislation of the European Commission legislation, as well as identifying the impact of Community institutional initiatives on integration and consolidation of the single European market.

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by Eirini Sotiropoulou 

Being a member of Eurochambres since August 1961, the Union of Hellenic Chambers of Commerce (UHCC) has established a lasting partnership with the state, local government and other stakeholders in the region, aiming at economic development. In this context, Greek chambers continue to be a key advisor to the government in trade, industry and development policy, a mission defined by both the current legislative framework and many successful practices. 

The UHCC and the 59 Greek Chambers are Public Law Legal Entities and are subject to management supervision by the General Secretariat for Commerce of the Ministry of Development, regarding the legality of their actions. 

The work offered by the Chambers includes a large number of actions, both advisory and for the provision of services to their member companies. Moreover, it shouldn’t be omitted their social contribution. The Chamber Network is primarily addressed to the small and medium-sized enterprises of Greece, which constitute without a doubt the foundation of the Greek and European economy. 

Specifically, the main priority of the Union is the effort to broaden its role as well as the role of the Chambers as genuine representatives of the business community, notably by taking new initiatives for the development of the Greece's economy, participants as implementing agencies of development projects and strategic services. 

Chambers and the Union can manage development projects in the best and most efficient way, due to the fact that they have both the appropriate tools and experience. 

Within the Greek Chambers, there are about 880 thousand businesses – of all categories, branches and legal forms - which, in their majority, maintain a permanent and two-way communication with them and use their services: 

  • Through the network of local Chambers, the Union is directly informed about the problems and demands of businesses throughout the country and about their views on the various economic and social problems. 
  • At the same time, through the same network, the Union spreads throughout the country's business world information material on markets (Greek and foreign), developments in the legal framework for business action (national and community), cooperation opportunities, technology, innovation etc. 
  • Furthermore, it reports on funding opportunities, available financial tools for businesses, various Community and national development and reconstruction programs. 
In addition, UHCC has set the following objectives of paramount importance: 
  • The substantial participation of the Chambers in the formulation and implementation of economic policy, through the submission of relevant opinions by the UHCC on any economic issue or bill. 
  • Active participation in the functioning Committees created by the State and the various governmental agencies related to economic activity. This participation involves the formulation of common positions and proposals for more effective intervention in decisions and choices concerning its members. 
  • The immediate implementation of the General Commercial Registry, which is a solid demand of the productive classes of the country, with the creation of a Central General Commercial Register Service in the UHCC. 
  • The active presence of the UHCC abroad, especially in the European Union, Southeastern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean. The promotion of its relations with the national associations of the Chambers of these regions and, in particular, its close cooperation and activities within the framework of the Eurochambres and the Association of Balkan Chambers. 
  • The development of a permanent and stable network of communication and cooperation abroad, through the operation of the Representative Office of the UHCC and the Greek Chambers in Brussels, in order to provide better services to its members and thus to Greek businesses, to improve the business environment in which they operate and their better access to the various financial tools. 
  • Better adaptation to the rules and new circumstances of the single European market by improving the competitiveness of businesses and exempting them from rigid, aggravating regulations. 
  • Maximizing and fully exploiting the potential of small and medium-sized enterprises for employment, growth and competitiveness. 
  • Undertaking by the UHCC a coordinating role to promote entrepreneurship and better preparation for young, small and medium-sized entrepreneurs. 
  • Enlarging the role and activities of the Chambers in the field of vocational training. 
  • Putting the Union more actively in the absorption of Community funds, attracting foreign investors, expanding exports and disseminating information. 
  • Establishing mechanisms to deal directly with current business class problems in order to accelerate the development process 
Through Eurochambres, UHCC has the opportunity to support the demands and to seek solutions to the problems of the productive entities of Greece, taking into account the legislation of the European Commission legislation, as well as identifying the impact of Community institutional initiatives on integration and consolidation of the single European market. 

Particularly, as far as the international relations and representation of Chambers are concerned, the key priorities of UHCC at European level include the provision of integrated information and information services to the Chambers - members and their respective companies, the representation of the Chambers in the most efficient way abroad, the exercising of its interventionist role vis-à-vis the European authorities and decision-making centers in the best possible way and finally the claim from European development agencies. 

Undoubtedly, the election of the President of the UHCC, Mr. Konstantinos Michalos, as Deputy President of the Eurochambres and the assignment to him of the responsibility of the sectors of energy, transport and tourism created the conditions for strengthening the presence of the UHCC in European affairs. 

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