Government at a Glance 2023


 Trust and satisfaction with public services

Trust in public institutions and satisfaction with public services are important yardsticks of the quality of public governance. They reflect people’s perceptions of government competence in designing and delivering policies and services, and expectations on the behaviour of public institutions and their representatives. Although high trust in public institutions is not a necessary outcome of democratic governance, trust and satisfaction with public services facilitate effective governance, as they correlate with high rates of compliance with policies, participation in public life and social cohesion.

Satisfaction with public services in Greece is below the OECD average. In 2022, 63% of Greeks were satisfied with the education system, slightly below the OECD average (67%). Satisfaction with the healthcare system was 44%, 24 percentage points lower than the OECD average (68%).

Figure 1. Satisfaction with public services, 2022

 Achieving results with good governance practices 

In an age of multiple crises, governments need to adopt more advanced practices to build trust in public institutions and enhance democratic resilience. Actions include building on democratic strengths, such as enhancing citizen and stakeholder engagement in decision making; reinforcing key competences to handle crises, such as budgeting and public financial management processes to address the green and digital transitions; and protecting against threats to democratic values, such as maintaining effective public integrity rules and promoting ethical use of artificial intelligence.

Citizen and stakeholder engagement in decision making helps to improve the design, implementation, and public acceptance of policies, infrastructure and services. The OECD Infrastructure Governance Index (IGI) on stakeholder participation provides an overview of countries’ performance in developing national guidance for stakeholder engagement, promoting their effective participation, and ensuring stakeholder oversight over infrastructure projects.

Greece performs above the OECD average on the IGI on stakeholder participation. Greece scores 0.74 on the IGI, compared to the average value 0.52 across OECD countries (1 is the maximum possible score, meaning full application of IGI on stakeholder participation). Greece performs above the OECD average in all components, the highest score recorded for Greece is 0.26 out of a maximum value of 0.33 is on stakeholder oversight.

Figure 2. Index on stakeholder participation in infrastructure decision making
From 0 (lowest) to 1 (highest), 2022

Budgeting management processes, such as green budgeting, can help address the climate crisis and achieve environmental goals. While there has been a rapid increase in the number of countries implementing green budgeting mechanisms, these could be used more effectively. Green budgeting mechanisms include institutional arrangements to assess the environmental impacts of budgetary and fiscal policies, methods for evaluating their consistency, mechanisms to enhance transparency and accountability, and an enabling budgetary governance framework.

Greece performs above the average across OECD countries in the application of green budgeting with a score of 0.56, on a 0-1 scale. Greece achieves its highest score in the enabling environment dimension (0.25 maximum possible score) and its lowest scores (0.07 out of maximum possible of 0.25) on the methods and tools and on accountability and transparency.

Figure 3. OECD Green Budgeting Index, 2022

Financial contributions allow individuals and entities to support political candidates and parties. However, political finance needs to be adequately regulated to reduce risks of undue influence and policy capture.

In Greece, state owned enterprises are not allowed to finance political campaigns and parties. However, donations from foreign states or enterprises are possible and anonymous donations to political parties or candidates do not need to be registered or reported.

Figure 4. Regulation to ban financing political parties and election campaigns, 2022

 What resources public institutions use and how they are managed 

After stark deterioration due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which required emergency measures and direct support mechanisms to business and people, public finances show positive signs, but the recovery remains fragile. The fiscal balance is the difference between a government’s revenues and its expenditures in a year. When the government spends more than it collects, it has a fiscal deficit. When it spends less, it has a fiscal surplus.

The fiscal deficit in Greece was reduced from -7.1% of GDP in 2021 to -2.3% in 2022. The deficit is slightly lower than the average across OECD countries at -7.5% in 2021. In addition, public debt also decreased from 224.3% of GDP in 2021 to 191.5% in 2022. The level of debt is high in comparison to the OECD average of 120.8% in 2021.

Figure 5. General government fiscal balance as a percentage of GDP

Public investment can enhance productivity and economic growth and help implement long-term policies, such as green energy infrastructure to support action on climate change. In turn, governments procure large amounts of goods, services and works to help them implement policies and deliver public services.

Greece’s spending on procurement is slightly below the OECD average: 12.4% of GDP in 2021, compared with the OECD average of 12.9%. Greece’s investment spending as a share of GDP was 3.7% in 2021, compared to 3.4% of GDP on average across OECD countries. Only minor changes occurred in 2022 (3.6%).

Figure 6. Government procurement spending as a share of GDP

The size of public employment varies significantly among OECD countries, ranging from around 10% to just above 30%. 

Public employment amounts to 16.1% of total employment in Greece, slightly below the OECD average (18.6%).

Figure 7. Public employment as a percentage of total employment, 2021

Governments use different mechanisms to harness and develop the capacity of their workforce. For example, internal mobility in public administrations helps to pool human resources across government and attract and retain civil servants.

Greece is among the OECD countries where internal mobility of civil servants is possible but not encouraged or expected. In addition, internal mobility for senior-level civil servants is also possible, although it is not encouraged or expected. In Greece individual learning plans for all or most public employees are not developed.

Figure 8. Mobility of civil servants across public administrations in central government, 2022

Equal representation of women and men in the public sector is a key indicator of progress towards gender equality, diversity and better representation. In 2020, a majority of employees in the public sector in OECD countries were women (58.9%), with large differences among countries. However, women are often under-represented in managerial positions.

Greece is among the top 3 countries with the highest share of women in senior management in the national administration (56.4%). This is a noteworthy achievement, considering that this figure was 41.7% in 2011. However, progress could be made regarding ministerial positions, which are mostly held by men (only 11% are women), significantly lower than the OECD (36% women) and well below gender parity.

Figure 9. Gender equality in senior management positions in national administration, 2021

Young people are under-represented in public and political life across the OECD, with the risk that their voice and interests are not sufficiently taken in consideration in policymaking.

In Greece, the average age of cabinet members – 56 years – is slightly higher than the OECD average of 53 years.

Figure 10. Average age of cabinet members, 2018 and 2022

 About the report 

Government at a Glance presents the most up-to-date internationally comparable data on how public administrations function and perform in OECD countries, accession countries, and other major economies. Country factsheets highlight key indicators against the OECD average. Data included in the factsheets are derived from the new Government at a Glance data portal, which allows for a more user-friendly and interactive way of comparing countries with each other and the OECD average. The factsheets do not provide a comprehensive picture of public governance performance, but rather a snapshot of key indicators in the three sections of the publication: a) trust and satisfaction with public services; b) achieving results with good governance practices and c) what resources public institutions use and how they are managed. 

 Figure notes

People who express satisfaction with public services: for the judiciary and the courts the data reflect the proportion of citizens who express having confidence in the institution. Data on satisfaction with administrative services come from the OECD 2021 Survey on the Drivers of Trust in Public Institutions. Data on satisfaction with the education and health systems and confidence in the judiciary are from the Gallup World Poll. Data for satisfaction in administrative services are not available for Greece.

Data on public finance and economics are derived from the System of National Accounts (SNA) and were extracted on 5 May 2023.

Fiscal balance as reported in SNA framework, also referred to as net lending (+) or net borrowing (-) of government, is calculated as total government revenues minus total government expenditures.

Government gross debt is reported according to the SNA definition, which differs from the definition applied under the Maastricht Treaty. It is defined as all liabilities that require payment or payments of interest or principal by the debtor to the creditor at a date or dates in the future. All debt instruments are liabilities, but some liabilities such as shares, equity and financial derivatives are not debt.

Public employment refers to employment in the general government as defined in the System of National Accounts (SNA). Data on employment in general government were extracted on 17 April 2023.

Data on employment in general government for Iceland, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Türkiye and the United States are from the International Labour Organization (ILO), ILOSTAT.

Data show women as a share of cabinet members who head ministries as of 1 January 2023 (excluding ministers without portfolios).

The data on age of cabinet members reflects the situation as of 20 December 2022.

OECD average refers to the unweighted average with the exception of public finance indicators.


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