This document provides information about administrative reform in Greece and is part of a series published by the Centre for Administrative Innovation in the Euro-Mediterranean Region. At the threshold of the 21st century, the rapid evolution of information and communications technologies, their wide diffusion in the entire economy and their integration in nearly all aspects of everyday life is building a global Information Society with new opportunities for economic development, jobs, prosperity and quality of life. The concern of the government is to ensure that this emerging Information Society will be a society for all. The new technologies constitute an important tool for the creation of a modern democratic state, via the modernization of public administration, the improvement of relations between the state and the citizens, and the reinforcement of democratic institutions. The digitization and better structuring of the huge volume of information possessed by central, regional and local administration permit a more effective and rational administration, more and better services to the citizens and greater transparency and democratic participation of citizens in matters of public interest. In the digital age, economic competition is increasingly based on technology and knowledge. Through the diffusion of new technologies and globalization, industrial economies are being transformed into economies directly based on the generation, distribution and use of knowledge and information, with new methods of production and types of consumption. The nature of the new technologies affords new possibilities and opportunities for equal participation in the global marketplace for smaller countries like Greece.
The new technologies change work patterns and conditions, creating new requirements for new skills, and new ways of work such as telework. The accumulation and effective distribution of knowledge are now recognized as the main lever for the increase of productivity and economic growth. In this new environment, adaptability to change and flexible structures in employment are vital for economic efficiency and competitiveness. At the same time, the emphasis on knowledge and skills creates the need for continued life-long learning and imposes changes in the education and training systems. A main goal of the use of the new technologies in Information Society is the improvement of the quality of life. The applications of computer technology and telecommunications permit better health and welfare services (with greater access to medical knowledge and expertise), greater safety protection from crime, better and safer transportation, as well as conservation of the environment and natural resources, of the language and the cultural heritage. In the emerging Information Society, Greece has a unique opportunity to upgrade its position in the global economy and to improve the quality of life of its citizens. The widespread diffusion of new technologies entails the risk of creating new divisions between information haves and haves-nots, and marginalizing particular social groups and workers. There is, in other words a danger that a new form of illiteracy accompanies the dominance of information and communications.