Tuesday, 24 October 2017
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Centre for Analysis and Planning

1. Legal Framework

Under its current form, the Analysis and Planning Centre (APC) was established by Law 2594/1998 (Gov. Gaz. , 62/24-3-1998) concerning the Statutes of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). According to Article 12, the APC is an independent research unit directly attached to the Minister of Foreign Affairs whose main mandate is to analyze foreign policy and international relations issues in order to formulate forecasts and proposals on political and diplomatic tactics.

2. Responsibilities and working method

According to the MFAs statutes, the APC:

• draws up detailed plans on the medium and long-term objectives of the Greek Foreign Policy and drafts  reports on alternative methods for supporting and implementing Foreign Policy;
• conducts studies on specific issues;
• draws up crisis management plans;
• monitors and supports the work of the Permanent Committee for Foreign Affairs and Defense and the Permanent Committee for European Affairs of the Greek Parliament. It equally monitors and supports the work of several advisory bodies on foreign policy issues that have been established either by law or by other regulatory acts, such as the National Inter-party Committee on foreign policy (Law 2333/31-8-1995, Gov. Gaz. 182 ) and the Scientific Council (Article 27 of the Statutes).

The very nature of its mission brings the APC into close daily co-operation with the MFA Directorates and the Diplomatic Missions abroad, since it receives requests for in-depth analysis of special issues concerning national foreign policy. It follows that in contrast to the Directorates, which are mandated with monitoring current issues, often of an urgent character, the APC approaches such issues under a mid/long-term perspective. This differentiation reflects the difference between the mission of the APC and the missions of other, more traditional, MFA departments.

Another aspect of the APC's daily activity is its co-operation with research and other institutes (e.g. Universities), think tanks, and foreign policy experts working either in Greece or abroad. This co-operation involves research assignment to Universities/Think Tanks and/or joint drafting of policy papers and organization of events (seminars, meetings, etc.).

The APC is active at the international level as well. In this context, it has organized a number of international meetings in Greece on special foreign policy issues with the participation of think tanks and other institutions as well as foreign experts. Finally, it systematically seeks to make contacts and promote co-operation with corresponding centers  operating under the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of other countries.

3. Institutional Involvement of the APC in other bodies Additional responsibilities of the APC Director

According to the Statutes of the MFA, the Director of the APC is an employee of the diplomatic branch with the rank of consul and is appointed to the post by the Minister of Foreign Affairs. It is part of his responsibilities to submit to the Minister of Foreign Affairs the findings of studies and/or of overall research carried out by the APC, often accompanied by an introductory note written by the Director himself. Moreover, he assumes, on an ad hoc basis, other missions related to specific issues of Greek foreign policy. Thus, in addition to its main mission, the APC is involved, through its head, in the works of other agencies:

• In the Permanent Joint Unit for Crisis Management, which, in spite of its interministerial composition, is an integral part of the MFA (Statutes, Article 13), its mission is to contribute to the readiness of the state to respond and manage the crises, through, inter alia, organizing exercises based on the forecasts using the APCs analyses. The Unit is also entrusted with the monitoring of the implementation of governmental decisions related to its area of responsibility.

• In the National Council for Foreign Policy (NCFP) which was established by Article 82, para. 4 of the Constitution, as amended in 2001. The law establishing it, 3132/2003 Gov. Gaz. A. 84/11-4-2003, provides for the composition and the mission of the NCFP, where the Head of the APC participates ex officio, while another officer of the Centre acts as secretary.

Finally, the foreseen Scientific Director is responsible for providing scientific support to the APC, supervising all scientific work conducted by the Centre and acting as coordinator between his associates and the university and research community in general. He also oversees the elaboration and drafting of policy proposals submitted to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

4. Activities
The Review

A broad collection of texts from various international think tanks, published every second month (six times per year), based on a particular subject each time, for the use of the departments of the Foreign Ministry only. So far, the Centre has circulated five Reviews on Immigration, Syria, BREXIT, International Security & Defense, Energy & Diplomacy.

Series of Texts of Analysis & Policy
The texts are the outcome of the deliberations on specific issues of the Working Groups within the Centre. The first one dealt with “The Future of the European Union” (circulated in August 2016 for the Foreign Ministry’s Departments) and was the product of the Working Group on the Future of Europe.

Centre for Religious Pluralism in Middle East (CRPME)
Within the Centre for Analysis & Planning, a working group has been set up in January 2016 (under the coordination of Professor S. Roussos) with the task to review organizational aspects of the Centre for Religious Pluralism in Middle East (www.crpme.gr).

Working Groups’ coordination
The Centre coordinates the Working Groups functioned within the Centre’s framework. The first Working Group established in March 2016 focuses on the future of Europe and issues the relevant policy paper.

MFA’s Task Force on BREXIT (July 2016)
The Centre holds a coordinating role of the Task Force on Brexit in which various Departments of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well academics participate, focusing on studying the consequences of Brexit as well as the forthcoming negotiations between the United Kingdom and the European Union.

Intergovernmental Task Force on BREXIT (July 2016)
This Task Force has been set up on Secretary Generals’ level with the participation of the relevant governmental bodies (Ministries, Agencies). It is chaired by the Permanent Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Centre in full cooperation with the Permanent Secretary General’s Office coordinates the sessions of the task force focusing on the impact of Brexit on Greece.

International cooperation & ad hoc meetings
The Centre cooperates with other relevant Centres as well as with academic institutions and research centres in Greece and abroad, while it holds ad hoc meetings with foreign representations in Athens at their request.

Last Updated October 2016

Last Updated Tuesday, 14 February 2017