Minister announces changes to environmental impact licensing for enterprises

Regional Development and Competitiveness Minister Mihalis Chrysohoidis on Tuesday announced upcoming changes to the process of issuing environmental impact licences to businesses, saying legislation that would significantly simplify the current system will be tabled in a draft bill after Easter.

Briefing Parliament's Environmental Protection Committee, he said the changes would greatly simplify the process of establishing manufacturing concerns and exercising technical professions, in particular. He said the new system would switch from a logic of checking first and licencing later to first issuing an operating licence and then conducting checks, especially for low-impact activities.

For activities deemed "medium-impact", the business would be asked to provide letters of guarantee in order to receive a licence while the system for activities with a serious environmental impact would remain the same.

He also referred to his ministry's efforts to allow hundreds of solid and liquid waste management projects throughout Greece to receive funding from the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) while noting that these were not yet 'mature'.

Chrysohoidis said the ministry intended to lift 30 important obstacles to entrepreneurship during the coming year as part of the action plan "Business Friendly Greece" and that 10 of these directly or indirectly concerned licences related to environmental issues.

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