The development of the Hellenic Cadastre in the period 2010-2018: a policy reform under financial duress

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After 2010, the sovereign debt crisis in Greece and the subsequent bailout agreements brought a policy conditionality which targeted at macroeconomic stabilization and structural adjustment. Interestingly, the onset of the crisis directly highlighted the lack of integrated digital data on both public and private property. Thus, each of the consecutive bailout programs in 2010, 2012 and 2015, and the accompanying Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) prioritized the completion of the Hellenic Cadastre (HC), arguing that the lack of legal certainty about property rights obstructs proper taxation, exploitation of public property, economic development and investment. Therefore, the completion of the Cadastre, along with the completion of Forest Maps and delineation of coastal zones for the whole of the Greek territory, were included in the long-term structural reforms to improve the business environment and to increase the country’s competitiveness.
The Hellenic Cadastre, from its onset in 1995 up to now, and especially during the years of financial duress 2010-2018, has had a long and dynamic history, riddled by the crisis and the fast-paced cycle of implementation and evaluation, driven by deadlines to deliver outputs and outcomes, the nature of which itself was changing depending on MoUs signed, election outcomes, and expectations or advice from foreign technical assistance. By the end of 2018, the completion rate of land registration over the entire country was not substantially different compared to the onset of the crisis, whereas significant progress has been made as regards the delineation of forests and coastal zones. Furthermore, currently, a bulk of cadastral survey projects are in progress in the 84.6% of the country’s area (62.2% of total property rights), and the milestone for the completion of the Cadastre was recently reset to June 2021. It’s, therefore, time to step back and reflect on the HC’s developments through time and understand how “How had the policy reform for the development of the Hellenic Cadastre System been evolved during the period of the economic crisis (2010-2018) and in what effect"?
The paper presents the research design and preliminary theoretical implications of a PhD research at the University of Twente which draws concepts from the literature on policy reforms and organizational change, as well as, from the property rights theory. Empirical foci are the following: Main framings and relation over time between (1) the HC and its main local stakeholders, (2) the HC and foreign technical assistance, (3) the HC and the Greek civil society, as well as (4) organizational changes at the land governance scheme. The societal relevance of this research is related to understanding how this particular policy reform was implemented, and which tensions it resolved or not. It sheds light into potential change drivers, which may dissolve tensions, enable further cadastral development towards the new Land Registration System and deliver the promised collective goods. The contribution to the knowledge of this research is the study of cadastral development from a policy reform perspective and focuses on how reforms are enacted.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2019
Event9th Hellenic Observatory Biennial PhD Symposium on contemporary Greece and Cyprus - London School of Economics, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 15 Jun 201915 Jun 2019
Conference number: 9


Conference9th Hellenic Observatory Biennial PhD Symposium on contemporary Greece and Cyprus
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address



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