Professor Colin Williams, chair in public policy at the Management School, is leading the Greek government’s action plan to tackle their undeclared economy. A recent report released by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), a United Nations agency, provides a set of policy recommendations informed by Prof Williams’s (pictured above) expert knowledge, which will set Greece on the right path to receiving their bailout money from the European Commission.
The ILO will now establish a road map with the Greek government to decide the timetable for the implementation of the legislative and component policy measures. They expressed special thanks to the high level team of experts that prepared the comprehensive diagnostic report, led by Prof Williams.
For the Greek government to receive debt relief, one of the five conditions agreed in August 2015 was that they would develop a national action plan to tackle their undeclared economy. Funded by the European Commission, Prof Williams has led the mission to Greece to produce this plan. Following a period of extensive consultation by him with the Greek government, the Bank of Greece, trade unions and employer organisations, it was accepted and validated by all partners in July.
Prof Williams has written extensively on ‘best practice’ policy approaches and measures for tackling the undeclared economy. A key aspect of his work is to use institutional theory to explain the undeclared economy. To tackle the undeclared economy, he has argued that formal institutional failings need to be addressed which produce a lack of alignment between the laws and regulations, and citizens’ and businesses’ beliefs about the acceptability of operating on an undeclared basis. The national action plan produced for Greece is based on tackling these formal institutional failings.
Prior to Prof Williams leading the mission to Greece, the employer representative organisations held four national-level workshops regarding their diagnosis of the problem and their view of the policy measures required. The trade union movement in Greece held two workshops to do the same. These reports were then presented to Prof Williams on his arrival in Greece in April 2016 at the commencement of his diagnostic mission.