A few yearsafter the creation ofthe independent Hellenic State, thefirst Chambers were founded under the Royal Decreeof May 22nd 1836, “Regarding the establishment of chambers of commerce and commercial entities”.
In 1841, when the capital of the country was moved to the city of Athens, the Athens Chamber of Commerce was founded.
The running of the new Hellenic State though, faced many problems which caused a lot of difficulties to the newly founded Hellenic Chambers of Commerce that caused the institution’s essential degradation.
The political, financial and social changes that took place in the beginning of the 20th century, combined with the huge growth of the global trade in Europe and the East Mediterranean region, reinforced the chamber institution, a fact that was attested by the 184/1914 Law “Regarding the establishment of Chambers of Commerce and Industry” in accordance with the german-french standards of structure and operations.
This Law foresaw “the establishment of Chambers of Commerce and Industry at the capitals of each Prefecture considered as Public Entities and aiming at the protection and promotion of commercial and industrial interests of their region”, and also foresaw that the “Members of the chambers were necessarily all professional traders”.
Under this new legal framework, the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry was founded in 30-11-1914 and began its operations in February 1919.
In the following years ACCI, became an important contributor to the handling of crucial problems and the offering of beneficial solutions to the national economy, by providing consultation to the State in a number of issues that are tightly related with its financial growth and progress.
ACCI’s active presence was never interrupted, not even under very difficult moments faced by the country and despite the almost insurmountable difficulties that came before, both the management and the employees of the chamber fully performed their duties, offering a tangible and a solemn example of social solidarity and patriotism.
The Law 1089/80 replaced the original law which was changed many times (with the creation of self-contained Small & Medium Industry and Professional Chambers, which were separated from the Commerce and Industrial ones, etc).
This Law maintained the Chambers as Public Entities and the obligation of all commercial professionals to become their members, defined their goals and activities and organized their structure and operations according to the specific national needs and the international standards, with only one drawback: the suffocating managerial and administrative supervision by the Ministry of Commerce.
Greece becoming a member of the EU in 1981, and the continuous expansion of the Union towards the South and then the North, gradually drove the ACCI to change its problematic and the scale of its interventions.
The new needs of the Greek companies operating within the common European market and the partial replacement of a solely national dimension with a European one, created the imperative need for a changed chamber activity, while they reinforced ACCI’s natural ties with other EU chambers.
It is only natural that, the common European space combined with the increasing competition makes the efforts towards this direction imperative.
Both the management and the employees of ACCI believe that despite the undeniable difficulties faced, they will be able to successfully undertake this new challenge and bring benefits to Greek companies and to the national economy.