EEN helps legislators improve car repair protocols in Greece

French and German experts and associations provided their knowledge and expertise to the Association of Car Body Repairers of Heraklion helping them to update the current legislation in Greece.

The legislative framework for repairs after expertise reports on car accidents in Greece is complex, especially in the way that car body repairers cooperate with experts, offer their services, and receive their payments.

The president of the Association of Car Body Repairers of Heraklion Prefecture Mr Yiannis Smyrnakis decided to undertake action and submit proposals to the Surveillance Authority (Bank of Greece) and the ministries involved (Ministry of Development and Investments, Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport and Ministry of Economic Affairs) for changing the current legislative framework.

In October 2022 addressed the Enterprise Europe Network in Heraklion Chamber of Commerce and Industry (HCCI). Advice and best practices from an equivalent association in a European country would be of great help.

First working meeting in Paris

Taking advantage of an already scheduled business trip to Paris, the EEN adviser Mr. Panagiotis Kallianis soon came back with the idea to seek for an equivalent association in France, to discuss about their respective legislative framework. The transfer of expertise and knowhow from France would be a precious asset for the establishment of a new legislative framework in Greece.

Mr Kallianis contacted his EEN colleague at Chambre de Commerce et d' Industrie de Seine-et-Marne Irina Vorokhobina-Laroche. Together they drafted an action plan that included the below activities:

  • Seek for an organization equivalent to the Association of Car Repairers of Heraklion
  • Arrange a bilateral meeting
  • Ensure that communication between the organizations will be established without language barriers.

Ms. Vorokhobina proposed the Federation Nationale d’ Automobile (FNA) as the most suitable organisation for clients’ needs. Mr Kallianis proposed that FNA have a meeting with Mr. Smyrnakis during the “Equipe Auto 2022”, an important Auto fair that would take place in Paris at the same time and where FNA would participate.

FNA representatives accepted the invitation, and the meeting was arranged for 19/10/2022 in their kiosk at Equipe Auto 2022. The FNA was represented at the highest level as both the president and the vice president participated in the meeting. Mr Kallianis arranged also for an interpreter with professional experience from the insurance market who assisted Mr. Smyrnakis during his conversation with his French peers.

During the conversation Mr. Smyrnakis had the chance to be informed about the legislative framework in force and the way similar problems and situations are managed in France. The FNA representatives also gave to Mr Smyrnakis a model of a contract between FNA and the Union of Experts for car accident reports in which all the procedures for expert reports and the way car repairers and experts work together are described in detail.

Online meeting with German Association 

On top of that, the Enterprise Europe Network and the Heraklion Chamber had more to offer to their client. Mrs. Symeonidou proposed that Mr Smyrnakis contacts with another organisation in Europe so he could obtain a more representative overview about the situation across the EU. This time an online meeting could be arranged.

Mr. Smyrnakis suggested that it would be useful to learn from the German legislative framework, as well. Soon, Mr. Panagiotis Kallianis contacted his EEN colleague Ms. Tessa-Alexa Neuenburg from Wirtschaftsförderung Land Brandenburg GmbH (WFBB). After doing research, she proposed ZKF (Zentralverband Karosserie- und Fahrzeugtechnik) as the most suitable German Association and she also proposed that her colleague Viviane Volk from Industrie- und Handelskammer Frankfurt am Main, another EEN partner, would be the appropriate person to participate in the meeting.

Mr. Kallianis contacted the managing director of ZKF Mr Thomas Aukamm who kindly accepted to participate in such a meeting.

The online meeting was arranged for 22 December 2022. The participants on behalf of HCCI were Mr Smyrnakis, Mrs Symeonidou, Mr Kallianis and Mr Karapidakis. On Behalf of ZKF Mr Aukamn and on Behalf of EEN Industrie- und Handelskammer Frankfurt am Main Mrs Volk. An interpreter also assisted with the smooth run of the discussion.

The meeting lasted for two hours, and Mr. Smyrnakis had the chance to submit a lot of queries about the way car accident reports take place in Germany, the legislative framework in force and the way the costing of damages is calculated.

Both meetings proved to be very fruitful, and Mr. Smyrnakis was really satisfied with the outcome and he expressed on behalf of all the Greek car repairers how much they appreciated the work done from the Greek, French and German EEN members.

Thanks to the knowledge he got from those meetings he will make very important policy changing proposals for the Greek Legislative framework that will affect the car repairers’ protocols and their everyday work.


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