Overview of electronic signature and its legality in Greece

As a member of the European Union, Greece has recognized electronic signatures as legally valid since 2001. The was the year the Presidential Decree 150/2001 was passed, which established a framework for incorporating eSignatures into Greek law.

In 2016, the eIDAS regulations standardized electronic signature laws across all EU member states. These regulations repealed and replaced the former eSignatures Directive.

Are electronic signatures legal in Greece?

Yes, according to Greek law, a handwritten signature is not necessary on most general business contracts. Contracts are considered legally valid whenever two parties reach an agreement, though one or both parties may need to provide additional evidence in court.

According to Article 445 of the Greek Code of Civil Procedure, digital transaction management solutions can be used to provide evidence of an existing contract. Then in 2016, eIDAS regulations came into effect for all 28 EU member countries, including Greece.

An overview of Greece’s legal model

Greece is considered a civil law system, though its legal model contains elements of both common law and civil law systems. The country represents a common law system when it comes to banking, taxation, insurance, and labor relations.

But Greece operates under a civil law system in terms of property, family relations, criminal law, and contracts. Greece’s legal model is similar to those in Austria, Germany, Finland, and Belgium.

Civil law systems

Civil law systems are fairly common and around 60% of the world has a civil law system as its legal model. Civil law systems are based on Roman law and a comprehensive set of rules.

Unlike other countries that favor legal precedents, civil law systems are regularly updated to reflect the current legal environment. Legislative actions are seen as legally binding, but judicial law is less common.

Understanding eIDAS regulations

The main purpose of eIDAS regulations was to increase trust in electronic signatures. It did this by creating a standard for all eSignatures that EU member countries must follow.

One of the things eIDAS regulations did was create a specific definition for a Qualified Electronic Signature (QES). A QES essentially “proves” the identity of the signatory, so it’s considered stronger than a Standard Electronic Signature (SES).

For that reason, a QES must be accepted across all member states.

When is an SES appropriate?

Greece has a tiered legal model, which means it recognizes a QES as a distinct type of signature. An SES is legally admissible in court but requires additional proof.

An SES is appropriate in many general business settings, like:

  • Employment contracts
  • NDAs
  • Employee onboarding paperwork
  • Service terms
  • Software licensing agreements
  • Commercial lease agreements
  • Purchase orders
  • Invoices

Can PandaDoc software be used in Greece?

Yes, when you use PandaDoc software, you’ll receive an electronic record of all your contracts. This means our software complies with electronic signature laws in Greece. Our software makes it easy to create, send, and track your contracts. This makes it easier for you to manage every step of the sales process.