This paper characterizes and explains the development of the Greek national water regime, based on a framework from institutional resource regime theory. The specific framework combines public resource policies with property rights and operationalizes the concept of integration for resource regimes. The paper concentrates on attempts at more integrated water management in Greece (via important national water laws), which were mainly driven by increasing water resource degradation and EU water policies. It is argued that national attempts since the 1980s (especially the 1987 Water Law) were unsuccessful also under the influence of an unfavourable institutional context which prevailed at the time of the attempts. The outcome of a new 2003 Water Law in practice remains to be seen. The path to integration must involve significant efforts to overcome institutional obstacles which hindered integrated water management in the past.

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