Saturday, 22 September 2018 | News today: 0

New instrument on collective protection of consumer rights promoted

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The Macedonian Organization of Consumers (OPM) urged for the introduction of a new instrument for collective protection of consumer rights, which was promoted on Tuesday.

OPM president Marijana Loncar Velkova said the collective protection of consumer rights, although part of the Law on Consumer Protection, is non-applicable without authorized bodies for collective protection, especially because the law on litigation does not provide for collective protection.

“The situation is similar across the region. We want to launch a campaign for collective protection of consumer rights. Court processes and long and expensive and all consumers should be incorporated in a collective lawsuit for the purpose of their protection, but also their compensation, not only penalizing the trader or operator,” said Loncar Velkova.

The activities are funded through project “Collective Redress in Consumer Protection in South East Europe”, implemented by German association for international cooperation GIZ, Open Regional Fund for South East Europe – Legal Reform.

Veronika Efremova of GIZ said this is a two-year project with the objective of strengthening the mechanism of collective protection of consumer rights not only in Macedonia but the region in general.

“These are compatible systems where the implementation of this mechanism is unfortunately not at the EU level. Therefore, we are providing comparative good practices in the functioning of this system in six selected EU member-states – Belgium, Sweden, Great Britain, Germany, the Netherlands and France – which are to support regional states in improving capacities of institutions and consumer organizations in implementing this mechanism,” stressed Efremova.

OPM also promoted a brochure developed within the project on acquainting consumers with the collective protection of their rights, and presented findings over related policies in the field.