Monday, May 08, 2006

THE STRATEGY REGARDING CONSUMERS? PROTECTION FOR 2006-2008

Our vision on consumers? protection defines the leading objective, the fundamental objectives, the main directions for action and the operational objectives.The leading objective, the absolute goal to be achieved, is consumers? protection, understood as a defence of consumers? fundamental rights: life, health and security protection; life, health and security protection; protection of economical interests; the guarantee of the vital needs; access on a market with a full range of quality products and services; an healthy environment; information; education; association.The fundamental objectives are the main directions for action in creating an European legislative and institutional system in order to insure an increase of consumers protection:a) strengthening the individual and associative self-protection capacity, so that it can become the main method of consumers? protection;b) improving State?s activity of direct and not direct protection.The main directions and objectives for action for accomplishing the fundamental objectives are:1. Improving and developing the legislative frame to insure it?s systemic operating and to conclude the process of harmonization with the legislation of the European Union.1.1. Promoting a project to modify Law no 296/2004 Law regarding the Consumption Code which should combine the present 8 laws and ordinances and should stipulate:- Inclusion among the fundamental consumers? rights of the right to have as guaranteed the satisfaction of the vital needs and of the right to an healthy environment;- Precise ways of defending consumers? economic interests (especially the right to compensation) because this right is stipulated by present legislation, but the legislation lacks the provisions to insure quick and advantageous compensations for consumers;- The obligation for the central consumers? protection authority to take measures to accomplish the activity of informing, advising and educating the consumers, by elaborating a national strategy in this area, as well as including consumers? education in schools and adopting measures for a real support of the NGO?s.1.2. Overseeing of legislative activity in the area and sustaining/promoting (through specific campaigns) the initiatives and projects aimed at insuring the optimum functioning of the legislative system for a real protection of consumers? rights.2. Developing the institutional system and improving its functioning:2.1. Promoting the project regarding the set up (through a proper modification and completion of Law no 21/1996 Competition Law) of the Competition and Consumers? Protection Council as an autonomous administrative authority (not dependent on the Government) competent to apply the law of consumers? protection; this will allow a concerted action of the two structural components and will increase the efficiency of consumers? protection activities;2.2. Sustaining the project regarding the reorganization and functioning of the Inter-Ministerial Committee for the Surveillance of Products and Services Market and for Consumers? Protection, enabling to:a) clearly affirm the place and purpose of each institution inside the reaction and decision making organisms in order to eliminate the repetitions and superposition in the surveillance and control activity and to eliminate the lack of reaction in certain cases of violations of the legislation;b) reorganizing the institutional subsystem which grants approvals, authorizations, licenses classification certificates and the expertise and certification subsystem guaranteeing the elimination of obstacles from the free circulation of goods and an increase of their part in preventing and finding the deviations from the legislation;c) developing the advisory and nongovernmental organisms subsystems to increase their role in: the elaboration of national strategies and programs regarding consumers? protection; the market surveillance activity; the out of court and in court settlement of litigations between economic agents and consumers; informing and advising consumers.2.3. Developing the cooperation relations with specific institutions and organisms from the Member States; these relations will lead to integration in the European and international institutional system.3. Developing the consumatorista movement:3.1. Setting up of the National Consumption Institute (as an NGO), recognized by law, which should develop activities such as: forming trainers for consumers? associations; consultancy for the founding of associations and for improving their activity; carrying out comparative tests, studies and researches in the area; informing, advising and educating consumers, inclusively by publishing materials similar to the ones published in the Member States;3.2. Sustaining the process of consumers? stratification,horizontally and vertically, in order to set up associations in all counties and cities, federations at all counties? level and an national level organism as a legitimate representative for all at central level.4. Improving the activity of informing, advising and educating consumers through:4.1. Creating an informatic system regarding products and services with a high and direct risk for consumers? life, health and security;4.2. Accomplishing a systematic activity of informing, advising and educating consumers in collaboration with civil society?s structures and State?s institutions;4.3. Promoting the project for including the consumers? education in schools, at all school-levels and not only within instructive activities and classes but as an interdisciplinary approach and as main course in vocational and apprentice schools, in industrial and economic high schools and in universities, in order to train the future specialists in the field.5. Carrying out studies, researches and comparative tests to ground the activity of informing, advising and educating the consumersOperational objectives:1. Organizing and developing a national level campaign to persuade State?s institutions to modify and complete Law no 296/2004 - Law regarding the Consumption Code and elaborating an own legislative initiative.2. Elaborating a national strategy project regarding the support for setting up and developing of consumers? associations which (after a public debate) should be presented to the College for Consultancy of Associations and Foundations.3. Elaborating a national strategy project regarding the informing, advising and educating the consumers which (after a public debate) should be presented to the College for Consultancy of Associations and Foundations4. The analysis of the laws in force or of those that recently came into force for quick reactions when shortcomings are being ascertained and for a proper informing of consumers.5. Developing activities and actions to promote projects regarding the set up of Competition and Consumers? Protection Council and the reorganization and functioning of the Inter-Ministerial Committee for the Surveillance of Products and Services and Consumers? Protection.6. Obtaining the right of representation among consultancy organisms at central level.7. Affiliation at European and international organizations and organisms with the same field of activity8. Setting up of the National Consumption Institute and setting up of proper conditions for its efficacious functioning, including external support.9. Setting up mediation and arbitration organisms, in cooperation with Romania?s Chamber of Commerce and Industry, employers? organizations and professional associations.10. Organizing seminars, conferences, symposiums, in cooperation with other consumers? organizations, to sustain the process of associative stratification of consumers, horizontally and vertically. 11. Realization of market overseeing by using a investigators and delegated persons network, all over the country, to record the cases of products and services with a high and direct risk for consumers? life, health and security and the cases of counterfeits.12. Carrying out expert appraisement (through physical-chemical and mechanical analysis) to establish products? authenticity and origin.13. Granting information, consultancy and public relations services to consumers and legal persons, in order to recognize counterfeits and fakes and to prevent this phenomenon, by elaborating a proper safety system.14. Granting awards, scholarships, donations, for consumers and legal persons whose purposes and objectives are to identify and fight counterfeits.15. Starting, developing, sustaining and promoting programs and projects within training courses and any other connected activities meant to ensure the fulfillment of associations? objectives.16. Publishing informing, advising and educating materials for consumers.17. Promoting the dialogue and cooperation with employers? organizations and consultancy organisms to increase their part in ensuring a real consumers? protection.18. Setting up partnership relations with central and local public administration organisms, with duties in consumers? protection, to develop activities of informing, advising and educating the consumers.19. Organizing a national level campaign to promote the project regarding including the consumption education in schools.20. Elaborating consumers? protection manuals for universities and colleges in cooperation with universities and the Ministry of Education.21. Establishing cooperation relations with research institutes, expertise laboratories (including foreign ones) to perform studies, researches and comparative tests.

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