Consumer protection in southern Serbia is on very low level, and because of that, with support of Fund for an Open Society in Serbia launched this project that should enable establishing of tree new consumer organization in tree other cities and improve the ambience for consumer protection in southern Serbia.
In the first phase of the project consultative meetings is going to be held with various stakeholders in tree cities: with citizens, consumers, NGO/s, media representatives and local local govrnement. In 2013. CEPS will organize educational seminars in city of Aleksinac, Prijepolje and Knjaževac in order to inform citizens on consumer protection policy and benefits consumers have in cities where consumer organization are operating. Till Jun we will establish tree new consumer organisations in this cities, and organise training for bulding capacitiy acquirin key knowledge and skills required by the modern consumer protection.
During the summer and fall campaigns are planed for promotion newly established organizations and raise awareness about importance of consumer protection.
Mobility: a paradigm of European citizenship
Consumer Center of Serbia, in cooperation with seven European organizations, is participating in the project „Mobility: a paradigm of European citizenship“. Project is coordinated by Italian organization Cittadinanzattiva onlus-Active Citizenship Network. Project is funded by European Commission.
The project, started in January 2013, it consists in consulting citizens in 8 Member States on the different challenges represented by the Mobility of people for the future of the EU: transport accessibility, environmental sustainability and citizens/passengers' rights.
Mobility is a daily concern for most European citizens and is a paradigm of European citizenship, inasmuch as it embraces many of its aspects (common identity thanks to trans-national mobility, European citizens/passengers' rights, etc.). Lastly, the policy on transports and mobility is essential for the development of a sustainable economy.
The project comes from the idea to collect citizens’ opinions on Mobility in the EU as a key theme for the future of European citizens and the implementation of the Europe 2020 Strategy.
Citizens are given the opportunity to participate in decision-making and seek possible solutions regarding an issue definitely important for their daily life and the implementation of a sustainable development.
They will be able to formulate recommendations and present them to the EU institutions.
Transnational Mobility is the concrete application of one of the main rights (Free movement of people) guaranteed by the Treaties to EU citizens’ since the beginning of the European construction. It is one of the factors which have contributed to the building of a common European identity.
Over the years, the EU has developed a strong policy in this area, which aims at “fostering clean, safe and efficient travel throughout Europe, underpinning the internal market of goods and the right of citizens to travel freely throughout the EU” (see website of DG for Mobility and Transport).
Mobility is a major challenge for the development of a sustainable economy, which is one of the 3 primary objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20% does actually entail the development of a new mobility strategy, promoting transport modalities with a low impact on the environment.
Finally, public transports are a key question for many European citizens, who use them daily to reach their workplace and/or to carry out their other activities. They are thus interested in the development of accessible and efficient public transports, respectful of passengers’ and users’ rights. This is the reason why civic activism is especially developed in this field through informal groups (such as commuters groups) or more structured and permanent organisations (e.g. Public transport users associations, Consumer associations, etc.).
To sum up, the European consultation proposed in the present project focuses on Mobility because it is:
- a common concern for most European citizens;
- a field in which the EU has a large competence and influence capacity;
- a policy which has to evolve to contribute more and more to the development of a sustainable economy;
- a paradigm of European citizenship, inasmuch as it embraces many of its aspects (common identity, European citizens’ rights, etc.).
The main objectives of the project are thus the following:
- informing citizens and raising their awareness on the EU policies and initiatives on Mobility;
- contributing to bride the gap between EU citizens and Institutions, providing the European Parliament and the Commission with information on the actual expectations of citizens in this area;
- giving the opportunity to 2.560 citizens from 8 countries to concretely participate in the EU policy making, promoting direct dialogue between them and European Institutions;
- enhancing citizens' interest in civic participation and their capacity to analyze critical situations, identify solutions and formulate policy recommendations.
The consultations will be structured in two phases: first level consultation of 640 people (citizens, members or volunteers of local associations,...) in 8 countries and second level consultation of at least 2.000 common citizens travelling on public transports, selected in a random way:
- during the first phase, the partners will organize four 1-day consultation meetings for 20 people each in every participating country;
- during the second phase, every partner organisation will collect the results from the 4 consultations and draft a questionnaire which will be used to interview travellers (on trains, buses, plane, etc.) on the results of the first phase. Four participants in each meeting will be selected and trained to interview people travelling on public transports (20 per each participant which means 320 per country) on the main problems and recommendations which emerged from the first-step consultations. This will enlarge and diversify the consultation target, as well as ensure the dissemination of the project.
The final recommendations will be presented to competent authorities in each country and to the EU institutions in occasion of the final event in Brussels.
The project is coordinated by Cittadinanzattiva onlus-Active Citizenship Network and takes advantage of the collaboration of the following Partners:
- A.N.P.C.P.P.S.România / National Association for Consumers’ Protection and Promotion of programs and strategies (Country Romania - RO)
- Vartotojų teisių gynimo centras / Association Consumer Rights Protection Center (Country Lithuania - LT)
- Index Foundation (Country Bulgaria - BG)
- Associação In Loco / In Loco Association (Country Portugal - PT)
- Spoločnosť ochrany spotrebiteľov S.O.S. / Society of Consumer Protection (Country Slovakia - SK)
- Centra potrošača Srbije / Consumer's Center of Serbia - CEPS (Country Serbia - SRB)
- Fundación Ciudadanía / Citizenship Foundation (Country Spain – ES)
Clippings and press articles:
Website Regione Emilia Romagna 21.1.2013 (from Italy)
Funding programme: Europe for Citizens Programme. Action 1 – Active Citizens for Europe – Measure 2.1 – Citizens’ projects
Project duration: from January to December 2013
The project is realized with the support of the Europe for Citizens Programme of the European Union.
Active Consumer Protection – Counseling, Intermediation and Informing
Consumer Center of Serbia (CEPS) with support of Ministry of Foren and Internal Trade and Telecommunication continue with active consumer protection program and counseling trough project „Active Consumer Protection – Counseling, Intermediation and Informing“.
Counseling, intermediation and informing of consumers is very important segment in sector of consumer protection since large number of consumer disputes between consumers and traders is coming as result of lack of information on consumer rights that is coming to consumers. Consumer counceling is essencial mechanism for consumer protection that mitgates systemic deficiencies.
The primary aim of this project is work of Consumer Counceling Office in region of Belgrade that will help to consumers in resolving desputes trough counceling, intermediation and information to consumers and contribute to the training of consumers and preventing violation of their rights. This project also contributes to the removal of unfair business; it contributes to towards education of traders and companies in better understnding of consumer rights and consumer protection in general, improving of szstem framework and ambience for consumer protection.
Timeframe for realisation of the project: December 2012 - Maj 2014.