Raising Awareness on Access to Justice
Raising Awareness on Access to Justice

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2013 02 20

International Disputes in the EU: are Consumers Protected?

On February 22, Friday, a conference “The European order for payment and the European small claims procedures: are consumers protected?“ will be held in Vilnius. The conference is organized by Lithuanian Consumer Institute. and will focus on possibilities for consumers to protect their rights in other EU member states when problems arise with regard to goods or services purchased abroad, specifics and challenges of implementation of cross-border legal procedures.  

The procedures established by the European order for payment and the European small claims regulations provide consumers with opportunities of solving financial disputes arising with sellers or service providers from other EU countries in a simpler, faster, and cheaper way. However, a survey conducted by the Lithuanian Consumer Institute in 2012 showed that Lithuanians rarely turn to courts in order to get back the money they paid for a low-quality product or service from another EU country or an undelivered item ordered and paid for in an on-line store. 

“Most consumers are convinced that if there is a conflict with a seller or a service provider from another EU country, it is extremely difficult to resolve it. The greatest obstacle is lack of knowledge, lack of trust in the procedures, language barrier, and procedural costs. All this suppresses person’s willingness to protect his/her violated rights”, says Ms. Zita Ceponyte, the President of Lithuanian Consumers Institute. 

The conference, which is an integral part of the project “Raising Awareness on Access to Justice“, will address the importance of informing consumers about the ways how to resolve international disputes, practical challenges of implementation of international legal procedures, benefits and drawbacks of the European order for payment the European small claim procedures, possibilities of providing support to consumers, etc. 

Presentations will be done, apart from representatives of Lithuanian Consumer Institute and legal experts, by the director of the European Consumer Centre in Bulgaria, Mr. Ignat Arsenov, and the director of the Bulgarian National Consumer Association “Active Consumers“, Mr. Bogomil Nikolov.

The conference is organized in the course of implementation of the project “Raising Awareness on Access to Justice “, which is funded by the  2007-2013 specific programme "Civil Justice" of the European Commission, the Lithuanian Consumer Institute, the Bulgarian National Consumers Association "Active Consumers" and by the national budget funds of the Republic of Lithuania. Further information at: http://www.vartotojai.lt/en/civil-justice

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