Doctor of Sciences (Technical), Professor, First Vice Rector of
Kyiv National University of Trade and Economics
Member of the Board of the Civil Group All Ukrainian Federation
of the Consumers PULS NGO Novyi Den Ukrainy
SYSTEM OF CONSUMER RIGHTS PROTECTION: EXPERIENCE OF THE EU
Background. An effective consumer rights protection system is extremely important for the modern economy. The Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union obliged our state to ensure a high level of protection of consumer rights and achieve the compatibility of the relevant systems. Ukraine hopes that if it conducts effective economic transformations, it will be able to become a member state of the EU. In turn, guaranteeing consumer rights is one of the main prerequisites for such transformations.
Unfortunately, the level of state guarantees of these rights existing in Ukraine is nowadays rather low. Such a mismatch between the commitments entered into and the actual state of the consumer rights protection system creates a practical problem that needs to be addressed.
The aim of the article is to study the structure of the European system of consumer protection at the supranational and national level of the EU member states.
Materials and methods. The basis of the research is the systematic method and methods of analysis and synthesis. The information base is European law, websites of European consumer policy institutes and analytical materials of native and foreign scholars, economists and specialists in the field of consumer rights protection.
Results. The following issues have been determined: the legislative basis for the formation of a pan-European consumer policy and its main principles; the procedure for the legislative resolution of problematic consumer issues with the help of supra-state institutions of the EU; the structure of the consumer rights protection system used by the EU to assess the activities of member countries in this area. The basic levels, components and elements of this system and the links between them are analyzed.
According to the analysis, the consumer protection system in the EU provides an unconditional guarantee of all consumer rights, promotes a high level of consumer confidence in the consumer market and stimulates their activity. The principle of choosing a better mechanism for protecting consumer rights between the national legislation and the legislation of the importing country enshrined in the legislation creates conditions for the constant self-improvement of their own national systems of consumer protection of the member states. Absolutely all European systems include both state and non-state bodies that complement each other, develop and implement mechanisms that best respond to the challenges of the consumer market.
Conclusion. In order to address important socio-economic issues, as well as fulfillment of Ukraine’s interstate commitments related to the construction of a high-level consumer protection system and to achieve compatibility with national systems of EU member states, our state should apply the European principles and approaches described in the article in the formation of a national consumer protection policy, as well as in the construction and evaluation of the relevant national system.
Keywords: consumer rights protection, national system of consumer rights protection, European system of consumer rights protection, European consumer policy, structure of the consumer rights protection system, levels, components, elements of the consumer rights protection system.
FREE FULL TEXT (PDF)