CONSUMER PROTECTION IN BULGARIA: EU CHALLENGES
Consumer protection represents today a key-concern for each modern economy, as it reﬂects its potential of providing well-being for citizens and of empowering them to act efficiently on the markets. In the European Union, consumer policy for 2007-2013 address several challenges, including those related to the extension of the EU, given the discrepancies between Member States. This paper aims to underscore challenges that Bulgaria is facing today in the European context, based on relevant data resulting from surveys and reports. It also suggests several steps to be undertaken in the pursuit of better consumer protection at national level.
2. *** Nearly half of Bulgarians complain of consumer rights violations in past year, survey shows, 14 March 2012, [retrieved at http://3e-news.net/show/21917_nearly%20half%20of%20bulgarians%20complain%20of%20consumer%20rights%20violations%20in%20past%20year%20survey%20shows_en/].
3. *** The Consumer Markets Scoreboard, Making Markets Work For Consumers, 6th edition, October 2011, [retrieved at http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/consumer_research/editions/docs/6th_edition_scoreboard_en.pdf].
4. Commission of the European Communities, Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee, EU Consumer Policy strategy 2007-2013, Brussels, 13.3.2007, COM(2007) 99 final.
5. European Commission, Consumers in Europe, Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Eurostat, 2009, retrieved at http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/strategy/consumers_europe_edition2_en.pdf.
6. European Commission, Flash Euro-barometer 299, Consumer attitudes towards crossborder trade and consumer protection, Analytical report, March 2011.
7. European Commission, Flash Euro-barometer 275, Consumer protection and consumer rights in Bulgaria, Wave 2, Summary, May 2010.
8. European Commission, Flash Euro-barometer 275, Consumer protection and consumer rights in Bulgaria, Wave III, Analytical report, May 2011, [retrieved at http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/ﬂash/ﬂ_295_en.pdf].
9. European Commission, Special Eurobarometer 342, Consumer Empowerment, Report, April 2011.
10. Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, EU Food Safety Almanac, 2011, retrieved at http://www.bfr.bund.de/cm/364/eu-food-safety-almanac.pdf.
11. Rutledge, Susan L., Consumer Protection and Financial Literacy, Lessons from Nine Country Studies, Policy Research Working Paper 5326, World Bank, June 2010.
12. World Bank, Bulgaria. Diagnostic Review of Consumer Protection and Financial Capability, Volume I, Key Findings and Recommendations, May 2009, [retrieved athttp://siteresources.worldbank.org/BULGARIAEXTN/Resources/305438-1224088560466/CP_vol1_en.pdf].