The problem for organisations from the consumer rights protection sector is the lack of capacity to ensure them a stable financial standing and making them independent of financing based on projects implementation. This fact materially prevents a long-term development of support and consumer services. The role of the organisation is important as 50% of the consumer ombudsmen supporting consumers work half-time at most. As a result, consumers in Poland do not have a sufficient institutional support in the event of a dispute with an entrepreneur.
The project is to improve the consumer protection system by making a mechanism ensuring financial stability and thus enhancing consumer NGOs. By ding of this solution, consumers will be able to take more advantage of the organisations’ activities.
The project consists of two activities:
1) drawing up a draft amendment to the Act on Competition and Consumer Protection which assumes establishment of a fund financing NGOs which protect consumers and lobbying for implementation of the draft amendment. Establishing the funds will guarantee to organisations the financial stability, development and expansion of their operations which will strengthen the protection of consumers in Poland,
2) appointing the Consumer Council for NGOs composed of approximately 10 organisations operating in the area of consumer rights. The Council is going to act as the ombudsman for the interests of consumer organisations, provide support and represent the sector. The existence of the Council will strengthen the position of the organisation and thus consumers themselves.
The project is made in cooperation with the Euro-Concret Association which is experienced in enhancing NGO potential which will increase the efficiency of the activities taken as part of the project. The strength of the “Aquila” is the “sector-related” experience. The partnership is important due to its dual nature: legislative and enhancing consumer NGOs sector.