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Petrescu, Raluca Mariana
Petrescu, Raluca Mariana
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[Journal:] Amfiteatru Economic Journal [ISSN:] 2247-9104 [Volume:] 12 [Year:] 2010 [Issue:] Special No. 4 [Pages:] 709-734
The issues of consumer rights and consumer welfare are increasingly important, especially in the current economic climate in which the ability to make informed choices represents a real advantage in consumers’ daily life. In order to make their purchases with confidence, both in their country and abroad, consumers need easy access to precise information and to professional advice. Taking into account the fact that education and training are a strategic factor for a sustainable development through contribution to human capital development, within the Romania–Bulgaria Cross-Border Cooperation Program 2007–2013, the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest, Romania and the D. Tsenov Academy of Economics in Svisthov, Bulgaria decided to collaborate in the field “Cooperation on human resources development – joint development of skills and knowledge”, through the development of cross-border liaisons and exchanges between the two universities. Our objective is to bring up new methods of training in the field of consumer protection in order to train and to supply the labour market with specialized experts in this field in charge with various issues regarding consumers in enterprises, in organizations in charge with elaborating consumer protection policies and in organizations in charge with market supervision and control and also in consumers’ associations. We consider that in this way we meet both consumers’ and employers’ needs because economic agents need professionals in the field as well, in order to advise them in their quest to protect the rights and interests of consumers. Also, Meglena Kuneva, the European Commissioner for Consumer Protection, noted that studies conducted at European level revealed that there is a high level of interest for recruiting qualified experts in the field of consumer protection shown by large companies, national governments, small and medium enterprises and consumers’ associations. In order to evaluate the requirement for education and training in the field of consumer protection in the Lower Danube Region, we decided to collect and study the necessary information, both at EU level as well as those specific to the counties bordering the Danube, information which sustain the need for the establishment of a new form of expert training in this field. As a result, the paper brings up aspects regarding the need for training experts in the field of consumer protection, referring to the Romanian counties bordering the Danube and neighbouring Bulgaria. Also, this report presents the findings of a research project whose aim is to evaluate the availability of prerequisites for seeking educational products in the field of consumer protection in Bulgaria. The institutional framework of the process in Bulgaria has been analyzed and the results of a survey among the representatives of the four parties involved in it – government authorities, NGOs, consumers and suppliers – have been presented. The research presents their point of view regarding the extent to which the process of consumer protection in Bulgaria is developed, what are the major obstacles it faces, what means of improvement are there, to what extent the more active offer of educational products would facilitate the process and based on this, what would the role played by the institutions of higher education be, what types of educational products would best be realized on the market in a short-term and medium term aspect. The motivation for such research is related both to the strive to improve the status of the consumer rights protection in Bulgaria and the intention of Tsenov Academy of Economics in Svishtov, Bulgaria and the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest to collaborate towards intensifying the cross-border co-operation and facilitate the human resource development in the region by jointly offering educational products.
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