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Report

East Europe Foundation is implementing in partnership with “Eurasia Partnership” Foundation from Georgia in the period of 2013-2015 the project “Transparent Convergence to EU Policies in Sanitary Issues: the case of Georgia and Moldova”. The initiative is co-financed by the Swedish Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.

The project aims at contributing to improved socio-economic conditions for the citizens of Moldova and Georgia through supporting transparent convergence to EU policies in sanitary and consumer protection issues. The action is relevant in its efforts to enhance stakeholder understanding of and adherence to sanitary standards and to contribute to improved food safety legislation and practice in both countries.

In order to achieve the planned goals, East Europe Foundation and its partners work closely with civil society actors, public authorities, consumers and food producers to strengthen their capacities in the sanitary field and encourage a better communication between these target groups. The expected results are better informed and more active consumers, more competitive food products and improved proximity of national food legislation to EU legal standards.

Within this project, East-Europe Foundation created and is currently managing three consumers’ assistance services (CAS) located in Chisinau, Cahul and Balti (North, Center, South) this being one of the key points of the entire project.

All three consumers’ assistance services were established within local NGOs which will eventually become reference centers at the local level and will offer assistance to consumers when their rights will be infringed.

CAS Chişinău – Centre for the analysis and prevention of corruption

CAS Cahul – Regional Informational Assistance Center of NGOs “CONTACT”

CAS Bălţi – “University Legal Clinic”, Balti

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The Consumers’ Assistance Centers offer the following services:

1. Informing and educating consumers in regards to food safety:

- Composition, labeling and methods of preserving food products;
- Complete, correct and precise information about the purchased products;
- Samples of goods which meet the safety requirements and standards

2. Consulting and offering assistance to citizens by calling the hotline regarding their rights and actions to follow.  

3. Offering primary assistance to plaintiffs on the cases where consumers’ rights were infringed.  

4. Putting into contact the plaintiffs with the lawyers and monitors for receiving legal assistance and taking products’ samplings to laboratory.   

5. Disseminating information and giving support to the plaintiffs in order to address the authorities in charge with consumers’ rights protection.

6. Informing the responsible authorities on the identified cases of counterfeit products which can be harmful for peoples’ health.

7. Identifying, systematizing and submitting proposals for adjusting the legal framework in the field of food safety.

8. Assisting and consulting active and interested NGOs in the field of protection consumers’ rights.

9. Offering assistance to the economic agents on their rights, as well as responsibilities.

10. Offering other types of necessary assistance for implementing the project “Increasing food safety amongst consumers”

 

Moreover, aiming at encouraging the food producers to be responsible, to follow the standards of food safety, labeling and protect consumers’ rights, East Europe Foundation will organize the annual contest “We promote food security” where the most responsible producers will be rewarded.

The main idea of the contest is to identify those companies which are complying with the general food regulations, acting in a responsible manner by taking into account the interests and rights of consumers. The award will be given to the applicant who will prove the best results in following the food safety conditions, standardization and labeling.

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