Vartotojų teisė į informaciją pagal naująjį vartotojų teisių direktyvos pasiūlymą: žingsnis pirmyn?
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The Article analyses how one of the basic consumer rights – the right to information – is regulated in the European Commission Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on consumer rights (hereinafter referred to as the Proposal): the article analyses trends of regulation of the consumers’ right to receive information; problems related to the scope of provided information and the issue of consumer standard that should be used in evaluating the sufficiency of provided information and transparency of contract terms. Furthermore, additional possibilities to improve the consumer right to receive information at the national level are shortly discussed. The regulation of the consumer right to receive information established in the Proposal may imply a new era in the regulation of the B2C relations, where the aim to ensure high common level of consumer protection is opposed against the aim to ensure the balance of interests of consumers and business. Such „slight“ conversion of the aims may impact the application of legal norms regulating consumer right to information and the scope of the disclosure obligation of the business, while reducing the level of the consumer protection. Regulation of the scope of information to be provided to the consumer and the consequences of non-disclosure foreseen in the Proposal may cause many problems to the Member States in terms of implementation of the Directive. In Lithuania, it may mean reduction of the level of consumer protection. Firstly, Lithuanian law establishes a general and open legal norm for the obligation to provide information and an obligation to provide information in Lithuanian; secondly, it elaborates the information related to price. From both perspectives it can be considered that Lithuanian legal norms do not comply with the requirements of the Proposal. The Proposal confusedly regulates the consequences of non-disclosure in relation to regulation of contract terms, which are not transparent. However, it should be considered that the recognition of the term as unfair is one of the consequences of non-disclosure and that a term that fails to comply with the requirement of transparency is contrary to the principle of good faith. Additional measures might be applied for improving the consumers’ right to information at national level: The State Consumer Rights Protection Authority should not only publish all of its decisions related to unfair terms and unfair commercial practice, but should also justify its decisions (provide detailed argumentation and motivation in the decisions); in addition, it could analyze its decisions and provide certain recommendations for consumers and businesses. The Proposal gives no answer as to the kind of consumer standard to be applied by implementing the consumers’ right to receive information and by applying the transparency principle. If the benchmark of the consumer means that the consumer should not only read the terms of the contract but should also ascertain the meaning and the scope of the contract terms, understand all of them, etc., the essence of consumer protection philosophy would be denied. Such a benchmark of the consumer is when a person can understand the information provided and the contract terms without any additional endeavour, especially without any assistance of third parties.
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