The Consumer Academy is an intensive training platform with several stages, aiming to bring public administration employees, merchants, consumers, and civil society members to a table to be trained and expand knowledge on the rights of consumers, on consumer contracts, and on responsible institutions in the field of consumer protection and market surveillance at the local and central level. What’s innovative about the Academy is its focus on negotiations with the European Union, its different stages, the responsibilities of public institutions as well as the involvement of civil society members, especially in the second cluster.
Our goal is to provide participants with knowledge and skills to become key actors on consumer issues and the European integration process. The more informed and responsive the citizens are, the more responsible institutions will be.
As part of Consumer Academy 5, several study visits were conducted at three different institutions that deal with consumer issues. On June 2, 2023, we made the first visit to the Consumer Protection Commission at the Ministry of Finance and Economy; the meeting was attended by Clotilda Neziri and Gjyshja Dhamo.
The second visit took place on June 8, 2023 at the institution Commissioner for Protection from Discrimination. In this meeting, we discussed the structure of the institution, its legal framework and alignment with EU directives, the administrative investigation, and the Commissioner's decisions with the representatives of this institution, Bruna Menalla, Vilfrida Bushati and Esmeralda Xhamallati.
On June 23, 2023, another study visit was made to the main institution protecting food safety in Albania: the National Food Authority. In this meeting, we were welcomed by the director, Jeta Deda, and other representatives. Ms. Deda discussed the challenges for the institution, its priorities, empowering and informing consumers, the role of food business operators and obligations as far as EU integration with the participants of the Academy.
A handbook on consumer issues and the EU negotiation process was also drafted. The manual covers the situation in Albania and the impact and obligations arising from the membership negotiation process, with a special focus on Chapter 12 and Chapter 28.