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Evaluation of practical experiences with the Consumer Information Act (VIG) and drafting of concrete suggestions for legal changes

Description:

In practice, this law is especially criticized by several consumer protection organizations as being too complicated and too expensive. After conducting and evaluating the surveys within the framework of this study, this assessment cannot be sustained. By the deadline of this study 378 of the 487 compiled requests had been completely processed. In approximately half of the cases, access to information was granted, whereas 29,9 % were denied. In the majority of the cases, the deadlines prescribed by the law were complied with. Failures in meeting the deadline especially occurred with extensive global requests, in which relevant third-parties had to be involved. In the vast majority of cases, no fees were levied - in only 6 cases more than 250 Euros. Within this study, the focus of examination concerned the question of expanding the application area of the VIG. Expansion was rejected due to the variety of specific information and labeling duties already written into German and European law. In public discussion this often fails to be recognized. Likewise, there has been failure to recognize that, next to the VIG, additional information rights exist, for example, according to the Freedom of Information Act (Informationsfreiheitsgesetz, IFG) also about financial services as well as according to the Environmental Information Act (Umweltinformationsgesetz, UIG). It is recommended to align and systematize the existing legal information rights and to summarize them into a uniform law, which should be amended by special regulations for case-specific exceptions. Especially the request procedure, matters of exclusion, the involvement of thirdparties as well as cost factors and legal protection should be uniformly constructed. A special regulation for request-independent active information and warnings by the authorities should be anchored in the Food and Feed Code (Lebens- und Futtermittelgesetzbuch, LFGB).

Executive Institute:

Faculty of Law Details of Faculty of Law

Parent institution:

University of Marburg Details of University of Marburg (Hesse)

Contract period:

01. 05. 2009 - 31. 12. 2010

Project budget:

199,325 €

Funding Programme:

Subject:

  • Communication Sciences

Purpose of research:

Inventory & Assessment

Funding Institutions:

Project Management Agency: