Tell the European Court of Justice: Bulgarian consumers are people too.

Tell the European Court of Justice: Bulgarian consumers are people too.

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consumerightswatch started this petition to The President of the ECJ - Professor Koenraad Lenaerts (consumerightswatch)

 

Consumer slavery in Bulgaria is a national tragedy. For decades, the Energy sector in this communist country has been monopolized by organized criminal syndicates, otherwise known as Heat Distribution companies. For decades, tens of thousands of so called "consumers" have been forced to pay unwillingly for unsolicited supply of goods and services by those companies. Those who dare to refuse paying for something they do not want, do not need and do not use, are invariably summoned to the courts and convicted with grave consequences. Even after the accession of Bulgaria to the European Union, the kleptocratic Bulgarian government have been ignoring completely the relevant consumer protection legislation of the Union, by failing to transpose this legislation into the Bulgarian national law and subsequently implement the intended outcome.

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In 2017, after much pressure from consumer rights groups, the unthinkable happened -  by two references for a preliminary ruling, the Regional court in Asenovgrad and the Sofiyski regional court, referred several questions to the Court of Justice concerning, in essence, the compatibility of the Bulgarian legislation on the supply of thermal energy with Directive 2011/83/EU (2) on consumer rights and with Directive 2006/32/EC (3) on energy end-use efficiency and energy services and Directive 2012/27/EU (4) on energy efficiency. These references have been made in the course of proceedings between, on the one hand, EVN Bulgaria Toplofikatsia EAD ('EVN') and Ms Nikolina Stefanova Dimitrova and, on the other, Toplofikatsia Sofia EAD and Mr. Mitko Simeonov Dimitrov, concerning the refusal of those individuals to pay their "heating bills". They dispute the bills at issue by claiming that, although their building is supplied by a heat network, they have not consented to receive district heating and do not use it in their respective apartments.

 

While this is unprecedented, historical opportunity for the European Court of Justice to defend the right of every individual consumer to say NO to any unsolicited supply of goods and services, without being punished, someone is attempting, or so it seems,  to sabotage the pending ECJ ruling on this matter. That person has a name - Advocate General SAUGMANDSGAARD ØE.

http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/document.jsf?text=&docid=213510&pageIndex=0&doclang=EN&mode=req&dir=&occ=first&part=1&cid=3290507

In his Opinion, published on the 30th of April 2019, Mr.. Saugmansgaard, shamelessly and cynically defends the interests of the Heat Distribution monopolies and their allies - the Bulgarian State and Judiciary.  We do not question the professional abilities of the Advocate General. However, it must be pointed out that his Opinion, intentionally or not, is fundamentally flawed, as inferences are drawn, based on carefully selected, possibly by his Bulgarian counterparts, fragments of the relevant national legislative acts, which, taken out of context and twisted, give as a whole completely distorted picture of the actual state of affairs, thus failing to address the real issues at hand.

 

In an attempt to remedy the potentially disastrous consequences of this Opinion, which is very likely to affect adversely the ECJ's ruling on the case, a Bulgarian consumer rights activist, who wishes to remain anonymous, wrote an Observation, https://write.as/jm2c40x9o1vfcgm5 , referencing the Advocate General's opinion. The only purpose of this observation was to blow the whistle on the judges of the Court, warning them to study in depth the relevant national legislative acts, before deciding on the cases before them. The Observation was sent to the Registry of the Court via e-mail on the 16th of June 2019. The memo, Https://write.as/4y5b44qsjc9783r3 , received a week later, came as a shock. The Registry would not permit any correspondence between  victims of injustice and members of the Court of Justice. Such irrational behavior raises well founded suspicions that the Energy sector monopolies in Bulgaria may have a powerful lobby in the ECJ, as well as other European institutions.

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