FOR more than two years, the Cyprus Property Action Group (CPAG) has been enlisting the support of MEPs and is making significant progress in gaining the assistance of the European Union to investigate the many potential problems faced by those buying property on the island.
Some of the key points from CPAG’s comprehensive update on progress are summarised below. For a full report see UPDATE: July 2012 – EU Commission – European Court of Human Rights.
Late last year, following a petition by CPAG and 41 MEPs, EU Commission Vice President Viviane Reding confirmed that “…an administrative letter has been sent to the Cypriot authorities enquiring on the one hand, as to the actions carried out at national level to address the reported practices and… On the other hand, about the measures taken to ensure that consumers are adequately informed about the Cypriot law transposing Directive 2005/29/EC on Unfair Commercial Practices (the ‘UCPD’).”
Following a response to that administrative letter, the Commission has instigated a pre-infringement procedure and the EU is presently considering whether to take Cyprus to the European Court of Justice for its failure to comply with EU law.
At the Commission’s request, CPAG has been working with the EC’s Berlin-based consultants tasked with reviewing the implementation of the UCPD. Annex 1 of the Directive contains a ‘black list’ of 31 “Commercial Practices which are in all Circumstances Considered Unfair”.
With the support of MEPs, a recommendation has been made that the act of withholding legal title to property is added to the UCPD’s ‘black list’ when the UCPD is next reviewed.
European Court of Human Rights
CPAG has also been assisting a number of buyers whose complaints to the Cyprus Consumer Protection Service (CCPS) had been rejected. (The CCPS is the responsible agency for enforcing the UCPD). These buyers have now turned to Europe for assistance and their cases have been accepted by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and will be heard in the coming months.
In closing, CPAG thanks those who continue to support their efforts especially those MEPs who have signed up to their cause.