Research projects at the School of Law

Protecting consumers against abusive debt recovery practices: lessons from Germany and the Baltic States

Protecting consumers against abusive debt recovery practices: lessons from Germany and the Baltic States

The total duration of the project: 01.06.2024-15.11.2024

This project of the Baltic-German University Liaison Office is supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) with funds from the Foreign Office of the Federal Republic Germany.

The countries and institutions involved in the project:

1. Estonia, University of Tartu

2. Latvia, University of Latvia

3. Lithuania, University of Vilnius

4. Germany, University of Oldenburg

Description of the project:

Abusive debt recovery practices are one of the most concerning problems for the Baltic consumers. 
They stem largely from the fact that the legal regulation of these activities has been very limited, and the question of regulatory choices has just started in the Baltic states. 
The participants of the project will gather comparative knowledge on the debt recovery practices in Germany and Baltics and discuss solutions that are available (or missing) in respective jurisdictions. 
Among others, it is analysed how unfair commercial practices and data protection rules can be utilized to protect consumers against abusive debt collectors.

Public events

Seminar “Abusive debt recovery practices: lessons from the Baltic States and Germany” to be held in Tallinn, Kaarli pst 3, Estonia on 19 September 2024.

Additional information about the program is here

Project manager

Prof Karin Sein, Professor, University of Tartu

Project members, speakers and as the authors of the country report

Peter Rott, Professor, University of Oldenburg

Vadims Mantrovs, Associate Professor, University of Latvia

Laurynas Didžiulis, Associate Professor, University of Vilnius

Read more about program from website

The Baltic-German University Liaison Office

http://www.hochschulkontor.lv/en/

Fair MusE: Promoting Fairness of the Music Ecosystem in a Platform-Dominated and Post-Pandemic Europe

Project duration: 01.03.2023–28.02.2026

Funding programme: Horizon Europe. European Commission.

Fair MusE is funded by the European Union’s Horizon Europe Research and Innovation Programme under Grant agreement ID: 101095088.

The European Commission's support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein. Continue reading.

About the project

The overarching goal of Fair MusE is to promote fairness for music creators and stakeholders from an interdisciplinary perspective, thus leading to a more competitive and sustainable music ecosystem in Europe.

The project will provide an innovative and future-proof set of co-created responses and solutions aimed at promoting and enhancing transparency in music industry practices, standardisation in data collection, recommendations and awareness around risks created by the reinforced dominance of the largest online platforms.

FairMusE is a 3-year project funded by Horizon Europe. It aims to help the music ecosystem become more fair and transparent at a time it struggles with the over-dominance of social media platforms and streaming services in a post-pandemic Europe.

With a total budget of €3m from the EU’s Horizon Europe programme and 11 partners from 9 different countries.

Continue reading

Our role - how is Fair MusE project related to the Faculty of Law of the University of Tartu?

This project includes Estonia as one of the countries to be covered in its analysis. The project aims to identify how the Copyright Directive is implemented at national level and how national rules materialise the rights of music creators.

Being a research focused on digitalization, the project and its members at the University of Tartu are connected to the School's IT law programme.

Prof Marta Cantero Gamito, PI of the project, and Prof Aleksei Kelli, Professor in IP Law, will investigate how regulation contributes to the fair remuneration of music creators.  

The consortium is composed of several universities and industry partners, facilitating cooperation among higher education institutions and establiushing connections outside academia.

This project will produce policy-oriented research. The overarching goal of Fair MusE is to promote fairness for music creators and stakeholders from an interdisciplinary perspective, thus leading to a more transparent, competitive and sustainable music ecosystem in Europe.

Fair MusE focuses specifically on the domination of online platforms and their algorithms and will investigate:

  1. (i) the legal responses that have been proposed in the EU;
  2. (ii) the changes these platforms have brought to the music industry and music professionals; and
  3. (iii) the impact of such algorithms on music consumption.

Fair MusE will provide an interdisciplinary analysis of fairness in the music industry involving music creators and stakeholders in the research; promote and enhance transparency concerning music industry practices and standardisation in data collection in the European music ecosystem; and assess the risks created by the reinforced dominance of the largest online platforms prompted by COVID 19 as well as making policymakers, stakeholders and the general public aware of such risks.

To do so, Fair MusE will provide an innovative, strong and future-proof set of co-created responses and solutions:

  • the 'Music Copyright Infrastructure', a data-sharing model agreement enhancing transparency;
  • a 'Music Data Dashboard' of statistical indicators on the economic and societal value of the European music sector;
  • the 'Fairness Score', a tool to assess music services and social media in terms of fairness’ multiple facets;
  • and a ‘White Paper’ embodying policy recommendations to enhance competitiveness, sustainability, transparency and fairness of the EU music ecosystem.

Our consortium is a carefully designed interdisciplinary group of academic and industry partners with strong expertise in the fields of law, economics, political science and computer science, supported by an Advisory Board composed of a highly qualified and broadly representative group of industry experts.

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Marta Cantero Gamito
General Department
Tartu Office
Visiting Professor 0.7 p
Näituse 20–303
Marta Cantero Gamito
General Department
Tartu Office
Visiting Professor 0.7 p
Näituse 20–303

iProcureNet - Innovation by developing a European Procurer Networking for security research services

Project duration: 01.05.201930.04.2024

Funding programme: Horizon 2020 Programme. European Commission.

Project home page.

The iProcureNet project aims to build an EU network of organisations centred on the procurement of security solutions, together with a larger community of experts.

Via the established Network+Community, iProcureNet will facilitate collaboration and dialogue among procurers, enabling:

  1. i) coordinated sharing and analysis of procurement trends,
  2. ii) development of common and standardised practices from the technical, legal and financial perspectives, and
  3. iii) establishing pathways for joint procurement of innovative and new to market solutions, research services, and commercial off-the-shelf products in the field of security.

iProcureNet

  • will develop the iProcureNet Toolbox including a comprehensive methodology, guidelines and a knowledge database of current procurement practices and processes in Europe;
  • and will create a firm foundation for the set-up of Established Buyers Groups.

Ultimately, iProcureNet, will aim to create a stepping stone to future collaboration in the form of a future investment plan for collaborative procurement actions, and to develop detailed pro-innovation procurement strategies.

The Network+Community will be supported by

  1. i) the iProcureNet Online Platform (IPOP) enabling professional social networking and online dialogue on good practices and procurers’ needs;
  2. ii) a sustainable organisational set-up composed of well organised bodies and processes, and
  3. iii) appropriate communication and dissemination activities iincluding Annual Conferences, trainings and workshops.

The consortium includes 15 partners, out of which 10 are procurement agencies.

MSVOI19317R "Innovation by developing a European Procurer Networking for security research services" (1.05.2019−30.04.2024);

Principal Investigator: Mari Ann Simovart; University of Tartu, Faculty of Social Sciences, School of Law (partner);

Financier: European Commission; Financing: 62 750 EUR.

Mari Ann Simovart
Department of Public Law
Tallinn Office
Acting Head, Professor of Economic Law
+372 627 1886
Mari Ann Simovart
Department of Public Law
Tallinn Office
Acting Head, Professor of Economic Law
+372 627 1886

Public administration vs public procurement: legal aspects of a "make or buy" decision

Project duration: 2022 - 2025

Funding programme: Estonian Research CouncilPersonal research funding

Personal research grants are funding allocated for a high-quality R&D project carried out by a person or a research group working at an R&D institution.

This project aim is to increase legal clarity about the freedom to "make or buy" and give guidance for public authorities, policy makers and legislators on such choices.

In order to fulfill its duties to the society, publi sector needs sufficient resources and means. In particular, making rapid and sufficient purchases become critical in crises situations. Before acquiring stocks and resources, building relevant structures or designing necessary services, public sector can from time to time face the choice of weather to make itself or buy from economic operators on the market. This research project analyses what are the legal rules and restrictions concerning the make or buy decisions:

  • What guidance is provided under the EU and Estonian case-law?
  • How to guarantee that decision making relies on proper legal considerations?
  • Which duties of diligence is the decision-maker subject to?
  • Which legal rationale should the policy-makers and legislators follow?

By finding these answers, we increase legal clarity about the freedom to "make or buy" and we can provide guidance for public authorities, policy makers and legislators on such choices.

The principal investigator is University of Tartu, School of Law's associate professor Mari Ann Simovart. Other research staff are associate professor Carri Ginter, Chairman of the Administrative Law Chamber and associate professor Ivo Pilving and recent PhD Kadri Härginen. In addition, PhD students of School of Law contribute to the project.

Read more form Estonian Research Information System homepage.

Mari Ann Simovart
Department of Public Law
Tallinn Office
Acting Head, Professor of Economic Law
+372 627 1886
Mari Ann Simovart
Department of Public Law
Tallinn Office
Acting Head, Professor of Economic Law
+372 627 1886

Concluded projects

iProcureNet: Innovation by developing a European Procurer Networking for security research services

Project duration: 2019-2024

Funding programme: Horizon 2020. European Commission.

The iProcureNet project aims to build an EU network of organisations centred on the procurement of security solutions, together with a larger community of experts. iProcureNet will develop the iProcureNet Toolbox including a comprehensive methodology, guidelines and a knowledge database of current procurement practices and processes in Europe; and will create a firm foundation for the set-up of Established Buyers Groups. Ultimately, iProcureNet, will aim to create a stepping stone to future collaboration in the form of a future investment plan for collaborative procurement actions, and to develop detailed pro-innovation procurement strategies.

There are no completed projects.

UproEU – „Engaging young talent to promote comprehensive understanding of EU law“

Project duration: 2019-2022

Project home page  https://sisu.ut.ee/uproeu/avaleht

Funding programme: European Commission

The general objective of the UproEU project is to advance the comprehensive studies of EU law. Taking into consideration the corner stone of the project UproEU – engaging young talent to promote comprehensive understanding of EU law – we are engaging current law students and recent graduates in organizing and teaching courses, coaching mooting teams, researching and writing publications on EU law. We believe that this approach of engaging our young professionals guarantees a much wider impact on the students, the legal market and the community. Young EU law professionals develop organically with the project. With this we engage young talent to promote comprehensive understanding of EU law – youth with a professional EU law attitude – UproEU.

Grant holder: Carri Ginter


I.N.T.I.T – Integrated Trauma Informed Therapy for Child Victims of Violence

Project duration: 2020-2022

Funding programme: Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme. European Commission

The project aims to map the best practices in integrated trauma informed therapy for child victims of violence, to develop a training programme for professionals and to teach trainers. The project also aims to raise the awareness among law enforcement professionals, and improve the availability of trauma-aware therapy in partner countries.

The treatment needs of child victims of violence are an important issue as it is estimated that more than 100 million children in the European Union experience some form of violence. At the same time, participation in criminal proceedings, taking into account its needs, can contribute to re-victimization and hinder the treatment process.

Consequently, it is necessary to implement trauma-informed therapy and services for child victims, which, in accordance with European Union directives, protect the rights of the children and at the same time ensure the integrity of court proceedings.

The project partners are from Italy, Cyprus, Spain and Germany, and the main coordinator is the Psychoanalytic Institute for Social Research from Italy. In Estonia, the project is implemented by the School of Law of the University of Tartu.

Grant holder: Anna Markina

Protection of consumer rights in the Digital Single Market - Contractual Aspects

Project duration: 2018-2021

Funding programme: Personal Research Grant. Estonian Research Council

The project analyzes the contractual aspects of consumer protection within the Digital Single Market initiated by the European Commission. The study concentrates on four main areas: 1) contractual aspects of platform economy, 2) contractual standards of digital content and consumer’s remedies for defective digital content; and 3) transposition of the proposed Directive on digital content contracts into national law and 4) certain other legislative initiatives of the Digital Single Market concerning contractual consumer rights, eg Geoblocking Regulation. Special focus will be set on modern business models where counter-performance of the consumer is not in money but rather in providing his personal data. It might be that in those cases different consumer protection rules are needed to find a balance between the rights of the supplier and consumer and to foster data-driven innovation. Certain connections between contractual consumer rights and copyright law will also be addressed.

Grant holder: Karin Sein


SeRV – Services and Rights for Victims of Crime

Project duration: 2019-2021

Funding programme: European Union's Justice Programme

Project home page  https://sisu.ut.ee/serv/

Services and Rights for Victims of Crime project participants are six countries that present different victim support models and victim protection cultures. The countries include Italy, Spain, Romania, Germany, Estonia, and Portugal, all presenting highly qualified expertise. The University of Tartu (Estonia) is the main SeRV project coordinator.

Project activities include Research and Analyses, Strategic Plan Development, Model Identification and Transnational Exchange.

Project outcomes include more cooperation, best practice exchange and better service provision henceforward on different levels, such as: for victims, for service providers, for policy makers on national and EU level and for general public.

Grant holder: Anna Markina

Sovereignty and the Right to Regulate (2017-2020)

Learn more about the project.

Funding programme: Horizon 2020. European Commission

Grant holder: Hent-Raul Kalmo

FLOW - Flows of Illicit Funds and Victims of Human Trafficking: Uncovering the Complexities (2018-2020)

Funding programme: Internal Security Fund – Police. European Commission

Grant holder: Anna Markina

PROMISE - Promoting Youth Involvement and Social Engagement: Opportunities and Challenges for 'Conflicted' Young People Across Europe (2016-2019)

Project results

Funding programme: Horizon 2020. European Commission

Grant holder: Anna Markina

 

Integrated Baltic Offshore Wind Electricity Grid Development (2016-2019)

Project results

Funding programme: Interreg Baltic Sea Region. European Commission

Grant holder: Hannes Veinla

 

The Evolution of Human Rights Law and Discourse in the Russian Federation and its Interaction with Human Rights in Europe and the World (2014-2019)

Funding programme: Institutional research grant. Estonian Research Council

Grant holder: Lauri Mälksoo

Protection and Use of Industrial Property in Estonia: Economic and Legal Perspectives (2017-2018)

Funding programme: RITA4. Estonian Research Council

Grant holder: Aleksei Kelli