Brussels, 18 December 2012
Alternative and Online Dispute Resolution soon to become a reality for European consumers
Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, Tonio Borg, today welcomed the vote on Alternative Dispute Resolution and Online Dispute Resolution (ADR-ODR) in the Internal Market and Consumers Committee. This vote confirms the agreement reached between the European Parliament and the Council on the two proposals put forward by the European Commission in 2011. Member States will start implementing the ADR/ODR rules after their final adoption by Parliament, in the second quarter of 2013.
The rules on ADR will ensure that contractual disputes between consumers and traders are settled out of court through quality alternative dispute resolution entities. These will operate in all Member States and in all sectors, with the exception of health and higher education.
The ODR Regulation will set up an EU-wide online platform for handling disputes between consumers and traders, arising from online transactions. The platform will link all the national alternative dispute resolution entities and will operate in all official EU languages. Traders will be required to provide consumers with adequate information on ADR and ODR.
Tonio Borg said: "This legislation is a victory for consumers and a milestone in the functioning of the single market. It will boost consumers and traders' confidence in the Single Market by enabling them to solve their disputes easily and at little expense, no matter whether they purchased locally or cross-border, online or offline". He concluded: "I would like to thank the Internal Market and Consumers Committee and in particular the rapporteurs of the two proposals, Louis Grech and Róża Gräfin von Thun and Hohenstein, for their determination in achieving a balanced and rapid agreement. I would also like to thank the Member States and the Cypriot Presidency for their intensive work and commitment to these files."
For more information:
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Frédéric Vincent (+32 2 298 71 66)
Aikaterini Apostola (+32 2 298 76 24)