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EU Alternative Dispute Resolution in Consumer cases.

28th November 2011

On 29 November, the European Commission will unveil a pack of legislative proposals to ensure that every EU consumer can solve their problems without going to court, regardless of the kind of product or service that the contractual dispute is about, and regardless of where they bought it in the single European market. The objective is to help boost consumers’ confidence to shop on the EU-wide single market, in the interest of savings and a greater choice, and to help the EU economy grow.

The background:

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) refers to helping consumers resolve disputes with traders when they have a problem with a product or service which they bought. ADR entities are out-of-court (non-judicial) entities. Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) means an alternative dispute resolution process aided by online technology. ODR entities allow consumers and businesses for their dispute to be handled online.

The European Commission issued two recommendations (in 1998 and 2001), defining common principles for efficient and effective ADR entities. National authorities have informed the Commission about those national ADR entities which they consider in conformity with these principles.

Alternative dispute resolution mechanisms are typically faster, cheaper and easier to use for consumers than courts. Nevertheless, at this stage, out-of-court dispute resolution in the EU is possible only for some business sectors or in some regions. The upcoming adoption of the pack of legislative proposals on ADR aims at tackling this issue.

The event:

What: Press Conference of Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, John Dalli

When: Tuesday 29/11/2011 after the Midday Briefing

Where: Berlaymont Press Room, in Brussels

IP – with a video message by Commissioner Dalli and MEMO will be available on the day

The sources:

Full text of the proposals (available on the day), all policy background and the database of national ADR entities notified to the Commission can be found at:


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