Subject files


Alternative dispute resolution and Online dispute resolution

IMCO 17-06-2014 - 17:00
Hearing ADR and ODR © European union

On 12 March 2013 the Parliament adopted in plenary two legal acts as first-reading agreements being the result of negotiations with the Council on the basis of earlier IMCO reports, namely a Directive on alternative dispute resolution for consumer disputes (ADR) and a Regulation on online dispute resolution for consumer disputes (ODR).

Whereas the ADR directive will ensure that quality out-of-court entities exist to deal with any contractual dispute between a consumer and a business, the ODR regulation will establish a European electronic platform offering a single point of entry to those who seek to resolve a dispute which has arisen from a cross-border e-commerce transaction.
Alternative dispute resolution schemes usually use a third party such as an arbitrator, mediator or an ombudsman to help the consumer and the trader to reach a solution in case of a dispute. Their advantage is offering more flexibility than going to court and better meeting the needs of both consumers and professionals. Compared to a court case these schemes are cheaper, quicker and more informal. In view of the fact that these out-of-court mechanisms have been developed differently across the European Union and that consumers often refrain from cross-border purchases because of uncertainty about who to turn to in case of a problem with a foreign trader, the need for regulatory action at the European level was identified and the Commission submitted legislative proposals in the end of 2012.
Following the vote of the Parliament, the Council has formally adopted the agreement on 24 April 2013, and both institutions have signed the Directive and the Regulation on 25 May 2013, allowing for their publication in the Official Journal on 18 June 2013. Member States will have to implement the ADR/ODR rules by July 2015; the ODR platform will be operational in January 2016.
Rapporteurs: ADR - Louis Grech (S&D), ODR - Róża Gräfin von Thun und Hohenstein (EPP)
Shadows rapporteurs: ADR - Hans-Peter Mayer (EPP), ODR - Mitro Repo (S&D), ADR/ODR - Robert Rochefort (ALDE), ADR/ODR - Heide Rühle (Greens/EFA), ADR/ODR - Ashley Fox (ECR), ADR - Denis de Jong (GUE/NGL), ODR - Kyriacos Triantaphyllides (GUE/NGL), ADR/ODR - Matteo Salvini (EDF).
Opinion-giving committees: JURI


    ADR: European Parliament legislative resolution of 12 March 2013
    ODR: European Parliament legislative resolution of 12 March 2013
    Consolidated texts of the agreement put to vote in plenary (ADR)
    Consolidated texts of the agreement put to vote in plenary (ODR)


    ADR: 4-column document
    ODR: 4-column document


    ADR Final Report
    ODR Final Report
    ADR Compromise amendments
    ODR Compromise amendments
    ADR Amendments
    ODR Amendments
    ADR Draft Report
    ODR Draft Report
    Rule 50 with JURI
    2011 IMCO opinion
    Notice to members: Summit on ADR for Consumers in the Internal Market

Public Hearing

    Final programme
    Slides by Dr Cortes
    Presentation by Dr Cortes
    Presentation by Pedro Oliveira - BusinessEurope
    Position paper by BEUC

European Commission documents

    Commission proposal ADR
    Commission proposal ODR
    Communication from EC on ADR and ODR
    ADR and ODR Impact Assessment
    ADR and ODR Impact Assessment Executive Summary
    2001 Recommendation
    1998 Recommendation

Council documents

    Council general approach
    Council Conclusions (30.01.2012)

Research and studies

    Why is mediation not used more often as a means of alternative dispute resolution?
    A Pan-European Trustmark for e-Commerce: Possibilities and Opportunities (2012)
    Redress & ADR in Cross-Border E-commerce Transactions (2007)


    12-03-2013: New EU rules to ensure rapid redress for disappointed shoppers
    11-03-2013: Faster and more efficient help for disappointed shoppers
    11-12-2012: Deal on rapid redress for disappointed shoppers
    12-07-2012: Counting the cost of consumer conflicts