Commission Borg: The adoption of ADR and ODR legislation is a milestone for the completion of the internal market.
As part of Ireland’s Presidency programme, the European Consumer Centre in Ireland (ECC Ireland) today hosted the European Consumer Centre Network’s (ECC-Net) annual conference which discussed the recently adopted Directive on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and the accompanying Regulation on Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) of consumer disputes.
Agreed by the European Parliament and European Council, the ADR/ODR package is designed to give consumers effective, inexpensive and efficient means of resolving domestic and cross-border disputes involving both online and offline sales and service transactions.
Opening the conference Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD said “Technology has made it easier for consumers to purchase goods and services across the EU. As a result, it is essential that effective and inexpensive dispute resolution mechanisms such as ADR and ODR are available to all consumers. These tools will be vital if we are to continue to maximise the benefits including new opportunities for job creation and economic growth.”
Minister Bruton - “The aim is to have the new consumer dispute mechanisms operational across the EU by the end of 2015 at the latest."
“As well as ensuring consumer confidence in the internal market, these dispute resolutioninitiatives will also ensure businesses will be able to settle disputes with consumers quickly, simply and effectively, out of court – minimising any costs and damage to their reputation.”
“The aim is to have the new consumer dispute mechanisms operational across the EU by the end of 2015 at the latest.”
European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, Tonio Borg, said: "The adoption of the ADR and ODR legislation is a milestone for the completion of the internal market for retail trade, for the benefit of both consumers and retailers. I believe this legislation can improve citizen’s everyday lives. We should give it all our support to turn it into reality".
The findings of ECC Ireland’s report, “Implication of the Proposed ADR Directive for the Resolution of Consumer Disputes in Ireland”were presented at the conference with the authors noting that ADR is gaining an increasingly strong foothold in the Irish legal landscape.
The conference also heard from Professor Christopher Hodges of Oxford University, an international expert in ADR who gave a comprehensive analysis of the current ADR landscape across Europe and outlined best practice in designing consumer ADR systems.
Other speakers at today’s conference include Brian Hutchinson Senior Lecturer, UCD School of Law who presented current initiatives in ODR while Alan Nolan of The Society of the Irish Motor Industry gave the business perspective.
The conference provides a timely opportunity for all stakeholders to discuss the forthcoming legislation on ADR and ODR which has recently been adopted by the European Council.The legislation aims to empower consumers and assist the future development of the internal market by enabling consumers and traders to solve their contractual disputes in a simple, quick and inexpensive manner.
Notes to Editor:
Read ECC Ireland’s report “The Implication of the Proposed ADR Directive for the Resolution of Consumer Disputes in Ireland”
This report was commissioned by ECC Ireland on behalf of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation in order to examine ADR as it currently exists in Ireland and to advance the discussion of these important legislative developments in the context of the Irish Presidency.
Last month the European Council adopted a directive on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and a Regulation on Online Dispute Resolution (ODR). The ADR/ODR package as agreed by both the European Parliament and the European Council is intended to facilitate access by consumers to effective, inexpensive and efficient means of resolving domestic and cross-border disputes, involving both online and offline transactions which arise from sales and service contracts with traders. The package aims to increase consumer confidence and encourage consumers to search more actively for good offers and better prices across the EU’s Single Market, thereby driving competition and economic growth.
The European Consumer Centre Network is made up of 29 centres across Europe working together to resolve cross-border consumer complaints in an amicable manner. Promoting awareness of, and access to, Alternative Dispute Resolution is an essential part of ECC-Net’s objectives. The Network is jointly funded by the European Commission and national governments.
The twitter hashtag for the conference is #ECC13