Alternative dispute resolution


The Commission is proposing to modernise and simplify rules on out-of-court dispute resolution to adapt them to digital markets. This proposal will expand the range of issues that can be resolved through the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Directive out-of-court, including matters related to misleading advertising, access to services and unjustified geoblocking. To make this option more accessible to consumers, designated bodies such as the European Consumer Centres Network will assist consumers in understanding and accessing alternative dispute resolution procedures. The goal of the proposal is also to expedite the procedures.

The objectives of the review are to:

- make the ADR framework fit to the digital markets by covering all categories of disputes concerning EU consumer rights; 

- improve the access to ADR in cross-border disputes through the use of digital tools, assistance to consumers and traders;

- simplify ADR procedures to all actors; including reducing reporting obligations of ADR entities and information obligations of traders whilst encouraging traders to increase their engagement in ADR claims through the duty to reply;

- discontinue the ODR platform and replace it by user-friendly digital tools to assist consumers in finding a redress tool to resolve their dispute;

- incentivise online marketplaces and EU trade associations having a dispute resolution mechanism to get aligned with the quality criteria in the ADR Directive;


Key points


  • supports the development of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) as an alternative to court proceedings when consumers seek redress for the damage traders may cause them, alongside accessible judicial proceedings and enforcement of consumer rights by national authorities;
  • underlines the importance of encouraging Member States and industries to set up such schemes and of encouraging traders, including SMEs, to join them voluntarily and calls on the Commission to review the progress of ADR schemes three years after the implementation of the proposed Directive;
  • considers feedback from ADR instances to be extremely valuable both to professionals and legislators or regulators. Therefore, it calls for fast-track reporting of crisis situations on top of the requirement of biennial publication of activity reports by ADR schemes. It calls on the Commission to incorporate feedback from ADR platforms in its evaluations of sectoral regulations;
  • calls on the legislators to be more precise about the requirement for consumers to first seek contact with the trader before resorting to an ADR scheme and about sanctions applicable to traders who do not comply with the requirement to report on their acceptance of the ADR procedure within the 20 working days mentioned in the proposals.


Additional information

Section: Single Market, Production and Consumption (INT)

Opinion number: INT/1047

Opinion type: Mandatory

Referral: COM(2023) 647 final 2023/0375 COD COM(2023) 649 final 2023/0376 COD

Rapporteur: Wautier Robyns De Schneidauer (Group I - Belgium)

Date of adoption by section: 29 January 2024

Result of the vote: 78 in favour, 4 against, 7 abstentions

Date of adoption in plenary: 14-15 February 2024

Result of the vote: 162 in favour, 0 against, 0 abstentions



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