EU Approval for Alternative Dispute Resolution and Online Dispute Resolution

On 12 March the European Parliament approved new rules on alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and online dispute resolution (ODR). These take the form of a directive on ADR and regulation on ODR, and will come into force 20 days after their publication in the EU Official Journal. EU Member States will then have 24 months to implement the rules into national law. The ODR platform will be available shortly afterwards. Rules enabling consumers to resolve disputes without court proceedings are important in the real estate sector and CEPI welcomes the agreement which has now been reached.

Many EU countries already have ADR schemes, but there is a lack of common standards. The ADR Directive means that there will be an ADR procedure available for all contractual disputes in every market sector. All ADR entities will have to meet quality criteria which guarantee that they operate in an effective, fair, independent and transparent way. Consumers will have to be informed about ADR. Arbitration should either be free or subject to a “nominal fee”.

The ODR Regulation will enable consumers and traders in the EU to submit disputes arising from online purchases to ADR online using the EU-wide dispute resolution platform. This platform will link all the national ADR entities, and will be subject to a set of common rules. It will provide a standard user-friendly complaint form in different languages.

More information is available on the DG SANCO webpage on ADR/ODR at