What are the ADR standards in European Union?
A significant systems diversification of out-of-court disputes settlement in E.U countries makes that they also differ as far as the binding power of their decisions is concerned. Not all the systems of out-of-court disputes settlement applied in Europe give also the same guarantee. While taking into consideration these circumstances and in order to facilitate the consumers’ possibility to pursue disputes within a unified E.U market in cross-border transactions, the European Commission specified minimum standards for systems of out-of-court consumer disputes settlement on the basis of the rules of independence, transparency, effectiveness and respect of law.
Minimum standards related to ADR are regulated by:
- Commission’s Recommendation 98/257/WE of March 30th, 1998 referring to the rules applied by authorities responsible for out-of-court consumer disputes settlement – Journal of Acts L 115 of 17.4.1998
- Commission’s Recommendation 2001/310/WE of April 4th, 2001 referring to the rules applied by out-of-court authorities responsible for amicable settlement of consumer disputes – Journal of Acts L 109 of 19.4.2001.
E.U member states notify the European Commission on the domestic out-of-court entities meeting the minimum criteria specified in Recommendations of European Commission. The information on the notified ADR systems are gathered, updated and made available by the European Commission by means of a data base . The date base is especially used in cross-border disputes. It allows the consumers, entrepreneurs and consumer organisations for specifying the most proper available method of disputes settlement. The date base allows also for comparison of various models of ADR systems functioning in the Member States and for building cooperation between European ADR systems.
European Consumer Centres Network supports the E.U Member States and European Commission in the development and promotion of ADR systems and update of data base. ECC Network provides information and assists consumers in pursuing claims by ADR systems in cross-border disputes.