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   Out-of-court bodies involved in the consensual resolution of consumer disputes (Commission Recommendation 2001/310/EC)

The Council noted in its Resolution on a Community Wide Network of national bodies for the extra-judicial settlement of consumer disputes (13 April 2000) that many out-of-court mechanisms exist fell outside the scope of Recommendation 98/257/EC but which also play a useful role for resolving consumer disputes and invited the Commission to develop further criteria. Recommendation 98/257/EC is limited to procedures where a third party proposes or imposes a decision to resolve the dispute (such as arbitration) but does not cover consensual settlement procedures (such as mediation) where the third party facilitates the resolution of a consumer dispute by bringing the parties together and assisting them in reaching a solution by common consent.

The 2001 Recommendation ES DA DE FR IT NL PT FI SV (+/-115KB) establishes common criteria that these consensual procedures should meet in order to give consumers and business confidence that their disputes will be handled with fairness, rigour and effectiveness. The criteria do not prescribe how such procedures should operate but identify a set of principles that such procedures should follow in order to ensure a common minimum standard. Member States have been asked to notify the Commission of such procedures meeting the common criteria for inclusion on this database.




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