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Although the number of cross-border consumer transactions are still relatively low, they are expected to grow as the full potential of the Internal Market is realised. In turn, this will increase the number of cross-border disputes. It is therefore important to ensure that alternative dispute resolution schemes are able to handle such cases.

To make this possible, the Commission together with Member States have established a network of contact points or "Clearing Houses" which provides consumers with information on available ADR schemes, as well as legal advice and practical help in pursuing a complaint by this means. This network covers all 15 Member States as well as Norway and Iceland.

 

The tasks of the EEJ-NET are:

To co-ordinate out-of-court-settlement procedures for consumers throughout Europe.
To provide consumers with easy and informed access to such procedures cross-border.
To facilitate the solution of cross-border consumer disputes.

The network will deal with any dispute between a consumer and a business over goods and services, such as problems over deliveries, defective products, or products or services that do not fit their description. However, the EEJ-Net is complemented by FIN-NET which is a dedicated network dealing exclusively with consumer complaints about financial services (credit, investments, loans etc).

Speech by David Byrne, European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection, on the occasion of the Opening of a European Consumer Centre for Belgium in Brussels and Launch of the pilot phase of the European Extra-Judicial Network (or 'EEJ-Net'), Brussels, 16 October. DE FR NL pdf(14KB)

Press release: New European network to help consumers settle cross-border disputes out-of-court, 16 October 2001. ES DA DE EL FR IT NL PT FI SV pdf(40KB)

List of Clearing Houses by Country

European Consumer Infocentres - Euroguichet

Out-of-Court Complaints Bodies for Financial Services (FINet) Directorate-General Internal Market

Commission Working Document on the creation of a European Extra-Judicial Network (EEJ-NET) 20 March 2000. ES DA DE EL FR IT NL PT FI SV pdf(38KB)

Towards a European Extra-Judicial Network for resolving consumer disputes (EEJ-NET) Lisbon Conference on 5-6 May 2000

Review of the European Extra-Judicial Network and future perspectives for improved EU Consumer Assistance (EEJ-NET)
Brussels, 10-11 June 2003

Out-of-court bodies responsible for the settlement of consumer disputes (Commission Recommendation 98/257/EC) ES DA DE FR IT NL PT FI SV

Out-of-court bodies responsible for the settlement of consumer disputes (Commission Recommendation 2001/310/EC)

 
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