The Commission is carrying out a public consultation to help assess the implementation of the Consumer Protection Cooperation (CPC) Regulation (EU) 2017/2394 as well as the ADR Directive 2013/11 and ODR Regulation (EU) No 524/2013. 

If you would like to see improvement in consumer protection, make sure you give your feedback on Strengthening cooperation among consumer authorities and simplifying out-of-court dispute resolution to improve respect of consumer rights by 21 December 2022. 

Resolving complaints out of court

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) means settling a complaint out of court with the assistance of an impartial dispute resolution body. Resolving consumer disputes this way is easier, faster and less expensive than going to court.

There are many types of ADR, such as

  • mediation
  • conciliation
  • ombudsmen
  • arbitration
  • complaints boards

Out of court resolution bodies by country

A large number of out of court bodies exist across the EU. Using one of these bodies, you can access ADR for most types of product or service (complaints about healthcare or higher education are not dealt with by these bodies).

It doesn't matter whether you bought the product or service online or in a shop, or whether the trader is based in your country or another EU country.

On the online dispute resolution platform, you can find a list of out of court dispute resolution bodies by country.

Complaints about online purchases

If your dispute relates to an online purchase, the online dispute resolution (ODR) platform allows you to submit a complaint online to an ADR body in any language and in any EU country.

Usually, the process happens entirely online, takes about 90 days folllowing the choice of ADR body, and is provided for free or for a nominal charge.

ADR Assembly 2021- materials

The ADR Assembly is the biggest consumer ADR event in the EU. For the second edition of the biannual event, which was held on 28 and 29 September 2021, the Commission invited over 400 Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) entities and other consumer protection stakeholders for a virtual event.  Materials from the event are available at the links below.

Event presentations and related materials

Video of closing ceremony with conclusions and closing remarks by Commissioner Didier Reynders

DownloadPDF - 421.2 KB

Cross-border ADR Roundtable

Given the shift towards online shopping, efficient cross-border out-of-court dispute resolution (ADR) has become more relevant for the smooth functioning of the single market. However, data shows that consumers do not choose cross-border ADR due to various reasons including complex legal, linguistic and procedural issues, low awareness about the benefits of ADR, or because the complaint can only be resolved through the complaint handling mechanism operated by the online platform chosen by the consumer. 

The European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net) and the European Commission hosted a roundtable on cross-border ADR. ADR entities, ADR competent authorities, ECCs, academics consumer and trader organisations were invited.

DownloadPDF - 353.8 KB

Discussion papers

DownloadPDF - 375.7 KB
DownloadPDF - 1.6 MB