Thirdly, an update on the progress of the proposals on Alternative Dispute Resolution and Online Dispute Resolution (ADR and ODR): After the vote in the Internal Market and Consumers Committee the proposals now await final adoption by the European Parliament, which is foreseen to take place in the second quarter of 2013. The new rules will then have to be implemented by the Member States and are expected to introduce benefits for consumers seeking to resolve disputes in an efficient and effective manner:
'The rules on ADR will ensure that contractual disputes between consumers and traders are settled out of court through quality alternative dispute resolution entities. These will operate in all Member States and in all sectors, with the exception of health and higher education.
The ODR Regulation will set up an EU-wide online platform for handling disputes between consumers and traders, arising from online transactions. The platform will link all the national alternative dispute resolution entities and will operate in all official EU languages. Traders will be required to provide consumers with adequate information on ADR and ODR.'
The text of the proposals and accompanying documents may be found here.