several years now the European Commission is working on increasing consumers’
access to justice. The objective of the European Extra-Judicial Network
(EEJ-Net) is to facilitate the access to an out-of-court settlement for
cross border disputes in order to avoid lengthy, expensive and complex
court procedures. The EEJ-Net provides simple, low-cost and effective
means of resolving cross-border disputes when the consumer and the supplier
come from different European Member States.
Commission sees the EEJ-Net as a priority. It is an essential component
of a number of initiatives aimed a creating confidence for consumers to
actively take part and benefit from the Internal Market. It is also important
for business as it will facilitate greater cross-border trade, especially
for SME’s. It will put the practical framework in place to allow
the potential of ADR for resolving cross border disputes to be fully exploited.”
so David Byrne, European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection,
on the occasion of the launch of the pilot phase of the EEJ-Net in Brussels,
16 October 2001.
With the “Recommendation on the principles applicable to the bodies
responsible for out-of-court settlement of consumer disputes” (98/257/CE)
the Commission puts in place the first rules for an EEJ-Net framework.
Starting signal for the EEJ-Net in Lisbon: The
Lisbon Conference “Towards a European Extra-Judicial Network
for resolving consumer disputes (EEJ-Net)” brought together the
EU member states to discuss and develop the practical arrangements for
the EEJ-Net to function efficiently and effectively.
Commission Recommendation of 4 April 2001 on the principles for out-of-court
bodies involved in the consensual resolution of consumer disputes (2001/310/CE).
launch of the pilot phase of the European Extra-Judicial Network in Brussels
on 16 October 2001 “provides a solid block for building confidence
by giving consumers access to simple, low cost and effective means of
resolving cross border conflicts so David Byrne, European Commissioner
for Health and Consumer Protection.
After the German Federal Ministry of Justice nominated Euro-Info-Consumers
as national contact point, the German Clearing House entered in activity
on January 1st, 2002. Since then the German Clearing House provides information
and assistance in accessing existing ADR-systems.
As per a decision of the French State Secretary Mr. Renaud Dutreil dated
January 22, 2004 the mission for the French Clearing House has also been
committed to Euro-Info-Consumers.
This is the first time a single structure, Euro-Info-Consumers, unites
several national missions with European vocation. Indeed henceforth, the
German and the French Clearing House will be able to reinforce the synergies
of their two countries in the area of consumer protection.