A big step forward for consumer protection

A big step forward for consumer protection

Today, the European Commission has launched its Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) platform. Any consumer with a grievance when purchasing online will be able to use the platform to lodge a complaint, without needing to go to court.
The Centre, which will translate final decisions upon request into the language of the consumer (or of the traders if they so request), is delighted to be participating in this excellent initiative.

In 2014, one in three European consumers experienced problems when buying online, according to Věra Jourová, the Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality.

This is of course an obstacle to the free circulation of goods and services that the Juncker Commission intends to remove by means of its Digital Single Market strategy. This is why the Commission is now launching the Online Dispute Resolution platform. The initiative should contribute to strengthening consumer confidence and thereby promote online cross-border trade. 

How does the platform work?

Let us look at a specific example. A UK consumer lodges a complaint through the platform for a faulty chair ordered from Italy that the seller has refused to provide compensation for.

His complaint is sent to the Italian alternative dispute resolution body, which gives a final decision in Italian.

The UK consumer can then request a translation of this decision into his own language directly through the platform.

The document is transferred to the Centre, which promptly provides a translation.

A total of 26 languages will be covered: the 24 official EU languages, as well as Icelandic and Norwegian. The platform is accessible to the citizens of the 31 countries of the European Economic Area (the 28 EU Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway). 

An investment for the Centre

Given the scale of the project, the Centre has arranged for sufficient staff to be made available.

New colleagues have already arrived to reinforce the Translation Department and the Translation Support Department.

Contracts are also currently being signed with external language service providers, which were selected following a dedicated tender procedure.

Finally, the Centre has adapted its translation workflow management system to handle translation requests sent by the European Commission Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers (DG JUST), which is managing the new platform. 


Useful links