Updates on EU matters: citizens' rights consultation; consumer ADR

Citizens’ rights consultation

On 9 May the European Commission launched its largest ever consultation on citizens’ rights. Aimed at all EU citizens, the questionnaire seeks to gather views about the obstacles faced by Europeans in their daily lives, how these could be removed, and how EU citizenship could be further developed.

The consultation is designed to supplement the Commission’s 2010 EU Citizenship Report, which summarised the main obstacles it found citizens believe hinder them from fully enjoying their rights, and set out 25 key actions to address them. The views received in response to the consultation will contribute directly to the Commission’s policy agenda and will form the basis for the 2013 EU Citizenship Report, which will serve as a further action plan. The Commission has also designated 2013 as the European Year of Citizens, and will organise targeted events on EU citizenship and citizen-related policies.

The consultation will be open until 9 September 2012 and is accessible at ec.europa.eu/yourvoice/ipm/forms/ dispatch?form=EUCitizenship3&lang=en

Consumer ADR under scrutiny

Following the Commission’s proposals in November 2011 for a directive on consumer alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and a regulation on consumer online dispute resolution (ODR), the Council of Ministers agreed on a general approach in its meeting at the end of May. The proposals aim to provide consumers with access to ADR in any transaction. An ODR platform is aimed at facilitating consumers’ access to such ADR schemes. There is broad support for the initiative but the Council favours some amendments to the proposals, and in the European Parliament MEPs have raised a number of practical points, including questions relating to how the ODR platform would function.

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