Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Alternative consumer dispute resolution

Delivered in Plenary - 12th March 2013

Madam President

Many of our citizensí main encounter with the EU single market comes from purchasing goods and services from other EU Member States. In principle, it is an excellent advertisement for free trade and healthy competition, and when these transactions operate smoothly it represents a great EU success story.

However, I have lost count of the number of London constituents from my region who have complained of poor experiences when buying items from vendors abroad and who find themselves without any viable redress at EU level. This legislation therefore goes some way to repairing a critical deficiency in the single market. It is to be hoped that all citizens, whether traders or consumers, will benefit from a cheap, quick and efficient pan-European way of resolving such disputes with maximum transparency and minimum cost and bureaucracy. Given that the single market is the engine driving the modern European Union, we must demonstrate that we are serious about increasing its effectiveness and consolidating its value in order to cultivate a genuinely free flow of goods and services.