Belmed: The Belgian Digital Portal for Consumer A(O)DR
11 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2013
Date Written: April 4, 2013
In April 2011, the (new) Belgian Federal Public Service Economy, Small and Medium Enterprises, Self-Employed and Energy, and more specifically its Directorate-General Enforcement and Mediation, launched Belmed (Belgian Mediation), an online dispute resolution (ODR) system for consumers. This brief paper describes the Belmed system, which consists of an information and ODR pillar.
The information part contains a guide on how to settle a dispute in an amicable way. It does so by offering concrete examples of e.g. a formal notice. The information pillar also offers a convenient outline of all existing ADR tools in Belgium. It gives an overview of all Belgian arbitration, conciliation, mediation, and ombudsmen agencies. All this information is also offered per sector and subsector.
The ODR part allows a consumer, after having created a personal Belmed account, to make an online application for arbitration, conciliation, or mediation. The idea is to create one digital portal, or access point, for the consumer and tradesman. After an application is made, the Belmed system will automatically send it to the competent agency. Belmed only serves as an administrator, a ‘serving-hatch.’ The FPS only collects statistical data, which can be vital to detect collective problems.
Keywords: online dispute resolution, Belgium, Belmed
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