Report on the application of the 2008 Mediation Directive
The European Commission released its report on the application of Directive 2008/52/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on certain aspects of mediation in civil and commercial matters (COM(2016) 542 final, 26 August 2016 ).
The key point is that, according to the European Commission, the evaluation shows that there is no need at this time to revise the Directive but that its application can be further improved. Firstly, Member States should increase their efforts to promote and encourage the use of mediation. In particular, further efforts at national level should be made to increase the number of cases in which courts invite the parties to use mediation in order to settle their dispute. The following can be considered as examples of best practice in this regard: requirements for parties to state in their applications to courts whether mediation has been attempted, in particular in family law matters obligatory information sessions within the framework of a judicial procedure and an obligation on courts to consider mediation at every stage of judicial proceedings, financial incentives making it economically more attractive for parties to use mediation instead of resorting to judicial proceedings, ensuring enforceability without necessarily requiring the consent of all parties to the agreement.
The Commission also declared that it will continue to co-finance mediation-related projects through its “Justice Programme”. It is also in principle open to provide EU funding to a stakeholder-driven development of European-wide quality standards for the provision of mediation services. Furthermore, the Commission will continue to consult the European Judicial Network in civil and commercial matters to further promote the take-up of mediation, e.g. in order to obtain a more solid data basis on the use of mediation and to increase awareness of the public, in particular of the information available on the website of the European e-justice Portal on the mediation systems of Member States.
(Altalex, 7 November 2016. Article by Emmanuel Guinchard)