The EU Commission has launched a consultation to gather views on the extent to which the EU Mediation Directive (2008/52/EC) has achieved its objectives and to consider whether any changes to the Directive are appropriate.
Responses to the consultation will inform a report the Commission is required to submit to the EU legislative bodies by May 2016, assessing the development of mediation throughout the EU and the impact of the Directive. The report may, if appropriate, be accompanied by proposals to adapt the Directive.
The consultation, which closes on 11 December 2015, is in the form of an online questionnaire and is open to the public at large – including interested individuals, mediators, legal practitioners, academics, ADR organisations, courts, national authorities and Member States. The relevant Commission webpage and the online questionnaire can be accessed here:
The consultation follows a report into the effectiveness of the Mediation Directive commissioned by the EU Parliament’s Committee for Legal Affairs in 2014. That report concluded that, over 5 years after the Mediation Directive came into force, mediation remained substantially underused in most Member States and suggested that the only means by which this could be effectively addressed was by introducing a form of mandatory mediation – either by way of amendment to the Mediation Directive or by relying on its existing provisions to secure further commitments from Member States in this regard. No official response to that report has been published and it will be interesting to see the extent to which the Commission’s upcoming report shares the views expressed.