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Alternative Dispute Resolution in Europe

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This site helps track the progress of alternative dispute resolution initiatives in the European Union.

Over the last seven years, there has been a great deal of activity at the European community level on the topic of alternative dispute resolution. This activity was sparked off by the enlarged competence given to the European community by the Maastricht Treaty (especially Article 65 of the Amsterdam Treaty). It is also difficult to resist the thought that the UNCITRAL Model Law has had an unspoken influence on developments.

The six main initiatives to date are as follows:

1    The publication of a code of conduct for mediators.

2    The development of the European Extra-Judicial Network (EEJ-NET). This is essentially a project for the promotion and coordination of national schemes for the resolution of cross-border consumer disputes by alternative means. Click here for more information.

3     The development of a financial services complaints network (FIN-NET). This project is for the promotion and coordination other existing schemes for the handling of complaints arising from cross-border financial services. Click here for more information.

4     The development of SOLVIT, designed to provide a way of resolving disputes arising from the possible misapplication of Internal Market rules by public administrations in other Member States. Click here for more information.

5     The publication and subsequent public consultation on a green paper on alternative dispute resolution in civil and commercial law. Click here for more information.

6     Last, but arguably most important, the promulgation of a Directive on certain aspects of mediation in civil and commercial matters. This completed the EC's labyrinthine legislative processes by the co-decision procedure (requiring agreement between the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament) on 21 May 2008. The first link below gives the stages of its development. Member States must bring the provisions of the directive into force by 21 May 2011.

For more detail, click on one of the links below

European Union Initiatives in ADR Euro Mediation Archive
ADR in European Countries Links to Other Mediation Sites
Code of Conduct Directive
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