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Nr. 1 Registro organismi di mediazione Ministero della Giustizia
20 dicembre 2012

In Europa prosegue il dibattito sull’importanza della mediazione

di Redazione MondoADR
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Parlamentum EuropaeumA seguire si riporta uno stralcio del dibattito sulla mediazione delle cause civili che in questi giorni sta interessando il Parlamento europeo. Il dibattito completo al seguente link

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+CRE+20121211+ITEM-016+DOC+XML+V0//EN&language=EN

 

 Mediation in civil and commercial matters (debate)
 
 

 

  Πρόεδρος. – Το επόμενο σημείο στην ημερήσια διάταξη είναι η συζήτηση σχετικά με προφορική ερώτηση προς την Επιτροπή όσον αφορά τη διαμεσολάβηση σε αστικές και εμπορικές υποθέσεις, της Klaus Heiner Lehne, αναπληρώτριας συντάκτριας, εξ ονόματος της Επιτροπής Νομικών Θεμάτων (O-000169/2012 – B7-0370/2012)

 

  Arlene McCarthy, deputising for the author. −Mr President, I welcome the fact that we are having an opportunity to discuss mediation and progress. The oral question has been tabled because we want to make progress on mediation and speed up its use across the EU.We know that mediation, if used extensively, can result in significant savings of time and money. Going to court is costly; best practice in mediation shows that across Europe there is a 70% success rate with mediation cases, and indeed this rises to 80% if parties voluntarily opt for mediation. Yet only 1% of parties are taking up the mediation option.The experience in my own Member State is that litigation worth EUR 200 000 took 333 days, costing on average EUR 51 000, whereas evidence shows that mediation would have taken around 87 days and cost a fraction of that sum: EUR 9 000.

Forty-five percent of small businesses tell us that they would not pursue a claim in another EU Member State if it was for less than EUR 50 000 because they would end up paying more in costs than the money they would get back. So the Mediation Directive is a big opportunity for small businesses.

We face a situation that is both puzzling and frustrating. On the one hand we have an increasing body of literature and evidence showing us that, even at a very modest success rate, mediation can generate significant and measurable savings in both time and costs. On the other hand, however, we have a disappointingly low number of mediation cases throughout the EU and this, I believe, is not what the Commission, Parliament and the Council intended.

In Article 1 we drafted the directive’s primary goals as being to facilitate access to alternative dispute resolution and to promote the amicable settlement of disputes by encouraging the use of mediation and, indeed, by ensuring a balanced relationship between mediation and judicial proceedings. So from a legal standpoint, the EU now has a responsibility to act promptly to ensure that those fundamental goals are being met.

The need to do so is particularly urgent at a time of recession, at a time of austerity, at a time when Member States should be concentrating on promoting time-saving and cost-cutting dispute resolution.

The questions we would like the Commissioner to address are: how does the Commission intend to make progress on this issue where we are clearly not meeting the directive’s objective in a speedy way? In particular, how does the Commission intend to make sure that the balanced relationship between mediation and judicial proceedings is actually attained? Does the Commission take the view that the requirement for a balanced relationship implies an obligation on Member States to set and attain a minimum percentage of cases to be mediated in each country, at least perhaps as far as cross-border disputes are concerned? And, if so, what steps is the Commission thinking of taking in the event that a minimum percentage is not set or met?

We very much welcome this debate and the opportunity to hear from the Commission on this very important issue.

 

  Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the Commission. −Mr President, let me start by saying that I absolutely agree with the author of the question, because mediation is faster, it is, generally speaking, cheaper than ordinary court proceedings, and it also gives rise to a culture of non-litigious behaviour. In litigation there are only winners and losers, but there can be partners if you go to mediation. So cost savings in both legal and management time for individuals and businesses make mediation a particularly attractive case. We agree on the analysis.How to get it done? You know that the Mediation Directive was adopted in May 2008 and was to be transposed on 21 May 2011. The good news is that all Member States have announced the measures transposing the directive. The Commission considers that, after one year only of application of the directive by the Member States, we need to give more time for evidence and experience before concluding whether the directive has been met or not.In order to accelerate things, I intend to present a communication on mediation next year in order to promote the use of mediation. In this context we are also collecting extensive information regarding the transposition and use of the directive by Member States. This study will focus on the importance of the promotion of mediation, because it is very clear that if we have an interesting law, but nobody knows that it exists and lawyers and the judiciary are not utilising it, then it does not serve the use we want it for.

We think there has to be a balanced relationship between mediation and judicial procedures and that mediation should be encouraged much more strongly and in cross-border disputes. Consequently, we have requested that the individual national reports which will be collected as part of the ongoing study should also provide specific information on the existing relationship between mediation and judicial proceedings in the Member States. On the basis of this information we would then reflect on future steps to increase the cases to be mediated in each country and to achieve what we call a balanced relationship between mediation and judicial proceedings.

In accordance with the directive (although this is not something new) I can tell you that there is due to be a report in 2016. On the basis of this report the Commission will see if the directive needs to be changed and whether there need to be amendments or new proposals. But I believe that in the meantime we should not wait until 2016 to go ahead with the proposals which I have made.

I see mediation also in the context of our Justice for Growth programme. As you know, we have bound together a series of measures in order to bring an enhancement of economic activities – mostly cross-border for SMEs – with the help of justice reforms, and mediation is one of these. That is also why we have put mediation into the Annual Growth Survey 2013, which sets a priority for the reforms in all Member States.

Within the context of the European Semester, the Commission is developing a justice scoreboard for analysing the strengths and the weaknesses of the judicial systems in all Member States. This will also serve as a tool for Member States to improve the efficiency, quality and independence of their civil justice system.

We have seen that the equality, independence and efficiency of these systems is a factor for growth or non-growth, so we have included this in our Annual Growth Survey in the hope that by this means we can also push for more mediation to be taken up in the Member States. This can also be achieved through appropriate training, information and awareness-raising, along with the introduction of incentives to make mediation interesting for the parties. This is work in progress, but work we are behind with and which we are pushing in order to advance more quickly.

 

  Erminia Mazzoni, a nome del gruppo PPE. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, condivido sia l’introduzione della collega McCarthy che le parole del Commissario Reding. Sono indubbi i benefici che si possono produrre con un’entrata a regime efficace e piena del sistema della mediazione. Purtroppo, ad oggi abbiamo ancora dei dati negativi a livello europeo sul piano dell’Unione, che giustamente vanno ancora monitorati, visto che è da solo un anno che è scaduto il termine per il recepimento. Tra l’altro, guardando all’esperienza italiana, anche solo un anno può servire per avere un’indicazione ulteriore di merito di queste procedure, perché abbiamo avuto un risparmio che da un ultimo studio è stato quantificato in circa 480 milioni solo in un anno, con un successo nelle procedure del 49%. Quindi, è un dato mediamente positivo.Però ci confrontiamo ancora con questi dati negativi e il tema che più mi preoccupa è quello che si è riaperto in maniera molto critica nel nostro paese a seguito di una sentenza del giudice di legittimità che ha dichiarato in parte l’incostituzionalità della nostra legge di recepimento rispetto alla previsione della obbligatorietà della mediazione. Questo Parlamento, già con la risoluzione n. 361 del 2011 aveva spinto verso incentivi diversi, che il Commissario stasera ha ripetuto, per aumentare il grado di utilizzazione dello strumento della mediazione, diversi dalla previsione della obbligatorietà. Quindi, aveva indicato la strada sempre della volontarietà per la mediazione.Vorrei capire se questo è l’orientamento anche della Commissione, ovvero se la Commissione ha un’opinione diversa in relazione all’ipotesi che questa obbligatorietà possa ritenersi lesiva dei diritti fondamentali previsti dalla Carta dell’Unione alla difesa e al giudice naturale.

 

  Silvia-Adriana Ţicău, în numele grupului S&D. – Medierea poate asigura o soluţionare extrajudiciară eficientă din perspectiva costurilor şi rapidă a litigiilor în materie civilă şi comercială, prin intermediul unor proceduri adaptate nevoilor părţilor. Statele membre trebuie să încurajeze punerea la dispoziţia publicului larg, în special pe internet, a informaţiilor privind modalităţile de contactare a mediatorilor şi a organizaţiilor care oferă servicii de mediere. Confidenţialitatea în procesul de mediere este importantă, şi, de aceea, ar trebui să fie asigurat un grad minim de compatibilitate a normelor de procedură civilă în privinţa modului în care să se asigure confidenţialitatea medierii.Doamnă Comisar, are Comisia în vedere prezentarea unui raport intermediar înainte de 2016 privind punerea în aplicare a Directivei 52/2008? Are Comisia în vedere stabilirea de standarde comune la nivelul Uniunii şi extinderea la toate statele membre a programelor de formare pentru a accede la profesia de mediator, în vederea promovării unei medieri de o calitate mai bună, şi asigurarea unor standarde înalte de pregătire profesională şi de acreditare în Uniunea Europeană?

 

  Cristian Silviu Buşoi, în numele grupului ALDE. – Dezvoltarea medierii în materie civilă şi comercială, precum şi celelalte mecanisme de rezolvare extrajudiciară a litigiilor, reprezintă o oportunitate reală, atât pentru părţile implicate, cât şi pentru sistemul judiciar, mai ales în foarte multe dintre ţările în care acesta este suprasolicitat.Directiva privind medierea este un instrument extrem de util şi cred că este absolut esenţial ca aceasta să fie implementată cât mai corect pentru ca să-şi atingă obiectivul. Dacă, până acum, Directiva privind medierea nu şi-a atins scopul în ceea ce priveşte proporţia litigiilor care fac obiectul medierii în comparaţie cu numărul de cazuri care ajung în faţa judecătorilor, cred că acest lucru se datorează în mare parte lipsei informaţiilor despre mediere. Chiar dacă directiva impune obligaţia de a informa publicul larg despre oportunitatea de a recurge la mediere, nu cred că această prevedere este exploatată în mod optimal. Cetăţenii nu iau în calcul medierea, pentru că, pur şi simplu, nu ştiu despre existenţa acesteia, nu ştiu în ce constă şi nici cui să se adreseze pentru a iniţia o astfel de procedură.În materie comercială, noua directivă pe care o dezbatem în Parlament, privind rezolvarea alternativă a litigiilor în materie de consum, va aduce în mod sigur îmbunătăţiri, întrucât comercianţii vor fi obligaţi să ofere publicului larg informaţii despre mediere şi alte mecanisme alternative. Însă această directivă are un scop limitat, fapt pentru care consider necesar ca atât Comisia, cât şi statele membre să promoveze mai activ medierea, mai ales în ceea ce priveşte litigiile transfrontaliere şi cele legate de dreptul familiei. Nu e vorba aici – nu a fost niciodată vorba – de a dezvolta un sistem paralel sistemului judiciar; medierea trebuie să rămână o oportunitate şi trebuie să găsim un echilibru între mediere şi procedurile judiciare. Nu ştiu dacă este indispensabilă stabilirea unor ţinte procentuale în ceea ce priveşte cazurile supuse medierii. Trebuie să facem tot posibilul însă pentru a evolua către o cultură a medierii şi a rezolvării alternative a litigiilor, aceste mecanisme fiind şi mai ieftine şi mai rapide faţă de procedurile judiciare, ceea ce reprezintă în mod clar un avantaj pentru cetăţeni.

 

Έναρξη της διαδικασίας “Catch-the-Eye”

 

  Sergio Gaetano Cofferati (S&D). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, signor Commissario, penso anch’io come la collega McCarthy che sia molto importante che la Commissione faccia tutti gli sforzi per diffondere la pratica della mediazione. Si tratta di informare i cittadini dell’Unione, si tratta di promuovere azioni formative, si tratta in sostanza di dare consistenza a una scelta lungimirante che penso possa dare risultati molto positivi per l’insieme delle persone alle quali ci rivolgiamo.Com’è stato detto, la mediazione diventa ancor più utile in una fase recessiva dove le risorse a disposizione dei singoli e delle famiglie sono oggettivamente calanti. È molto importante una cosa che lei ha detto, e sono contento che l’abbia sottolineata: la mediazione è anche una scelta culturale, è una scelta che ci può consentire, nelle cause civili e commerciali, di superare il procedimento giudiziario e di dare un’idea precisa di rapporto tra persone che hanno qualcosa sulla quale scatenare il loro contenzioso. Io credo che questa cultura possa poi tranquillamente espandersi anche nell’ambito delle cause da lavoro.

 

  Arlene McCarthy, deputising for the author. − Mr President, in case I do not get the opportunity to come back, I did want, under this process, to thank the Commissioner for the commitment that she has demonstrated in her response.I am very encouraged by the proactive approach that the Commission is going to take and I will, as my colleagues have mentioned, be interested in hearing those responses. The training, awareness and incentives are a core part of how we are going to be able to take this forward. So I would just like to encourage the Commissioner to keep the Committee and Parliament informed on this ongoing work and to come back to us. because we want to assist you in this very important task. In the end, as we too often see, court backlogs and enormous costs are not justice for our citizens across the EU.

 

(Λήξη της διαδικασίας “Catch-the-Eye”)

 

  Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the Commission. −Mr President, ‘justice delayed is justice denied’, and we have a very big backlog in many of our Member States. Mediation is one possible means of getting rid of the backlog, especially in smaller cases where you do not necessarily go through a lengthy court procedure but, of course, access to justice is a fundamental right.I do not believe that mediation can simply replace a court procedure; it is an alternative, but in order to become a real alternative it has to be known and, as has been rightly said, it has to become a cultural choice. For this we need time. We also need to see how Article 9 is being implemented. Article 9 of the directive requires Member States to encourage, by any means they consider appropriate, the availability to the general public of the relevant information. There we have to go in the same direction. There is also something for the Commission in the text — Article 10 requires us to make publicly available information on the competent courts or authorities communicated by the Member States.The Member States and the Commission need to work hand in hand to make sure more information about mediation is available. Of course, in order to be successful this approach will involve training for mediators and also for lawyers, to ensure that they do not necessarily see mediation as opposed to their professional interests. That brings me back to the need for a change of culture. This is also something which will not happen overnight.

So we have to persevere, to ‘go for it’. That is why I will issue this communication in 2013 on the basis of the information we have received from the Member States. Publishing this information, discussing the subject again and analysing the various problems in the different Member States should generate the necessary peer pressure to gradually make it clear that mediation is a valid alternative, particularly in the case of small claims, neighbourhood disputes, labour disputes and family disputes, so that people understand that this can solve their problems. To that end, of course, we have to work altogether, and I thank Parliament for its very constructive position.

 

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