'Rebooting' the Mediation Directive: Assessing the Limited Impact of its Implementation and Proposing Measures to Increase the Number of Mediations in the EU


Five and a half years since its adoption, the Mediation Directive (2008/52/EC) has not yet solved the ‘EU Mediation Paradox’. Despite its proven and multiple benefits, mediation in civil and commercial matters is still used in less than 1% of the cases in the EU. This study, which solicited the views of up to 816 experts from all over Europe, clearly shows that this disappointing performance results from weak pro-mediation policies, whether legislative or promotional, in almost all of the 28 Member States. The experts strongly supported a number of proposed non-legislative measures that could promote mediation development. But more fundamentally, the majority view of these experts suggests that introducing a ‘mitigated’ form of mandatory mediation may be the only way to make mediation eventually happens in the EU. The study therefore proposes two ways to “reboot” the Mediation Directive: change it, or, based on the current wording of its Article 1, request that each Member State commit to, and reach, a simple “balanced relationship target number” between civil litigation and mediation.


  • Giuseppe De Palo, International Professor of ADR Law and Practice, Hamline University School of Law, ADR Center -Member of JAMS International
  • Mr Leonardo D’Urso, ADR Center -Member of JAMS International 
  • Prof Mary Trevor, Hamline University School of Law 
  • Mr Bryan Branon, ADR Center -Member of JAMS International 
  • Ms Romina Canessa, ADR Center -Member of JAMS International 
  • Ms Beverly Cawyer, ADR Center -Member of JAMS International 
  • Ms L. Reagan Florence, Hamline University Law Student, ADR Center -Member of JAMS International

Click here to download the Study