The Code of Conduct sets out a number of principles to which individual mediators can voluntarily decide to commit, under their own responsibility. It is intended to be applicable to all kinds of mediation in civil and commercial matters.
Organisations providing mediation services can also make such a commitment, by asking mediators acting under the auspices of their organisation to respect the Code. Organisations have the opportunity to make available information on the measures they are taking to support the respect of the Code by individual mediators through, for example, training, evaluation and monitoring.
For the purposes of the Code of Conduct, mediation is defined as any process where two or more parties agree to the appointment of a third-party - hereinafter "the mediator" - to help the parties to solve a dispute by reaching an agreement without adjudication and regardless of how that process may be called or commonly referred to in each Member State.
Adherence to the Code is without prejudice to national legislation or rules regulating individual professions.
Organisations providing mediation services may wish to develop more detailed codes adapted to their specific context or the types of mediation services they offer, as well as with regard to specific areas such as family mediation or consumer mediation.
Please note that the European Code of Conduct for Mediators was revised by lawyer-linguists in July 2009. This should not affect its substance. The European Commission will therefore assume that the organisations that subscribed to the European Code of Conduct prior to this revision will continue to do so unless it receives written notice to the contrary from them.
Mediators and organisations carrying out consumer disputes may also wish to adhere to the Code of Conduct. However, it should be recalled that the Commission adopted in 2001 a formal recommendation on the specific issue of consumer mediation. The Commission recommends that any mediator or organisation falling within the scope of that recommendation respects the principles laid down by it.
For further information on consumer mediation please refer to the website of the ECC-Net.
Organisations that have decided to commit to asking mediators acting under their auspices to respect the code may wish to inform the Commission services about this decision, by using this registration form (Word or pdf 79.8 KB). Name and contact details of the organisations that have sent in this form will be added to this list (PDF File 113 KB), which is available on this website for information purposes only.
This list does not represent an endorsement of the Commission of these mediators or organisations in any way. The Commission is not carrying out any verification of whether the code is actually adhered to and does not accept any responsibility in this regard, nor for the services offered by these mediators or organisations.
On 2 July 2004 a conference was held in Brussels to discuss self-regulatory initiatives for mediation in general and to launch the European Code of Conduct. The conference was attended by some 100 participants. The morning session saw a number of presentations on national experiences of self-regulation. The afternoon session was introduced by Mr Faull, Director General for DG Justice, Freedom and Security of the European Commission, and was followed by a panel debate on the European Code of Conduct.
The concept of a European Code of Conduct as a voluntary instrument to improve quality and trust in mediation was supported. It was generally considered that the Code should remain an informal document at this stage and that it should not be adopted formally by any of the institutions of the European Union. It will be the responsibility of those individual mediators and organisations that wish to subscribe to the Code to also take ownership of the Code, including defining implementation mechanisms.
It was agreed that as a next step the Code will be made available on the internet together with general information on the Code and a first list of mediation organisations who have declared that they subscribe to the Code.
As follow-up the Commission would consider organising ad-hoc meetings with representatives of organisations subscribing to the Code to review implementation and content as necessary.Further large-scale meetings might also be organised, open to all interested parties, to discuss specific issues of ADR in order to maintain dialogue and encourage exchange of experiences.
Last update: 09-10-2009