European Mediation Day 26 years later

It was 1995 when I learned about mediation, when I fell in love with it, when I decided that it was going to be for life. I will never know what would have happened if I had not taken the step, but today I can only say that I fall in love with him more every day and that I hope he will be with me throughout my life. There were no regulations, there was no framework at that time that could “protect” our relationship, but the year 1998 arrived; That year I understood that my “marriage was going to be for life.” Finally our relationship was in some way recognized, it was finally “legalized”, even if it was a mere recommendation, like when your family tells you, if you are excited, keep going.

On January 21, 1998, THE RECOMMENDATION WHICH GAVE RISE TO THE BEGINNING OF THE LEGAL RECOGNITION OF MEDIATION IN EUROPE emerged after I came of age (RECOMMENDATION Nº R (98)1 OF THE COMMITTEE OF MINISTERS TO THE MEMBER STATES ON FAMILY MEDIATION ( Approved by the Council of Ministers on January 21, 1998, as of the 616th meeting of the Delegates of the Ministers)” continues stronger than ever.

And today, January 21, 2024, 26 years later, I want to tell you how our relationship has been, how it has been and is one time that has made more and more colleagues fall in love with this incredible profession and that the International School of Mediation has been also a witness of this “unconditional love”.

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The justification for his recommendation remains latent...the increasing number of family conflicts, particularly those resulting from separation or divorce, and noting the detrimental consequences of conflicts... the need to ensure the protection of the best interests of the minor…analyzing the specific characteristics of family conflicts and above all that the RELATIONSHIP CONTINUES OVER TIME, something that makes mediation the best, if not the only, “drug” for the different symptoms that arise.

And above all, recognizing the advantages of this method such as the improvement of communication, or the reduction of costs of all kinds, this text sent us the “lapidary message” that although many times we have not wanted to attend to, it is already “lapidary” to work with. by and for mediation: WE RECOMMEND THE GOVERNMENTS OF THE MEMBER STATES, INSTITUTE OR PROMOTE FAMILY MEDIATION OR REINFORCE ONE THAT ALREADY EXISTS.

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Why don't we try what is recommended? Why is it difficult for us to recognize the reason? Why is it often difficult for the public to make decisions? I believe that we mediators have already taken the step, many colleagues from different professions of origin have assumed and adopted this recommendation, in support of clients and the search for the quality of justice that arises from the ashes of a conflict.

I hope that each reader draws their own conclusion, that they remember what has happened since the appearance of this regulation, but this post is nothing more than to analyze that coming of age.

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This recommendation was based on very reasonable criteria, of which time has proven or disproved, without being exhaustive and analyzing many that perhaps do not have a specific debate, I would like to mention the most controversial, being the following:

a) States are free to determine which issues or cases are covered by family mediation: if there was no limit, we could not understand in these years why the beginnings were based only on marital crises and/or their consequences. Luckily, experience has been the reason for the expansion to cover more cases and why not... any conflict arising from family relationships.

b) Regarding the Organization within each country, mediation, in principle it should not be mandatory, assuming the saying that “two cannot reach an agreement if one does not want to, either through the public sector or the private sector. private. And the question is, have we made progress in any of these sectors? If we talk about the public, very very slow, if not almost imperceptible. A leap in quality is needed from our administrations, so that they truly "give in" and definitively commit to a "professional mediation" in which citizens and public power can sit in a situation of equality where discretion exists. . And in the private sphere, each of us knows how to spread mediation, knowing that no one bets on it if we ourselves are not its main supporters before society.

c) According to the mediator, I have nothing to say since although the debate on his training would be very extensive, which during these years led us to talk about hours, experts, masters. I only want to say that the importance is not in learning this profession... but in “apprehending it”, making it ours, feeling like mediators, something that was echoed from the first moment by the EIM.

d) States should facilitate the approval of mediation agreements by the judicial authority or other competent authority to which the parties request it and facilitate the mechanisms for the execution of these agreements in accordance with national legislation. An aspect that we must improve, serves as an example since although the 2012 National Law recognizes it, it is also true that in many matters the impeccable work that a mediator can carry out in a process is not recognized since it is about to ensure that the parties themselves are the owners of their decisions and more so in a private sphere where they should and can have a full right to self-determination. The elevation to public should not be an inspection, but rather a consolidation of the agreement. This is recognized when the recommendation speaks of “recognizing the autonomy of mediation and the possibility that it has taken place before, during or after a judicial process.”

e) Finally, I refer to the promotion and access to mediation. The recommendation states that “States should promote the development of family mediation, especially through information programs provided to the public to allow a better understanding of this form of amicable settlement of family disputes.” This promotion 26 years later has either not been enough or has not been effective. Every day there are more accredited, qualified professionals... but there are no mediations.

An effective promotion would have led to reversing those assessments that I wanted to share; That is why we insist once again on “stripping to adopt the necessary measures to allow the parties access to family mediation.”

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And finished. Maybe how I started; Every day I am more in love with her, and from the International School of EIM Mediation, where “she” and I settled, but with the simile of civil law, although she turns 26 today, I remember the moments experienced by the number of students from which I have learned more than what I have taught them. able to teach, but above all today, that despite his age, he is still not independent, he still does not have a job, he still cannot become independent, he is still continuing to train. Hopefully when I write again on my 30th or 35th birthday we will talk about an effective reality, for which I was “born” on that day. Happy Birthday friend.

2 thoughts on “Dia Europeo de la Mediación 26 años después”

  1. Javier Alés's reflection is beautiful, which places us in a scenario where the illusion of the mediators is still far above reality, in terms of the consolidation of the process. There is a long way to go, but it will be exciting to live it.

  2. Great reflection friend Javier Alés.
    I totally agree with maintaining that union with Mediation, whatever it may be. I also fell in love with her back in 2014 and I am still, as you say, in love with her, training and learning how to communicate, exchange thoughts, empathize and, above all, listen in order to save other “marriages” with problems.
    Thank you very much for keeping alive through your writings, that life in favor of good coexistence and Social Peace.
    A special hug for you, the EIM, and all the readers and professionals who love and dedicate themselves to Mediation.


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