Mediation as a means to resolve conflicts without lengthy judicial procedures is becoming ever more popular, due to its money- and time-saving nature. Whether it's within the confines of a marriage, between business partners, in a neighbourhood or at school, the empowering nature of mediation is enormous and the reason why Luxembourg's mediation services have been thriving. Meet three key players on their mission: the Centre for Civil and Commercial Mediation, the School Mediation Service and an accredited neighbourhood mediator.
Mediation as integral part of Luxembourg's legal system
"In every legal dispute, there is a window of opportunity for mediation, when the parties involved realise how much energy, time and therefore money they are going to have to invest," says Jörg Batz of the Centre for Civil and Commercial Mediation (CMCC). The former manager retrained as a certified mediator and joined the CMCC. This not-for-profit association – the costs are covered by the parties seeking mediation – mediates in a wide range of situations, from litigation between international companies, to disputes between neighbours. According to Batz, only 4 to 5 sessions suffice in the majority of cases – sometimes even a simple phone call serves to bring both parties together in a mutually beneficial agreement. Moreover, the longer lasting benefits are just as remarkable: both parties feel empowered by the process and see their own interest in building a solution to their problem together and that solution is also legally binding. Thus, mediation is acting as a part of the legal system, not as its alternative.
In mediation, the goal is value the other party and to be valued. (Jörg Batz)
Luxembourg's mediation services at a glance
Depending on your needs, these are the sectorial mediation services that can help you:
- General mediation: Civil and Commercial Mediation Centre
- Administrations: Ombudsman of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
- Children and adolescents: Ombudsman fir Kanner a Jugendlecher (OKaJu) / S-Team Peer Mediation
- Consumer Safety: Médiateur de la consommation
- Education: School Mediation Service
- Family mediation: ProFamilia / FamilljenCenter
- Health: Médiateur Santé
- Neighbour disputes: please enquire at your municipality for mediation services.
Empowering people as a Leitmotiv
Mediation not only prevents lengthy legal procedures but also plays a vital role in establishing common ground for the benefit of all parties involved. This significance is particularly pronounced in the context of the nation's youth, where the integration of students from diverse national, cultural, and social backgrounds is viewed as essential for our society's future success. This is precisely where the School Mediation Service (SMS) steps in. The SMS focuses on preventing students from dropping out, particularly in cases involving immigration backgrounds or specific needs. As an independent entity under the Ministry of Education, it can request documents and make recommendations with the goal of improving the education system in the long run. Thus, it represents a key element of a societal movement that engages individuals in decisions affecting them and guides them toward mutually advantageous resolutions.
By listening, understanding and raising awareness, we ensure that the ministry's commitment to inclusion and integration is effective. Just because something is written in a law doesn't mean its application becomes inevitable! (Luisa de Pina)
This is also true for local communities, where mediation has become a successful tool to resolve disputes. Astrid Glod, a trained mediator and head of Me-Mo Mediation-Mobbing, is called upon by local administrations when neighbours cannot settle their differences. Indeed, the participating municipalities have come to appreciate this alternative method, as it helps unclog the commune’s services, but most of all it enables residents to assume control of their own conflicts. The effect is curative: local communities are encouraged to find common ground that enables both parties to emerge from the situation as winners. And even though not every dispute can fully be settled – around two thirds of the cases are resolved this way –, mediation is instrumental in creating communication channels that bridge differences of opinion and cultural differences and build consensus across cultural and other divides.
The mediation agreement is worked out by the neighbours without any question of who is right or wrong. Thus, there are no losers and both sides emerge as winners from the situation. (Astrid Glod)