The first expert meeting of the project e-Mediation was held at BCCI. The project aims to promote the use of mediation for cross-border disputes resolution through the use of an online mediation platform developed in Bulgarian and English.
As an organization with traditions in alternative dispute resolution, BCCI supports the efforts to develop mediation in Bulgaria and assesses the project as an additional learning opportunity through the development of an “online mediation learning platform”. The first mediation trainings in Bulgaria were organized and conducted by BCCI more than 10 years ago.
The Mediation Center at BCCI was established on the basis of the experience of the Arbitration Court and mediation know-how acquired through special educational programmes and trainings organized by the Commercial Law Reforms Project of the U.S. Agency for International Development. The Center has specially trained mediators with experience in alternative dispute resolution.
According to information from EUROCHAMBRES and a study on the effectiveness of the European Mediation Directive, systematic referral to mediation of civil disputes for one year could save direct costs between 15 and 40 billion euro EU-wide, and the saved accumulated time for the parties and court from waiting would be more than 8 million years.
The project e-Mediation is funded by the Justice Programme of the European Commission.
The partners are: Law and Internet Foundation /leading partner/, the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Dextro Research Ltd. The project will be implemented over 16 months.
The Chamber and its partners in the project e-Mediation have experience in previous European projects related to the subject: “Mediation meets Judges”, “gotomediation.eu” and “EIRENE”.
In Bulgaria, according to information of the Agreement and Mediation Center at the District Court of Sofia and the Sofia City Court for its 7-year practice about 700 mediations have been conducted. In 28% of the cases a settlement was reached.