Building bridges to promote effective mediation and advance trade and commerce for the Bulgarian business community was at the heart of a meeting held on September 29 at the Chambers Offices with the internationally recognized Foundation For Sustainable Rule of Law Initiatives (FSRI), led by the founder and promoter of mediation, Mr. Victor Schachter. Also in attendance representing the FSRI delegation was Jennifer Brandt, a highly regarded mediator from the United States and FSRI Ambassador, and Professor of Law and Economics David Weiss from New Jersey City University.
The focus of the meeting was to exchange ideas and dialogue with the leadership of the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and the Sofia Mediation Center about how to promote awareness and use of mediation to support the business community facing their commercial disputes. The meeting centered on how Bulgaria is progressing in mediation development by expanding the understanding and benefits of parties utilizing a mediator to resolve their disputes. These benefits include cost savings, reduction in the time to reach voluntary agreement, and the preservation of the business relationships among the disputing parties. Businesses should look to mediation as a tool to help them manage their own risk and conflicts and improve ongoing performance of operations. Litigation should be considered a last resort when businesses have conflicts. Mediation is a forum in which parties control the process and shape their own final resolution. The Chamber and FSRI meeting proved to be a productive exchange to explore how the Bulgarian business community can avail itself of mediation procedures and thereby enhance businesses settlements of commerical disputes in an effective, timely and successful way.