Our Work with European Multinationals

Posted on: July 10th, 2023

Wherever different people have to live and work alongside each other, there is likely to be conflict. Our organisations, EU Mediation and UK Mediation, have been dedicated to resolving interpersonal conflict for the last 25 years and, since the unsightly divorce of the UK from the EU in early 2020, our work through EU Mediation has certainly increased.    

The EU market is significant. In 2020, the EU’s business economy was made up of 26.3 million active enterprises with more than 131 million persons employed [1]. Of these, our work with EU Mediation has focussed mainly in multinationals where English is the principal common language. According to the Eurogroups Register [2], over 150,000 such multinational enterprise groups operated in EU and EFTA countries in 2020, employing over 45 million people: approximately 1 in 5 of those employed within Europe.

Our mediation work has been in demand for resolving grievance-type issues among workers of all levels in such organisations, including:

Our expert mediators have achieved a high level of settlement, precluding the need for either restructuring, getting the lawyers in, or having to incur the major distraction and stress of investigations and other formal processes. Of course, for highly skilled areas of work, early and informal resolution also means that organisations can avoid the need to have to continually re-recruit and re-train high-salaried people.

In a central European office of a multi-national health organisation, for example, two ex-pat workers had fallen out over allegations of ‘disrespectful language', ‘command and control management’, and ‘refusing to report to me properly’. Possibly they had left the situation rather too long, because of the 'Golden Cage syndrome' [3], but a day’s mediation resolved all their issues and the two remained in post with no further problems. All was still well with the pair at the six- month follow-up.

In a mainland European research institute, two academics had become embroiled in a dispute over alleged discrimination, coupled with accusations of plagiarism around a journal publication. Some preliminary work got the two of them to come to the table with a mediator, where their dispute was not only resolved, but they agreed a charter for how to head off any similar issues in the future. A check-in after six months showed that things were still working out for them.   

And in a tech firm in Southern Europe, partners who had set up the business after being at university together found that there was some misunderstanding around the terms on which one of them would move on to start their own separate enterprise. A very expensive litigation was avoided when we mediated a settlement involving not only division of existing assets, but also a deal about what would happen with future earnings.  

Our mediators also work online with Zoom or Teams, so even colleagues who work remotely or who are based some distance from each other can benefit from the confidential and impartial process of mediation. And we find that an initial chat about a case or situation can be very helpful if anyone wants to think about using mediation for the first time. We would be delighted to hear what you’ve got going on in your own organisation and we’ll let you know if mediation might help.


Mediation in Multinational Settings

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Navigating Conflict: The Conflict Resolution Pathway

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Becoming an Interpersonal Mediator

January 14th, 2022 Read more