We reproduce below the moral report presented by the magistrate Rosalía Fernández Alaya, president of GEMME during the General Assembly held on 11 June in Barcelona, which includes a summary of GEMME's associative activities over the last two years, as well as an outlook on new projects and commitments.
After these two years, which have been so difficult due to the circumstances experienced around the world, I would like to thank you for your efforts to continue the important work of GEMME, strengthening or taking up the projects already started and considering other different ones, with great enthusiasm and mutual collaboration.
I would also like to thank those who have preceded me as presidents. Without them, and without the people who decided to found the association in 2003, and all those who have been working for years in favour of mediation and the culture of peace, it would have been impossible to get where we are today. A big and very special thank you to Beatrice Brenneur, our dear Honorary President and one of the pioneers of mediation in Europe, founder of GEMME.
The numerous representatives from 16 countries present at this Assembly, as well as all those who follow us online, is a more than obvious sign of the excellent health of our Association, as well as of the involvement of all in its evolution. We warmly welcome new members and observers and, at this point, we are particularly grateful to our dear Vice-President Avi Schneebalg, also a pioneer and co-founder of the Association, for his great efforts in this task.
Since its creation in France, GEMME has grown a lot at the international level and the different national sections have worked with great intensity. All the reports submitted which reveal this work are available on our website, together with the documentation for this Assembly.
During all this time, especially in the last few years, it has taken a huge effort to organise and professionalise the association, due to this growth of GEMME and its prestige in all areas where the Association is present. That is why today is a moment of great joy, especially as we can share it with members from all over Europe, both in person and at a distance. We must continue to work together on this, and I thank you in advance for your cooperation.
The communication report will then be explained to us by Myriam Rius, who is in charge of this task. Myriam has done an excellent job, which I would also like to thank, in preparing this Assembly with our Secretary General Anne Gongora and in organising all the academic and cultural activities in Barcelona.
I would like to highlight, among the European associative activities (independently of the reports of each section), the following ones
- Recovery of the ERA project, thanks to the work of Paul Gilligan and the subsequent management of Mary-Rose Gearty. It has been difficult to get applicants to attend the various events, partly motivated by the circumstances of COVID. We trust that all sections will work together to resolve this issue.
- Collaboration with the European Judicial Training Network (EJTN), of which we are partners. Avi Schneebalg has been the main person in charge of this area and he will be able to inform us in more detail.
- Collaboration with MiKK, on mediation in international child abduction and cross-border family mediation.
- Webinar on family mediation in charge of GEMME, organised by the Bulgarian Section, with the invaluable guidance of Dessislava Djarova and the collaboration of experts from Bulgaria and other countries.
- Last (face-to-face) Board meeting in Poland, impeccably organised by our colleague Monika Wlodarczyk.
- Collaboration of several of our members, with the invaluable dedication of Béatrice Brenneur, in various projects of the University of Le Mans.
- Collaboration with the EUIPO (European Intellectual Property Agency). Following the appointment of Lourdes Arastey as a judge of the Court of Justice of the European Union, it was proposed that Michele Weil be appointed to take charge of the project, together with the rest of the GEMME colleagues who have been participating in the meetings for some years. The last meeting in Alicante, in which she and Avi Schneebalg participated, was particularly fruitful. Before and after this meeting, I had several contacts with colleagues from EUIPO to try to strengthen our collaboration. A meeting with its new president is planned after the summer.
- Intervention as an advisory expert, at the request of the European Commission, in relation to the EU position on the Singapore Convention. Paul Gilligan represented Gemme in a very active role at the expert meeting, and gave us his report (see our website). Our dear Irish colleague continues with a very relevant and appreciated role in GEMME. His prestige in Europe is unquestionable.
- Participation in all meetings, online or face-to-face, where we have been asked for advice or institutional intervention.
- Collaboration in projects initiated by national sections, such as the Italian section's project on family mediation.
- Perspective of new actions and projects:
- Celebration of the commemorative acts of the creation of our Association, the next year 2023. It is proposed that Béatrice Brenneur, as co-founder and honorary president, be the person in charge of its organisation with the French section, with the support she will need for such an important event for GEMME.
- Re-establishment or creation of new national sections.
- Adaptation of our statutes and regulations, to better clarify the roles of each body and other necessary details.
- Continuing the organisational and coordination work with the national sections.
- Promotion of mediation and training of judges in this field, such as the event organised for October by the Polish section.
- Proposed collaboration with Mindfulness in Law Society
- Proposed collaboration in a European project on intercultural mediation centres for Ukrainian refugees, other immigrants and various communities in the Member States, in cooperation with Jams international and Weinstein international foundation and Promediation& ProWellness foundation
- Proposed collaboration agreement with the International Therapeutic Justice Network
Rosalía Fernández Alaya, 5 June 2022.