In mediation a mediator or team of mediators assists the parties' negotiations on the resolution of a dispute. The mediator(s) add(s) value by focusing on the parties' interests, rather than deciding which of the respective positions is legally correct.
The style of Dutch mediators is generally facilitative. In the field of business mediation, a trend is developing towards more evaluative styles of mediation. It follows from recent research (available in Dutch only) that businesses show an increasing interest for mediation in which the mediator takes a more Anglo-Saxon approach in the process.
The Netherlands has a well-established and well-organised mediation community. As a consequence, Mediation as a dispute resolution mechanism is also widely supported by arbitration/dispute resolution institutions, such as the Netherlands Arbitration Institute and the SGOA (the Centre for Conflicts in IT).
There's no mechanism in the Netherlands for obtaining an exequatur on a mediated settlement agreements. Such mediated settlement agreements must be enforced through proceedings on the merits. This is generally done before the Dutch courts, as it is not common for mediated settlement agreements to provide for an arbitration clause. Where agreement between the parties is evident – as it should be – a mediated settlement agreement may also be successfully enforced through interim relief proceedings.