Discussion Papers

Franz Büllingen, Annette Hillebrand, Diana Rätz

Alternative Streitbeilegung in der aktuellen EMVU-Debatte
Nr. 258 / November 2004

Summary

The EMF debate in Germany is following an oscillating pattern since the early 1990s. Its furth er development is still open. Network operators as well as public authorities therefore have taken action with the "Voluntary Self-Commitment", the "Association Agreement" as well as the setup of an Internet portal in order to de-escalate the controversy which are exemplary abroad. Nev ertheless, it can not be excluded that the conflict comes to a head. The study at hand pursues the aim of developing a scientifically documented and standardized method within the frame of a feasibility study, which should be applicable to different conflicts in the context of the roll-out of the UMTS-network and the search for the location of mobile base stations.

The study analyses the essen tial methods developed for the context of environmental conflicts, especially regarding their origin, their method of resolution, their context of application, the methods efficiency as well as the arising costs. Those methods which can be summarized with the generic term "Alternative Dispute Resolution" are non-judicial methods of resolution such as mediation, citizen advice, consensus conferences, ombudsman, arbitration or the (moderated) round table. Especially the experiences of the United States, Austria and Switzerland were evaluated in the context of a benchmark study. Obviously no cases concerning the application of mediation in the context of the EMF-debate could be found. Therefore the study at hand has an extraordinary and leading function.

Two mediation experts were assigned to initiate and carry out the mediation process in a concrete clash. Therefore a model case was introduced and started in August 2003 in a conflict concerning the location of a mobile base station in Munich. In order to objectify the gained insights, the instruments ex-ante questioning, participating observation as well as the ex-post questioning were used as a means to conduct research. The extracted insights were validated by interviews with experts as well as the results of the benchmark study.

As a result, mediation can be characterized only as a limited attempt to contribute to a solution of EMF-conflicts. The high number of different influence factors in every single conflict form a high risk for the outcome. The intended benefit concerning acceptance and legitimation is more or less accidental. For this reason the aim of the project could not be achieved. Because the catched measures of the Self Commitment have shown good results, all possibilities of self regulation should be preferred. Regarding time, cost and risks of a project´s result, mediation shall not be authoritatively prescribed but restricted to those cases being of high economic relevance. [Only German language version available.]

Diskussion Paper is available for download.

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