New EU proposal for whistleblower protection is a bold step in the right direction

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Admin
Date
20 April, 2018
Type
Press Release
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Today, the European Commission published its long-awaited proposal for an EU-wide Whistleblower Directive, which is a bold step in recognising the importance and rights of whistleblowers, according to Transparency International EU. The proposal, which is a victory for whistleblowers and campaigners alike, could not come at a more vital time, said the anti-corruption group.

“Behind each and every major scandal, from Lux Leaks, to the Panama Papers and Cambridge Analytica, change in our time is being driven by whistleblowers,” said Nicholas Aiossa, of Transparency International EU. “The European Commission has produced an ambitious proposal, which will need to be strengthened to ensure that whistleblowers, no matter who they are or where they work, will be protected,” continued Aiossa.

The proposed legislation will give much greater protection for individuals who wish to come forward when they encounter corruption or illegality in the workplace and will provide both public and private sector employers with greater legal certainty around their rights and obligations. Transparency International have long called for whistleblower protection and this text is a significant step in the right direction within the context of EU treaty competencies.

Until now EU countries have had different levels of protection for those who wish to expose the truth, with some countries such as Ireland having good laws in place and some such as Cyprus having practically none. While certain provisions need to be strengthened, this proposal provides a strong foundation for potential whistleblowers to be protected under EU law.

Now this proposal will have to be negotiated between the European Parliament and European Council before being adopted. Transparency International urges these institutions to uphold the commitments in this text as it passes through the legislative process and to examine where it might be improved in line with international best practices.

 

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Resources

A Best Practice Guide for Whistleblowing Legislation

As more and more countries are seeking to adopt whistleblowing legislation, Transparency International has developed the Best Practice Guide for Whistleblowing Legislation for policy-makers and whistleblowing advocates on how to implement its International Principles for Whistleblower Legislation into national law. 

It was done in collaboration with experts from Transparency International chapters who have successfully advocated for the adoption of whistleblower protection legislation in their countries. For each principle, the current guide sets out what constitutes current good practice and why. Where possible, it provides examples from existing national legislation or prospective best practice. The guide can be read as a whole or be used for specific principles that are of particular interest to the user, but always in tandem with the International Principles for Whistleblower Legislation.

Transparency International’s submission to the European Commission’s consultation whistleblower protection

Transparency International and its EU chapters have submitted our recommendations to the European Commission’s public consultation on whistleblower protection.

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