EU whistleblower protection heads in the right direction

Author
Lucinda Pearson
Date
20 November, 2018
Type
Article
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Today, the European Parliament Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) voted in favour of stronger protections in an EU-wide whistleblower directive that was proposed by the Commission in April. This will serve as the Parliament’s negotiating mandate in the coming discussions with the Council.

It is disgraceful that whistleblowers, including Howard Wilkinson from Danske Bank, continue to face potential retaliation for exposing corrupt practices.”, said Nicholas Aiossa, of Transparency International EU. “Today the European Parliament has rightly sought to strengthen protections for these brave whistleblowers across the EU.”

Transparency International EU sees a number of positive inclusions in the text that was passed today.

“The Parliament has made a number of important advancements to encourage whistleblowers to report and to ensure they do not face unjust retaliation. Now it will be up to the Council to continue in this positive direction.”, continued Aiossa.

Some of the improved measures include allowing whistleblowers to report straight to competent law enforcement or regulatory bodies, measures to strengthen confidentiality obligations, and allowing anonymous reporting.

Transparency International has long called for whistleblower protection and believes this is a another step forward in efforts to ensure harmonised levels of protection for those reporting wrongdoing and corruption. We continue to urge the EU institutions to uphold the standards and strength of this legislation as they engage in upcoming negotiations with the Council.

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Resources

Policy brief – EU whistleblower protection

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.

Want to know more? Get in touch

Nicholas Aiossa

Policy Officer – Whistleblowing; Misuse of EU Funds
naiossa@transparency.org