Whistleblower protection legislation remains the exception rather than the rule in the EU. Most Member States do not have dedicated legislation in place, and even in the few countries where such laws do exist, they usually leave significant loopholes and fall short of good practice.
As a result, European citizens remain largely unprotected in case they take the decision to speak up, facing the risk of retaliation, judicial proceedings and dismissal. This, in turn, leaves suspected cases of fraud, corruption and other malpractice unattended – a huge potential to fight such practices is lost.
Now is the time for the EU to bring forward comprehensive legal protection for whistleblowers that which to expose the truth.
Working with a board coalitions on EU national chapters, civil society organisations, trade unions and journalist associations here have been a number of positive developments on whistleblower protection. In October 2017, the European Parliament adopted a strong own-initiative report in favour of a horizontal directive on whistleblower protection, in line with international principles, including those of TI. Following the Commission’s legislative proposal in April 2018, the Parliament adopted a series of committee opinions and ultimately a Legal Affairs committee report, in November 2018, which incorporated numerous key TI policy recommendations. There was also progress made with the Austrian and Romanian Council Presidencies. Now we are working to ensure that negotiations between the Council and Parliament conclude with a robust directive being adopted before the elections in May.