Handover of 280,000 petition signatures calling for a better directive
MEP Virginie Rozière, European Parliament Rapporteur for the proposed whistleblower protection directive, yesterday, received petitions with more than 280,000 signatures, gathered by a coalition of trade unions and NGOs, which she handed over to the Council of the European Union at the final scheduled trilogue in the Parliament on Monday 4 March.
The petitions by Eurocadres, WeMove.EU, Blueprint for Free Speech, FIBGAR and Riparte il Futuro, express European citizens demands for an improved directive to better protect whistleblowers. They also underline that the legislation should allow whistleblowers to firstly report criminal activity and wrongdoing, through the channel, which they find appropriate and are comfortable with, be that to regulatory authorities, law enforcement agencies or the media.
If you report directly to your line manager you could lose your whistleblower protection.
Currently, the proposed whistleblower protection directive states that you are obliged to first report to your organisation’s special internal whistleblowing channel. This contains the danger that if you report directly to your line manager you could lose your whistleblower protection. Campaigners and the petitioners agree with the Parliament in that this requirement should be removed from the directive.
The legislation should allow whistleblowers to firstly report criminal activity and wrongdoing, through the channel, which they find appropriate and are comfortable with.
The petitions which were handed over at the European Parliament, also confirm that the European public wants a directive which includes the right to seek advice from trade unions and NGOs and the possibility to be represented by trade unions.
Petitioners also demand whistleblowers should be fully protected when they report to journalists, this would encourage investigative journalism. There is also a strong belief that a ‘non-regression’ clause needs to be added to the directive. Such a clause would aim at ensuring that the directive cannot be used to worsen existing whistleblower protection laws in Member States.
There is also a strong belief that a ‘non-regression’ clause needs to be added to the directive.
The trilogue will continue next week, an extension beyond the original timetable, making an agreement possible next week, at the earliest. For the legislative process to be finalised before the parliamentary elections an agreement must be made very shortly between the Parliament, Commission and Council. Those working to improve the directive will therefore focus much of their work on last minute advocacy efforts to give a last push for these necessary changes to the whistleblower protection directive.
On Tuesday it was all about the euphoria of the whistleblower protection Directive being adopted by the European Parliament (EP) in Strasbourg. Now the hard work begins again, as politicians, trade unions, NGOs and whistleblowers meet to discuss; “The future of the new [whistleblower protection] Directive”, at a civil society event at the European Parliament, on the 17th of April.
In the final session before the EU elections, the European Parliament will vote for a new EU Directive to protect whistleblowers in Europe. Civil society played an essential role in making this happen.
Warm applause greeted the unanimous adoption of last week’s trilogue provisional agreement on whistleblower protection, at today’s European Parliament Legal Affairs Committee.
Members of the WhistleblowersProtection.EU platform mainly welcomed the provisional agreement reached by the European Parliament, the Commission and the Council, in the early hours of the 12th of March.
The European Union is expected to shortly adopt the EU’s flagship whistleblower protection directive. EPSU, believes it is essential that the final legislation fully protects whistleblowers and encourages whistleblowers to report wrongdoing, through which ever route they consider most appropriate, be that the media or relevant authorities.
MEP Virginie Rozière, European Parliament Rapporteur for the proposed whistleblower protection directive, yesterday, received petitions with more than 280,000 signatures, gathered by coalitions of trade unions and NGOs, which she handed over to the Council of the European Union at the final scheduled trilogue in the Parliament on Monday 4 March.
Today trade unions and NGOs will deliver two petitions gathering over 280,000 signatures supporting the European Parliament’s demands for an improved directive.
In an open letter to the European Council, Commission and Parliament seven well-known European whistleblowers speak out for changing the directive and removing barriers for safe reporting.
The EU Whistleblowing Directive is an idea whose time has come. New whistleblower protection laws in Ireland, France and the Netherlands showed consensus was building among EU Member States on the need to protect and enable workers to speak up about wrongdoing in the workplace.
The directive must be changed to that whistleblowers can report not only a special internal whistleblowing channel, but also to managers or law enforcement.