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.
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.
In an open letter 81 signing organisations urge the EU Council to adopt the Parliament’s position on reporting channels. The whistleblower protection directive is currently in trilogue. The signatories express serious concerns about the reporting channels regime in the Council and Commission positions in these negotiations.
A few weeks left to improve the whistleblower protection directive. Make your voice heard and sign the new petition for strong whistleblower protection!
The Romanian Presidency will play a key role is securing a robust whistleblower protection Directive, argues R. Nicolae, of Syene. He believes that Romania has a number of strengths which will support it leading the negotiations, as the whistleblower protection file moves from the Council to trilogue.
According to the Legal Counsel of the Danske Bank Whistleblower, S. Kohn, the Howard Wilkinson case clearly demonstrates that the EU Whistleblower Directive urgently needs to be revised to protect the right to report directly to law enforcement agencies and regulatory authorities.
The Duty Speech Loophole: how the EU Whistleblower Directive could backfire against its own objectives
Tom Devine, Legal Director of GAP explains why a series of technical contradictions within the EU draft directive need to be resolved, or the legislation could backfire and actually work against whistleblowers.