Over a quarter of a million signatories support better whistleblower protection
Today trade unions and NGOs will deliver two petitions gathering over 280,000 signatures supporting the European Parliament’s demands for an improved directive.
The European Parliament’s position gives whistleblowers greater flexibility in reporting criminal acts, corruption and wrongdoing.
The petitions will be handed over to MEP Virginie Rozière, rapporteur of the European Parliament, who is also representing the Parliament in the trilogue negotiations.
The parliament’s position gives whistleblowers greater flexibility in reporting criminal acts, corruption and wrongdoing.
At present, the Parliament’s position on reporting channels is facing strong opposition from both the Council and the Commission. According to Martin Jefflén, President of Eurocadres and founder of WhistleblowerProtection.EU, ‘the European public expects a better directive than what the Commission and Council wants. The right to protection also when reporting to a manager or to law enforcement must be guaranteed’.
It has been quite disconcerting for us to see Commission and Council still maintaining the mandatory internal reporting provision.
Veronika Nad, Country Manager of Germany for Blueprint for Free Speech, who will participate in the handover of the Voices of Justice petition and also representing coalition partners Riparte il futuro and FIBGAR, believes: ‘This is a one-time opportunity for Europe to establish good minimum standard in protecting whistleblowers. Approving a Directive providing for mandatory internal reporting would weaken the rule of law in a time when Europe most needs it. This is why a “poor” directive would be rather unsettling. We have worked so much to reach this point that it has been quite disconcerting for us to see Commission and Council still maintaining the mandatory internal reporting provision. It simply makes no sense.’
The European Council has a responsibility to protect the positive amendments made to the proposal for a whistleblower protection directive adopted by the European Parliament’s legal affairs committee last month.
It would be a real shame if member states’ representatives were now seen as acting against public concerns, in resisting a whistleblower protection law which encourages the reporting of crime and wrongdoing.
The now famous Danske Bank Whistleblower, Howard Wilkinson, testified before the TAX3 European Parliament Committee last week. Wilkinson reported suspicious financial transactions at Danske Bank’s Estonia branch, where he worked until 2014.
The WhistleblowerProtection.EU platform is celebrating a job well done, after the Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament passed a strengthened whistleblower protection directive, on the 20th of November.
The EU’s whistleblower protection directive, is in a state of flux, key political battles are being fought right now. The whistleblower proposals as they currently stand, have several Achilles heels tucked into the directive’s fine print.
The LuxLeaks revelations were unprecedented not only in the level of corruption they uncovered, but also in the vast array of journalists from different media organisations working together to uncover corruption.
Many of the biggest whistleblower disclosures of recent years have been international in nature – LuxLeaks and the Panama Papers in particular. As pointed out by the Greens in the European Parliament, there is a general European public interest that often supersedes the national interests of a single member state.
Protection for whistleblowers in Europe is currently a patchwork affair. Some countries, such as Ireland having robust laws in place, while others, such as Cyprus, have practically none. 16 EU member states have specific laws or provisions, and 10 of those adopted their laws or in the past 5 years.