Rozière positions whistleblower protection law as response to public concerns
European institutions have been seen as being too close to lobbyists and vested interests. 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, said Virginie Rozière MEP.
The Rapporteur for the Whistleblower Protection Directive spoke at the recent European Broadcasting Union (EBU) event. Two days after successfully steering the whistleblowers protection measures, through the EP’s Legal Affairs Committee.
‘The European Parliament and the Council have to embrace the fact that elections are close at hand. Whistleblowers have largely driven the current mandate of the European Parliament (EP)’, Rozière stated.
Whistleblowers combat money laundering & tax evasion
If you think about Lux Leaks, the Panama Papers and now the Danske Bank case, whistleblowers interventions and revelations have been essential in helping us combat tax fraud, tax evasion and money laundering, continued the MEP. So, it is important that we in the EP now give them our protection and support with an ambitious whistleblower protection law, which was only partially represented in the initial proposal developed by the European Commission.
Whistleblowers have largely driven the current mandate of the European Parliament
On the strict stepped approach to reporting, where internal reporting is mandatory as a first step, the MEP highlighted the 2014 Council of Europe Recommendation on protection of whistleblowers. It acknowledges that ‘the individual circumstances of each case will determine the most appropriate channel’ when it comes to reporting.
Challenges ahead for directive
Reflecting on the upcoming battle to get the whistleblower protection adopted, Rozière said it could be a challenge to get both the hierarchy between external and internal reporting deleted and reporting on workers’ rights added, as there seems to be reservations in both the Council and from the Commission.
Whistleblowers are best placed to determine whom to disclose the information they have uncovered to, including reporting to the media
Chairing the event, Nicola Frank, EBU’s Head of European Affairs emphasised the importance of whistleblowers as a source for investigative journalism. She also noted that whistleblowers are best placed to determine whom to disclose the information they have uncovered to, including reporting to the media, which was included in the report on the directive, recently adopted by the EP. Frank welcomed the EP committee’s decision to delete the stepped approach to reporting, despite fierce political opposition.
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.