Protecting whistle-blowers: new EU-wide rules approved

Julian_Assange

Description Julian Assange Date 20 March 2010, 15:34 Source Julian Assange Uploaded by Ralgis Author Espen Moe

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.


Those disclosing information acquired in a work-related context, on illegal or harmful activities, will be better protected, under new EU rules approved on Tuesday.

The new rules, adopted with 591 votes in favour, 29 against and 33 abstentions and already agreed with EU ministers, lay down new, EU-wide standards to protect whistle-blowers revealing breaches of EU law in a wide range of areas including public procurement, financial services, money laundering, product and transport safety, nuclear safety, public health, consumer and data protection.

Safe reporting channels

To ensure potential whistle-blowers remain safe and that the information disclosed remains confidential, the new rules allow them to disclose information either internally to the legal entity concerned or directly to competent national authorities, as well as to relevant EU institutions, bodies, offices and agencies.

In cases where no appropriate action was taken in response to the whistle-blower’s initial report, or if they believe there is an imminent danger to the public interest or a risk of retaliation, the reporting person will still be protected if they choose to disclose information publicly.

Safeguards against retaliation

The law explicitly prohibits reprisals and introduces safeguards to prevent the whistle-blower from being suspended, demoted and intimidated or facing other forms of retaliation. Those assisting whistle-blowers, such as facilitators, colleagues, relatives are also protected.

Member states must ensure whistle-blowers have access to comprehensive and independent information and advice on available procedures and remedies free-of-charge, as well as legal aid during proceedings. During legal proceedings, those reporting may also receive financial and psychological support.

Quote

The rapporteur Virginie Rozière (S&D, FR) said: “Recent scandals such as LuxLeaks, Panama Papers and Football leaks have helped to shine a light on the great precariousness that whistle-blowers suffer today. On the eve of European elections, Parliament has come together to send a strong signal that it has heard the concerns of its citizens, and pushed for robust rules guaranteeing their safety and that of those persons who choose to speak out”.

Next steps

The law now needs to be approved by EU ministers. Member states will then have two years to comply with the rules.

Background information

Recent scandals, from LuxLeaks to Panama Papers, have demonstrated how important whistle-blowers’ revelations are to detect and prevent breaches of EU law harmful to the public interest and the welfare of society. Lack of effective whistle-blower protection at EU level can also negatively impact the functioning of EU policies in a member state, but can also spill over to other countries and the EU as a whole.

Currently, only 10 EU countries (France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Slovakia, Sweden and UK) provide comprehensive legal protection. In the remaining countries, protection is only partial or applies to specific sectors or categories of employee.

A 2017 study carried out for the Commission estimated the loss of potential benefits due to a lack of whistle-blower protection, in public procurement alone, to be in the range of €5.8 to €9.6 billion each year for the EU as a whole.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Parliament cuts own spending to facilitate agreement on EU budget

New Zealand will have a new ‘well-being budget,’ says Jacinda Ardern

New EU short-stay visas: more advantages for legitimate travellers

The Parliament sets the way for the European Banking Union

This is what a smart city should do for its people

Canada has created an Arctic conservation zone almost as big as Germany

Greener tourism: Greater collaboration needed to tackle rising emissions

Iran-US attack in Iraq: Guterres pledges ‘active engagement’ in further de-escalation efforts

Finnish Prime Minister calls for a more united EU of concrete actions

Gaza investigators call on Israel to review ‘rules of engagement’ as Gaza protest anniversary looms

5 ways Denmark is preparing for the future of work

Why do medical students seek for work abroad?

Syria: WHO appeals for funding to sustain critical health care for millions trapped by conflict

Afghanistan: UN condemns blasts that leave 8 dead at cricket stadium

Merkel, Mercedes and Volkswagen to abolish European democracy

OECD: Mind the financial gap that lies ahead

JADE Spring Meeting 2017 – day 3: JADE Academy trainings, networking session and gala dinner – Excellence Awards winners revealed

The real cost of addiction

France pushes UK to stay and Germany to pay

Family-friendly policies benefit all of us. Here are 4 ways to boost them

How to talk to people about mental health – and support one another

The right approach to addressing overcapacity problem from a Chinese perspective

Four lessons from Africa on building effective business ecosystems

Statement by President von der Leyen on recent developments related to Iran and Iraq

As inequality grows, the UN fights for a fairer world

Data is the oil of the digital world. What if tech giants had to buy it from us?

These are the 5 most exciting cycling projects in the world

Philippe de Backer of ALDE at European Business Summit 2015 stresses: “Reinvent your business”

Restore land to save the planet, boost the economy, says head of UN body combating desertification

How tech can help businesses balance profit and purpose

EU Budgets: Europe hoping for Xmas gifts

What changes in the EU as from today

The EU slowly exits from “Excessive Deficit Procedure” and hopefully from ‘Excessive Austerity Procedure’ too

Can a Bavarian Oktoberfest beer indulger bring down the Berlin government?

How UN cultural treasures helped set the stage for Game of Thrones

UN News Daily #UNGA Guide: Mandela Peace Summit, Global Goals, Youth and Yemen

Here’s how to achieve growth in the Middle East and North Africa

Empowering people living with HIV ‘will end the epidemic’, says AIDS agency chief

International Literacy Day: What you need to know about youth literacy

Erasmus+ will finance existing UK-EU mobility in the event of no-deal Brexit

Tech must embrace teamwork to transform the world

Universal Health Coverage will ‘drive progress’ on 2030 Development Agenda

The refugee crisis brings to light EU’s most horrible flaws and nightmares

The world invested almost $2 trillion in energy last year. These 3 charts show where it went

How can we prepare students for the Fourth Industrial Revolution? 5 lessons from innovative schools around the world

Future-proofing the European banking market – removing the obstacles to exit

EU Parliament: A catastrophic crisis management by European leaders

High-flyers: China is on top of the world for skyscraper construction

EU elections: The louder the threats and the doomsaying the heavier the weight of the vote

‘Are we ready for the age of disruption?’, Thailand’s Foreign Minister asks UN Assembly

Who will win the AI race? If countries work together, then the answer could be all of us

Scourge of slavery still claims 40 million victims worldwide, ‘must serve as a wakeup call’

Better air pollution data is helping us all breathe easier. Here’s how

IMF: How can Eurozone avoid stagnation

A small group of world leaders are standing together against inequality

Can Eurozone stand economic and financial fragmentation?

Our health systems are under pressure. Here are 9 ways to remedy that

UN chief condemns explosion at election rally in Zimbabwe that injured dozens, including senior politicians

Syrian Constitutional Committee a ‘sign of hope’: UN envoy tells Security Council

What is the Coral Triangle?

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s