ECPMF welcomes EU whistleblowing directive proposal

After at least two years of negotiations the EU Commission finally decided to strengthen legal protection for whistleblowers.

Whistleblowing "Individuals may come forward with information on wrongdoing with no fear", says ECPMF's legal advisor Flutura Kusari

On Monday, April 23rd, 2018 First Vice-President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans and Justice Commissioner Vera Jourová presented a new proposal for an EU-wide Whistleblower Directive. Recent cases like Cambridge Analytica, Panama Papers and Dieselgate have again shown how important it is to shield those who expose wrongdoing. Until now there are just ten of 28 European countries, including Ireland and France, systematically protecting whistleblowers from employer persecution. This directive will strengthen whistleblowers' rights not only in EU Member States, but also in enlargement countries, such as Albania, Serbia and Kosovo.

Now, this proposal will have to be negotiated between the European Parliament and European Council before being adopted.

“The ECPMF welcomes the directive which seems to have a wide scope, protecting whistleblowers in public and private sectors, as well as allowing public whistleblowing. If the directive is passed by the European Parliament, it will mark the first time in history that the EU will oblige all Member States to put in place a comprehensive legislation on the protection of whistleblowers”, says ECPMF's legal advisor Flutura Kusari. 

"This will enable individals to come forward with information on wrongdoing without being afraid of being dismissed, fired, demoted, or sued". 

The idea for a directive was initially proposed by the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament, headed by MEP Benedek Jávor (Hungary). Their initiative laid the ground for having a European legislation on the protection of whistleblowers.

In the coming weeks the ECPMF will analyse the draft proposal, especially from the perspective of the right to freedom of expression of journalists and media.

For press enquiries, please contact Sophie Albers Ben Chamo

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Source information: This article was originally published by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom –