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EU backs new rules to protect whistleblowers throughout the EU


Yesterday evening, negotiators from the European Parliament, Commission and Council made a preliminary agreement on new rules that will ensure that whistleblowers are protected throughout Europe.
These proposals, which the S&D Group has long called for were proposed earlier this year by European Commission vice-president Frans Timmermans. It is the first time that Europe-wide rules have been agreed to protect whistleblowers.
S&D MEP and European Parliament negotiator for the protection of whistleblowers Virginie Rozière said:
“From exposing dodgy tax deals between governments and multinational companies to showing how political campaigns manipulated voters using data driven profiling, whistleblowers have played a vital role in holding the powerful to account in recent years. However, far too often they have faced criminal prosecution and serious professional consequences for doing the right thing. Last night we took a significant step forward to ensure that whistleblowers are protected wherever they are in the EU.
“This was a difficult fight, we faced strong opposition from some national governments and right-wing political groups. However, what was agreed is a significant improvement. From now on whistleblowers will be able to decide whether they report wrongdoing through internal channels or directly to an external body. This was a vital point for us as clearly in many circumstances it is not appropriate for a whistleblower to report wrongdoing within their own organisation.
“We are disappointed that the agreement does not also cover social rights, however we have ensured a review clause so that the European Commission will look in detail at the proposal to expand the scope of the agreement. We also ensured that these are only minimum standards, so national governments can still provide even stronger protections.
“It is now up to national governments to approve these new rules without further delay to ensure that those exposing corruption or malpractice are fully protected wherever they are in Europe.”


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