Protection of whistleblowers: EU-wide rules are a leap forward

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Liberals and Democrats in the European Parliament have today strongly welcomed the European Commission proposals today for EU-wide protection rules for whistleblowers. The Directive’s objective is to replace the current legal patchwork across the Union and to set minimum standards for protection in areas with a clear EU dimension and touching upon the single market. The proposals aim to ensure that potential whistleblowers have clear reporting channels available to report both within an organisation and, in limited exceptional cases, directly externally. Furthermore, if whistleblowers suffer retaliation, they should have easily accessible advice free of charge.

ALDE MEP Jean-Marie Cavada, Vice President of the Legal Affairs committee, said today:

“Whistleblowers act in the public interest, compensate for the lack of institutional powers when necessary, and seek to protect citizens. It is about time the EU ends the current legal patchwork and comes up with EU-wide rules to protect them. Scandals revealed by whistleblowers do often not only affect one country alone but the whole Union.”

“Recent revelations such as the Panama Papers or LuxLeaks made it even clearer that it is our duty to guarantee whistleblowers are protected from court proceedings, which could prevent them sharing valuable information with the public. In this context, we need to see in which areas, apart from the internal market, such protection is needed and how we can strike the right balance between the right of information of the public and the presumption of innocence of those accused of wrongdoing.”

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