Call to action: Whistleblower protection across the EU

February 23, 2021
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Transposition 2021, a race against time.

In 2019 the European Union adopted a ground-breaking Directive to ensure comprehensive and coherent protection of whistleblowers across Europe.  Civil society, including anti-corruption and transparency NGOs, trade unions, journalist associations, and academics were instrumental in calling for legal protections and ensuring the Directive set out a strong foundation to protect the right to speak out against wrongdoing and harm.

Whistleblowing is essential to protecting the public interest – whether it is reporting the corruption that results in sub-standard PPE equipment for front-line workers during COVID-19, or revealing systematic non-compliance with environmental or other safety standards which pollutes the air we breathe, the food we eat or the water we drink. Whistleblowers help responsible businesses learn about problems before the damage is done and help hold irresponsible organisations to account for their wrongdoing or negligence. 

Twenty-seven Member States have until December 2021 to transpose the Directive into their national systems.  Progress has been slow and monitoring transposition has revealed some serious problems. For example,  

  • Some countries are debating whether or not to protect those who report breaches of national as well as EU law despite the fact that a failure to do so would make a nonsense of any national system to protect whistleblowers
  • Policy makers are still discussing a ‘good faith’ test for whistleblowers despite the EU Directive making it clear that motive is irrelevant as to whether protection is available
  • Too few countries are taking the opportunity to reinforce the freedom of expression provisions to protect public disclosures and journalist sources

Join us to learn about why the transposition of this EU Directive matters to you!  Whistleblowing to protect journalists’ sources, workers’ rights, vulnerable communities during COVID-19 and the environment.

Agenda

Opening remarks
Nick Aiossa, Deputy Director and Head of Policy and Advocacy, Transparency International EU

Panel discussion:
Supporting Whistleblowers Matters

  • Marie Terracol, Whistleblower Protection Lead, Transparency International
  • Martin Jefflén, President, Eurocadres
  • Vigjilenca Abazi, Assistant Professor, University of Maastricht
  • Camille Petit, European Federation of Journalists

Q&A

Presentation: EU Whistleblowing Meter
Ida Nowers, Law & Policy Coordinator, WIN

Q&A

Closing remarks
Anna Myers, Executive Director, WIN

This event will be held via Zoom on Tuesday 23rd February 2021, at 13:00 - 14:30 UTC / 14:00 - 15:30 CET.

For more information and to register, please see here.

If you would like to highlight your whistleblowing events or activities on the WIN website, please drop us a line on info@whistleblowingnetwork.org