EU Whistleblowing Meter – January 2021 Roundup

February 11, 2021
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This is the monthly roundup of updates provided by the EU Whistleblowing Meter team of country editors detailing national developments in the transposition of the EU Directive on Whistleblowing during January 2021.

As of today, there are just 10 months and 5 days until the deadline for transposition of the EU Directive on Whistleblowing.

Transposition is underway in at least 18 countries, with Croatia moving to ‘in progress’ this month. 9 Member States remain listed as ‘not started.’  

Country Updates:

In Czechia, the Government suspended discussions on a draft whistleblowing protection law due to ongoing ambiguities of the intended role of the Labor Inspectorate.

Note: On the 01 February 2020 it was announced that the Government had approved the draft law which reflected the EU Directive. Civil society in Czechia have raised concerns about the proposed framework, see recommendations for improvement and Spotlight on WIN Member Oživení.

In Spain, Public consultation on a draft proposal to implement the Directive was launched by the Ministry of Justice which closed on the 27 January. Civil Society have responded to the Bill. You can read WIN Associate Xnet’s detailed submissions here.

Public consultation has also been announced in France. The Ministry of Justice has invited unions, associations and NGOs to submit opinions before the 21 March 2021. A position paper on implementation has been presented to parliament by the Defender of Rights ombuds institution. Civil society have called for progressive implementation in an op-ed in a national newspaper.

In Italy, initial preparatory work has now begun in Parliament. Once discussed and approved, a draft Bill will officially appoint the Ministry of Justice and the Department for European Policies to commence implementation.

In Belgium, a second draft proposal relevant to whistleblowing protection has been introduced to parliament. The Government had previously published a tender to outsource a preparatory investigation into transposition and the results of that are still pending.

In Malta, the Justice Minister has been reported as confirming that the current whistleblowing law of 2013 will need to be reformed to transpose the Directive and that the Office of the Directorate for Strategy Support will become the coordinating office for implementation.

It has been reported that in Denmark government has communicated to it’s political parties  an intention to expand the scope of the Directive, at least to reports of sexual harassment in the workplace.  

In the Netherlands, civil society have raised concerns about the Dutch Governments approach. This TI blog Netherlands showing other EU Countries what not to do when transposing EU Whistleblower Directive analyses the draft law proposed by the Government which takes a minimal approach and does not expand the scope of protections to breaches of national law, despite repeated encouragement of the Commission to do so and clear legal arguments that such a framework might undermine legal certainty and principles of equality before the law in certain legal systems. The Ministry of Internal Affairs has declared that amendments to improve the draft law are now ‘unfortunately impossible.’

In Malta, the Justice Minister has been reported as confirming that the current whistleblowing law of 2013 will need to be reformed to transpose the Directive and that the Office of the Directorate for Strategy Support will become the coordinating office for implementation.

Blueprint for Free Speech have published new research on public perceptions of whistleblowers and their response to public consultation in Spain here.

You can find this information, as well as our previous monthly roundups on the EU Whistleblowing Meter Blog page or the WIN News page. 

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