European Directive on whistleblower protection

Note: this message is updated as the situation evolves.

In 2014 the Council of Europe asked for whistleblower protection (full document, 50 pages, in french, see principle 5 related to national security and cites Tshwane principles)

In 2016 second of the resolution europe parliament. There has been another one in 2014 but it was included into another context and nothing came out of it.

In 2017

In 2018

The proposed directive may or may not match with the European Parliament report. In the end the Parliament will get to vote on the directive and if it diverges too much from what is in the report, there is a good chance it will be voted down. The most important incentive for the European Commission to work on a directive is the 2014 resolution from the Council of Europe: it is not something that can be conveniently overlooked.

Notes on Session IIb: Whistle-blowers and investigative journalism at the 2016 Annual Colloquium on Fundamental Rights

Veronika Nad is calling for a EU directive but does not participate in the green party proposal. She supports Virginie Rozière DRAFT report on on legitimate measures protect whistleblowers acting in the public interest when disclosing the confidential information of companies and public bodies.

For the record: Recommendation CM/Rec(2014)7of the Committee of Ministers to member States on the protection of whistleblowers Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 30 April 2014, at the 1198th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies . Jean-philippe Foegle is currently working on a thesis L’encadrement juridique du lancement d’alerte : essai de systématisation en droit Français, Américain et Européen (Conseil de l’Europe et Union Européenne).

Next steps about the report on legitimate measures protect whistleblowers acting in the public interest when disclosing the confidential information of companies and public bodies:

  • The existing amendments will be added to the report until September 7
  • The report will be voted on in the Committee for Judicial Affairs (JURI) on September 28

If all goes well, it should be introduced to a plenary session sometime in October.

Looks like the vote is postponed to October 2nd, 2017 and the vote in plenary session will happen October 22nd, 2017. I’m not sure where to find this information: someone told me.

Committee on Legal Affairs agenda October 2nd, 2017 includes the adoption of draft report on Legitimate measures to protect whistle-blowers acting in the public interest when disclosing the confidential information of companies and public bodies.

Voted today by the European parliament. And now we have to wait for the European Comission to get to work and write a directive proposal. When or how will this happen ? Nobody knows. Who will work on it ? Mystery :wink:

I’m told non profits are forming an advocacy groups to kindly ask the commission to write a directive. How that happens exactly still is a mystery :wink:

I am told an alliance of non-profit was formed and will meet Tuesday 14th November 2017 in Bruxelles to discuss the next steps. It is likely to decide to work on recommendations to send to the commissioner who are in charge of drafting the directive. At this point it seems unlikely that the Commission will refuse to write a directive.

Virginie Rozière today at : “We expect a directive proposal early next year”. Nicole-Marie Meyer adds : “There is a platform where citizens can participate, initiated by WIN and Transparency France and others”. No URL yet, anyone knows more ?

We call on the European Commission to urgently propose an EU-wide legislation on whistleblower protection with a broad scope of groups and areas of activities protected.

@jpfoegle do you know aobut the latest developments regarding the drafting of the EU directive by any chance ?

Latest news about the directive (thanks @veronika.nad for the update ;-):

  • the public consultation on whistleblower protection that was conducted in 2017 has not been analyzed yet, it is expected around June 2018
  • no draft of the directive has been written and the commissioner who will be in charge of doing that was not designated yet

This seems like non-news but … there is a lot going on with all Eurocadres partners and it is worth watching blueprintforfreespeech for updates or even attending European Ideas Lab, Brussels next month. Although it is not exclusively focused on whistleblowing, there are a number of sessions related to the topic.

Why should the European Union protect whistleblowers?

This document is a practical guide to the question of why the European Union has to become active on the matter of whistleblower protection, and on what legal grounds and precedence this is not only possible but necessary. It will also provide you with a state of the art of the debate in Brussels, and introduce you to the possibilities at hand to strengthen work on the issue.

Authored by @veronika.nad, January 2018

LIBE - Committee meeting
2018-03-0515:00 to 18:30 Recorded

V. Jourovà at timecode 12’40 06 : “We have to be much better in protecting honest people, including the journalists, but also whistleblowers, and I can only inform you today that we are finalising now the proposal for protection of whistleblowers which will be the legislation which will be horizontal and which I hope will increase the chances for the honest people, in case they see some wrongdoing which is detrimental to public interest, to come and report and to have the guaranteed protection. I think that this is a very, very important plan.”

The horizontal word means the directive will not be targeting exclusively whistleblowers from the financial sector.