The whistleblowers’ initiative presented by the European Commission on Monday, April 23th, obtained a generally positive welcome at the European Parliament and with civil society. Nevertheless, some reservations persist.
Currently, the whistleblowers’ protection is totally unequal between Member States of the European Union. Only ten countries assure them an entire protection. In others, there are a partial protection and only into certain business sectors or categories of workers. Today, 36% of workers who reported wrongdoing were victim of reprisals (Survey Global Business Ethic, 2016).
This directive proposed high level of protection for whistleblowers who alarm violations of the European Union Rights in the entire EU territory. They will be protected from dismissal, retrogradation or any form of intimidation, revenge and harassment. Moreover, public authorities have to protect him.
All companies with more than 50 employees or a turnover of more than 10 million euros, as well as public administrations with more than 10 000 inhabitants, have to create safe channels for supporting whistleblower reports.
However, certain limits, blind spots were signaled. For example, European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) notices that whistleblowers cannot denounced wrongdoing against workers. European Journalism Center (EJC) would clarify signalment system close to journalists, media and the public.
Furthermore, there are deficiencies in work, employment and social fields.
This directive represents an important progress for the freedom of information, which is the base of our democracy.
For further information:
Le Monde : http://abonnes.lemonde.fr/economie/article/2018/04/17/la-commission-europeenne-veut-mieux-proteger-les-lanceurs-d-alerte_5286437_3234.html?xtmc=lanceurs_d_alerte&xtcr=1
Agence Europe : https://agenceurope.eu/fr/bulletin/article/12008/13
Commission Européenne : http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-18-3441_fr.htm