European Union Adopts Whistleblower Protection Directive

Petition to Protect Whistleblowers in the EU
Petition to Protect Whistleblowers in the EU

European Union Adopts Whistleblower Protection Directive

The European Union (EU) adopted a Directive on the “Protection of persons reporting on breaches of Union law” (Whistleblower Protection Directive) on 7 October 2019. The EU Member States have two years to implement the Directive into national law.

Until now, EU countries have had different levels of whistleblower protection in place, with a few countries, such as Ireland, having relatively strong laws and other countries, such as Cyprus, having practically none.

Global anti-corruption research group Transparency International has long called for comprehensive EU-wide whistleblower protection and the Directive provides a strong foundation for such protection across the EU.

It sets minimum standards of protection for whistleblowers reporting breaches of EU law in defined areas. EU Member States have until October 2021 to transpose the Directive. This is an opportunity for all EU countries to bring their national legal framework on whistleblower protection in line with international standards and best practice.

Transparency urges EU countries not only to uphold, but also to reinforce, the undertakings in the Directive, to ensure that their national legislation provides robust protection to all whistleblowers reporting breaches of law – whether EU or national law.

To support effective implementation of the Directive,Transparency has prepared an analysis, which provides recommendations aimed at closing loopholes and strengthening whistleblower protection in the transposition process.

Through its national chapters, Transparency will also provide context-specific recommendations at national level.

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