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Debates
Monday, 15 April 2019 - Strasbourg Revised edition

Protection of persons reporting on breaches of Union law (debate)
MPphoto
 

  Julia Reda (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, almost three years ago the Verts/ALE Group presented a draft directive on whistle-blower protection. This draft was the result of a concerted effort from civil society, journalists and politicians, and it was a reaction to the Trade Secrets Directive that had just been adopted and has been a threat to whistle-blowers ever since. The draft we presented showed that EU action on whistle-blowers is possible. It coincided with the LuxLeaks trials, which showed more clearly than ever that such protection is also needed.

One of our goals was to ensure that trade secrets cannot be weaponised against whistle-blowers, as was the case with LuxLeaks whistle-blower Antoine Deltour. In 2015 he was awarded the European Citizen’s Prize, but a year later a Luxembourg court found him guilty of disclosing trade secrets – a bogus charge that was meant to intimidate. The legal hoops he had to jump through for a court to dismiss this verdict were long and taxing.

Now the Commission and the Parliament have really risen to the challenge. The draft directive we are about to adopt makes explicit what we demanded in 2016: that whistle-blower protection take precedence over trade secrets. With this directive, whistle-blowers like Antoine Deltour will finally be able to rely on EU protection, and I would like to thank the Commissioner, the rapporteur and all the colleagues who worked on this. It’s a great step forward for the European citizens.

 
Letzte Aktualisierung: 8. Juli 2019Rechtlicher Hinweis