• Whistle-blower protection is fragmented by rules that differ from country to country
  • EU-wide protection plan should be tabled before end 2017
  • Support, legal protection against retaliation and clearer reporting mechanisms needed

EU rules are needed to better protect and support whistle-blowers and their role in revealing serious breaches of the public interest, urge Legal Affairs Committee MEPs.

The committee said whistle-blower protection in the EU is patchy, and is less than adequate in many EU countries. It calls on the EU Commission to propose rules before the end of this year to provide EU-wide protection.

 

MEPs argue that all EU countries should introduce:

 

  • reporting mechanisms to facilitate internal whistle-blowing and allow whistle-blowers to report to NGOs or the press, including the possibility of anonymous reporting,

 

  • protection against retaliation, including sanctions against those attempting to prevent whistle-blowers from speaking out and measures to discourage the retaliatory actions,

 

  • supporting measures, such as legal and financial aid, psychological support and compensation for damages suffered by whistle-blowers in the event of civil proceedings, and

 

  • national independent bodies responsible for reports, verifying their credibility and guiding whistle-blowers and an EU level authority to facilitate coordination in cross-border cases.

 

Next steps

 

The committee approved the non-legislative resolution, drafted by Virginie Rozière (S&D, FR) by 17 votes to 1, with 5 abstentions. The full house is expected to vote on the draft text at second October session.