As the Commission’s press release of 12 March 2019 announced, the European Parliament and the Member States have reached a provisional agreement on new rules to ensure effective protection for whistleblowers. The agreement is based on the Commission’s proposal of April 2018.
The current regulation on whistleblower protection is fragmented within the Union, and the legislation is inadequate in many Member States. The new EU-wide rules are intended to support the protection of whistleblowers and to provide secure reporting channels. The new rules prevent countermeasures against whistleblowers, and also oblige national authorities to inform citizens about the protection and methods applied to detect breaches. The rules enhance the prevention of fraud, corruption and tax evasion.
In addition to the areas mentioned above, the rules of the provisional agreement are extensively addressed to other fields of EU-law, such as anti-money laundering, data protection, the protection of the Union’s financial interests, food and product safety, environmental protection and nuclear safety. In addition, Member States are free to extend the applicability of the rules to other areas of law, for which the Commission encourages the countries to establish a framework in line with the principles of the new rules.
The press release highlights Commissioner Věra Jourová’s earlier statement, that tangles such as the Dieselgate and the Panama Papers have at the latest demonstrated the importance of whistleblowers in investigating illegal activities.
The provisional agreement must yet be formally adopted by the European Parliament and the Council. The new rules will further strengthen the conditions for the fight against illegal activities in the Union.
Our Trainee Jere Lehtimäki took part in writing of this news post.