April 16, 2019

European Parliament passes resolution to protect whistleblowers

The European Parliament has adopted new, more robust rules establishing EU-wide standards for  protecting individuals who report illegal or harmful activities observed in a work-related context.  According to the European Parliament, only ten EU countries currently provide comprehensive legal protection to whistleblowers.  The new rules are aimed at remedying this situation.  They allow whistleblowers to disclose information to the entity concerned, or externally, to national or EU authorities, and even publicly if appropriate action has not been taken in response to the initial report, and the whistleblower believes there is imminent danger to the public interest, or the risk of retaliation.  The resolution provides for the extension of national whistleblower protections to public procurement, financial services, consumer products, environmental damage, food safety, and nuclear safety.  The new rules prohibit retaliation, and ensure access to legal and psychological support for the whistleblower.

In order to become law, the European Parliament resolution must be approved by EU ministers, after which EU member countries will have two years to comply with the new provisions.

European Parliament press release | Text of EU Whistleblower Protection resolution |

EU Parliament amendments