Today, 14 February, the plenary assembly in Strasbourg approved an own-initiative report on the role of whistleblowers in the protection of EU’s financial interests, put forward by the Budgetary Control (CONT) Committee earlier this year.
This report calls for a comprehensive, EU-wide whistleblower protection programme, as well as the creation of an independent EU body to help internal and external whistleblowers disclose pertinent information.
This resolution follows-up the adoption of the Trade Secrets Directive in April 2016, which raised doubts as to whether journalists and whistleblowers would be appropriately protected. While the Directive did include exceptions for the exercise of freedom of expression and information, in our view they were not clear enough and meant that the safeguards for freedom of media would largely depend on how national governments would implement the directive. At the time of adoption, EMMA and ENPA, together with the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), Reporters Without Borders (RWB), and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU - UER), warned of the chilling effect the directive could have on both whistleblowers and journalists.
This report will later be followed by a Legal Affairs (JURI) Committee report on “legitimate measures to protect whistle-blowers acting in public interest when disclosing the confidential information of companies and public bodies”. A rapporteur is yet to be appointed.
For further information contact:
Marie De Cordier
EU Legal Advisor
+32 (0)2 536 06 02