Trade Union Organisation Calls For Robust Whistleblower Directive
16 January 2019
2018-Max_Planck_Herr_Wahl_1355_black white_Zuschnitt.jpg Thomas Wahl

On 19 November 2018, EUROCADRES – the trade union organisation representing professionals and managers – termed the Commission initiative on the protection of whistleblowers (COM(2018) 218 final, see eucrim 1/2018, p. 27) a “surprisingly good start.” The president of EUROCADRES, Martin Jefflén, called on the EU legislators to draft “a fair and robust Europe-wide whistleblower directive, which actively encourages the reporting of corruption, criminal acts and breaches of public trust.”

Jefflén further said that parliamentarians should “strengthen, rather than weaken this important and ground-breaking piece of legislation.” In his opinion, the new directive should meet the following needs:

  • Safeguards, so that the directive cannot be used to diminish existing protection in the few EU Member States that offer decent protection to whistleblowers;
  • Rethinking of the approach that whistleblowers must first report to their “heads;” lowering of barriers for reporting to authorities, be they law enforcement agencies or regulatory authorities;
  • Provisions on the protection of persons who report anonymously;
  • The right of whistleblowers to consult with and be represented by a trade union;
  • Coverage of the reporting of working conditions and workers rights;
  • Removal of the “malicious reporting” clause, because it discourages potential whistleblowers from coming forward;
  • No alteration of the clause requiring a whistleblower to have “reasonable grounds to believe that the information they are reporting is true” into a clause that refers to “good faith.”

The statement by EUROCADRES was issued on the eve of the debate in the European Parliament Legal Affairs Committee (JURI), which adopted its position on the Commission proposal on 20 November 2018.