MEPs have endorsed by a large majority the final agreement on common standards at EU level to better protect whistle blowers against retaliation by setting up coherent procedures and strong protection measures.
Jean-Marie Cavada, vice president of the Legal Affairs Committee, said: “Whistle blowers contribute to the upholding of the rule of law and democracy in our Union; it is our responsibility to protect them. Finally, we will have long-awaited EU-wide standards to better protect them.”
“Breaches of rights are taking place across borders, so whistle blowers need strong European protection. We are finally putting an end to the present legal patchwork across the EU and instead, we are setting up coherent and effective mechanisms.”
“The ALDE position has been determining during the negotiations and the decision takings. This led to a very balanced inter-institutional agreement. I am glad that with the vote, the European Parliament jumped the final hurdle.”
Private companies and public entities will have to put in place internal reporting mechanisms and member states will have to designate public authorities in charge of receiving and handling reports. The final agreement foresees that the whistle blower would enjoy the protection offered by the Directive if he or she reports first internally and/or externally without having to justify his/her choice of the reporting channel.
In cases of imminent danger or, e.g., if there is a risk that evidence may be concealed, the whistle blower would be able to publicly disclose the breach. Furthermore, access to independent information, access to effective assistance from authorities, as well as access to remedial measures and legal aid will be provided.