05/03/2018. Vera Jourová, EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equity, speaking to the LIBE Committee in the European Parliament, 05 March 2018.
She said, speaking of the recent killing of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak in Slovakia, that she considers the rule of law as one of the things that really matter, not only because (if the allegations of EU funding fraud turn out to be true) it is taxpayers’ money which is involved, but also because this is a matter of citizens’ trust in the EU.
If the case is not dealt with satisfactorily, she said, then it would provide additional support for the establishment by 2020 of a European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO), which could try cases such as financial crime, including fraud and corruption, in the EU.
Countries such as Poland and Hungary should reconsider joining the EPPO, she said, since this is about a common goal of combating fraud and corruption with EU money.
And she continued, “We have to be good in establishing the rule of law, we have to be good in establishing the EPPO, and we have to be much better in protecting honest people, including the journalists, but also whistleblowers, and I can only inform you today that we are finalising now the proposal for protecting whistleblowers, which will be legislation, which will be horizontal, and which I hope will increase the chances for honest people, in case they see some wrongdoing which is detrimental to public interest, to come and report and to have guaranteed protection. I think that this is a very, very important plan.”
with thanks to shoeman.eu/