EU Parliament’s JURI committee rules whistleblowers should be protected at EU level

Update, 06/02/2019.  Sometimes, truth needs friends. See the latest EU Greens/EFA campaign for whistleblower protection. Context – potential whistleblower-protection legislation now making its difficult way through the EU Council and Parliament. See: https://youtu.be/E0i5o-g72po

Brussels, 20/11/2018. The JURI committee of the European Parliament today decided overwhelmingly that whistleblowers in the European Union should be entitled to protection from retaliation or intimidation when reporting corrupt or illegal practices under EU law. That same protection should be available to journalists assisting the whistleblower, the committee ruled.

There remain some question marks in areas (e.g. where national law applies rather than EU law, or whether the whistleblower can go straight to the press or not), nevertheless this ruling by a leading EU Parliament committee is without doubt a significant achievement. The overall ruling has to be a step forward in the long-term objective of making fraud or corrupt practices unacceptable within the EU.

The next great challenge in the process of moving this ruling into EU law is to gain a positive ruling from the whole EU Parliament and, once that is achieved (or if it can be achieved, which is by no means certain), the full support of the EU Council.

The road ahead for the pro-transparency and anti-corruption movement remains long and strewn with obstacles. However, a great deal of thanks must be due to the EU Cadres team and their allies for their constant lobbying and positive information support to date. Without their hard work, today’s announcement would not have taken place.

So congratulations to the team for all your commitment and hard work. Let us hope it pays off in the long term, and that future Marta Andreasens and Edward Snowdens will be able to live their lives in peace and serenity, without finding themselves subject to the bully-boy tactics of official and semi-official state repression of anyone who dares to publicly criticise or disagree.

© Philip Hunt, 2018.

 

See further

20/11/2018 – JURI Committee strengthens EU-wide protection for whistleblowers

13/02/2014 – Edward Snowden’s fate in the European Parliament

17/07/2013 – Edward Snowden has performed a service to democracy and should be protected from official retaliation

06/12/2012 – New whistleblowing guidelines for EU officials

2004 – NUJ Brussels hosts three EU whistleblowers