European Commission must act now to protect whistle-blowers in Europe

The European Parliament’s legal affairs committee today voted in favour of a report calling for horizontal EU-wide legislation to protect whistle-blowers in Europe.

Speaking after the vote, S&D MEP and author of the report Virginie Rozière, said:

“It is only because of whistle-blowers acting in the public interest that we know the extent of dodgy dealings and tax practices of multinational companies and the global elite in Europe. However, far too often, it is those exposing wrongdoing rather than those engaging in it that face criminal charges. It is clear from LuxLeaks to the Panama Papers that we need new rules to protect whistle-blowers wherever they are in the EU. The report today calls on the European Commission to come forward with new legislation to achieve this by the end of the year. Employees must be able to shine a light on dodgy or illegal practices, either inside their organisation or externally to the press. We are disappointed that the conservative forces in the parliament didn’t back this measure and we urge them to do so when the report is voted on by the whole Parliament at the end of the month.”

S&D spokesperson for legal affairs, Sylvia-Yvonne Kaufmann, added:

“Whistle-blowers are not criminals. They act in all our interests to expose malpractice or illegal activity. They need to be celebrated, not prosecuted.  This report puts pressure on the European Commission to finally take action. We need to ensure that we have rules that stop employers retaliating against workers who expose wrongdoing. We are calling for an independent body to be created that can give advice to potential whistle-blowers on their rights. We will fight hard in the coming months to ensure that whistle-blowers are finally protected.

 

Note to editors

The S&D Group launched a video campaign today focused on the protection of whistle-blowers. The video tells the story of a fictional character who exposes wrongdoing at her work.