The European Parliament today backed a proposal to create a horizontal framework for EU-wide protections for whistleblowers who expose misconduct.
Speaking after the vote, S&D MEP and author of the report Virginie Rozière, said:
“Whistleblowers and investigative journalists play a vital role in our societies. As the LuxLeaks and Panama Papers show, they can help expose corruption and the dodgy dealings of multinational companies and the global elite. However, far too often, they are the ones that face repercussions – risking their jobs, liberty, and sometimes even their lives. That fact was made all too real with the horrific murder of the investigative journalist and blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia in Malta last week. Across Europe, we need to do more to protect those that hold the rich and powerful to account.
“Today the European Parliament backed our call to create protection for whistleblowers wherever they are in the EU. Despite the attempt of right-wing groups to water down our proposals, we have adopted a clear vision for what EU wide protection should look like. We demand that the European Commission finally get serious about this subject. Nice words are not enough, we need legislation put forward before the end of the year.”
S&D spokesperson for legal affairs, Sylvia-Yvonne Kaufmann, added:
“It is disappointing that right-wing groups and especially the EPP did not vote in favour of the report today. They are the first to feign outrage when a new tax-avoidance scandal breaks, but when we actually have the chance to do something about it they disappear. We have managed to secure a strong proposal which means that whistleblowers will be protected whether they expose dodgy or illegal practices within their own organisation or directly to the press. We are also calling for an independent body to be created that can advise potential whistleblowers on their legal situation. The Parliament has made it clear that it is on the side of those exposing wrongful acts as corruption or unlawful use of public funds, it is now up to the European Commission to do the same.”