European Parliament (EP) : new step for the protection of whistle-blowers
On 2 October 2017, in the margins of the plenary, the EP Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) adopted the own-initiative report by Ms ROZIÈRE (S&D, FR) on the protection of whistle-blowers, with 17 votes in favour, one against and 5 abstentions.
In her draft report, Ms ROZIÈRE proposed that the EU take action to protect whistle-blowers, by means of a horizontal legislative instrument. She considered that there were a number of possible legal bases available to the Commission to propose such an instrument. She also suggested that the EU support the existing international standards and advocated a broad definition of whistle-blowers in order to protect private and public-sector employees, consultants and even the self-employed. Clear reporting mechanisms should be introduced in organisations to facilitate internal whistleblowing. At EU level, an agency specifically dedicated to advice, guidance and collection of reports should be established. To better protect people whistle-blowers, they should be guaranteed that their confidentiality is protected, and a reversal of the burden of proof should be introduced.
221 amendments were tabled by JURI, 164 by the committees having adopted opinions (IMCO, ECON, EMPL, CULT, LIBE, AFCO and ENVI) and 30 compromise amendments were tabled after internal negotiations. During the vote S&D was generally supported by GUE, ALDE and the Greens, while EPP, ECR and ENF MEPs were often opposed.
In the motion for a resolution adopted by JURI, the EP calls on the Commission, after assessing an appropriate legal base enabling EU to take further action, to present before the end of this year a horizontal legislative proposal establishing a comprehensive common regulatory framework which guarantees a high level of protection for whistle-blowers.