Protection of whistleblowers

Plenary debate on July 6th, 2016

Wednesday July 6th, a plenary debate in the presence of the European Commission took place  on the protection of whistle-blowers, just only a few days after the Luxleaks judgement which condemns Antoine Deltour and Raphael Halet for disclosing information protected as trade secrets. The debate coincides also with the start of the work of  the inquiry committee of the European Parliament on Panama Papers. The issue is becoming hotter and its importance cannot be denied anymore.  Just a day before the debate the Commission also stated in a communication that "with a view to strengthening the protection of whistle-blowers, the Commission is assessing the scope for horizontal or further sectorial action at EU level, while respecting the principle of subsidiarity." For the Greens/EFA group, the protection of whistle-blowers is now a matter of emergency and we believe that no more time can be wasted. Whistle-blowers play an essential role in our democracies and the EU has the duty to protect those who take risk to disclose information in the public interest. In May 2016, as the Commission was not, despite the repeated calls from the European Parliament, taking action to draft a legislative proposal, we published our own proposal for a EU directive to protect whistle-blowers and we are currently working inside the European Parliament to gather support for an ambitious text. Indeed, we believe that we need an EU wide horizontal protection for whistle-blowers that protects whistle-blowers against civil and criminal proceedings as well as against any retaliation at the workplace. And for this to happen, we need the Commission to act quickly. You will find below the speeches of the four Green/EFA MEPs who took the floor: Pascal Durand, Julia Reda, Benedek Javor, Sven Giegold.

Pascal Durand (in French)

Julia Reda (in English)

Sven Giegold (in German)

Benedek Javór (in Hungarian)