13 Mar 2019
European lawmakers and member states have agreed on a new set of rules which will guarantee whistleblowers protection against demotion and dismissal when they report money laundering, tax fraud and other financial crimes.
Under the provisional regulations setting EU-wide standards of protection, whistleblowers will be protected in judicial proceedings. National authorities will also have to inform citizens about whistleblowing procedures and protection available.
In addition to barring dismissals, the rules guarantee protection from ‘other forms of retaliation.’
“Whistleblowers are encouraged to report first internally, if the breach they want to reveal can be effectively addressed within their organisation and where they do not risk retaliation. They may also report directly to the competent authorities as they see fit, in light of the circumstances of the case,” the European Commission explained.
“In addition, if no appropriate action is taken after reporting to the authorities or in case of imminent or manifest danger to the public interest or where reporting to the authorities would not work, for instance because the authorities are in collusion with the perpetrator of the crime, whistleblowers may make a public disclosure including to the media.
“This will protect whistleblowers when they act as sources for investigative journalism.”
The rules were agreed upon on Tuesday by the European Parliament and member states. This provisional agreement now has to be formally approved by both the European Parliament and the Council.
The regulations were first proposed by the European Commission in April 2018.
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