“We have managed to obtain a balanced text that will both protect whistleblowers while ensuring that companies or administrations are not subject to excessive charges or slanderous accusations”, said Geoffroy Didier MEP, EPP Group Spokesman, after Members of the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee voted on new rules to give legal protection to people who report breaches of EU law.
The proposal aims at establishing procedural rules defining conditions for the protection of whistleblowers.
“On this, I believe that the competent authority (external channels such as antitrust authorities) is the best to deal with breaches of EU law and the one that has to be addressed as a priority”, said Didier. “Making a public disclosure by, for example, reporting to the media, must be used as an exceptional channel where there is an imminent danger for the whistleblower or when there is collusion between the committer of the breach and the competent authority”, he added.
Securing exceptions for SMEs to avoid more administrative burden was also a key point for the EPP Group. Geoffroy Didier explained: “Now it is up to Member States to decide whether internal reporting channels for SMEs should be put in place or not. Of course, if an employee sees an unlawful practice in his/her company where there is no channel to report to, he/she could report it to a competent authority, but an external one.”
“By signalling violations of EU law, whistleblowers play a vital role in modern democracy. Legislation in the European Union has not offered them sufficient protection. This injustice will soon be remedied”, he concluded.