The European Union (EU) has reached provisional agreement on rules to strengthen protections for whistleblowers who report violations of certain EU laws. The rules, which are unlikely to change, now await formal approval by the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers. Once a directive is approved, member states will be given two years from its publication in the EU’s official journal to implement it into national laws.
First proposed in 2018, the whistleblowing directive will cover EU laws on anti-money laundering, corporate taxation, public procurement, data protection, environmental protection and nuclear safety — member states will be allowed to extend its provisions to other policy areas. Protection of whistleblowers is currently fragmented in the EU — only 10 EU countries (France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Sweden and the United Kingdom) have a comprehensive law, and other countries provide only partial protection.
Key provisions cover: