What should the EU do to protect whistleblowers?

by Jane Whyatt

The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom has responded to the European Commission consultation on whistleblower protection. The consultation is still open and the deadline for responses is 29th May 2017.

Flutura ECPMF legal advisor Flutura Kusari.

The European Commission aims to collect information on the benefits and drawbacks of whistleblower protection and on the elements that are important for effectively protecting the people shedding light on wrongdoings. The EC's move came following the proposal by the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament for an EU directive to protect whistleblowers.

ECPMF legal advisor Flutura Kusari has submitted a detailed response to the public consultation, and has committed the Centre to having an active role on this initiative. She comments:

We call on the EU to take into consideration best practices and standards on protection of whistleblowers, especially those established by the Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights. If the EC manages to put in place strong whistleblowing legal safeguards, the positive impact will extend beyond the EU, into South East Europe."

Whistle_900X600 The whistleblower cause and discussions are picking up steam at the institutional level in Europe. (Photo: public domain)

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has also reacted positively to the EC's initiative. The EFJ's Camille Petit issued the following statement to the ECPMF:

"The European Federation of Journalists welcomed the European Commission's public consultation and will respond to it after consulting its EU affiliates. Whistleblowers became a hot topic following the LuxLeaks scandal. Let's use this momentum to call on the European institutions to guarantee far-reaching protection to those who, while blowing the whistle, contribute to the well-functioning of our democracies."

So far the ECPMF has given financial and legal support to whistleblowers Antoine Deltour and Maria Bamieh.