(6 March 2017) EPSU’s NEA Committee, consisting of affiliates from central government and EU institutions, reiterated its support for legal protection of whistleblowers across the EU when meeting in Brussels on 3 March. The Committee also voiced its support for Antoine Deltour, one of the LuxLeaks three whose re-trial ruling is expected in the coming weeks.
In a preliminary comment on the European Commission’s consultation regarding whistleblowers protection that was launched on 3 March, Nadja Salson, EPSU’s Policy Officer said:
“We are glad that the Consultation takes a broad definition of whistleblowing to cover activities that threaten or harm the public interest. There is also recognition that protecting whistleblowers is about workers’ rights and freedom of expression and thus that trade unions have a key role to play.”
In cooperation with other unions and NGOs, EPSU will respond to the Consultation to make the case for an horizontal EU directive that provides legal protection against all forms of retaliation against whistleblowers at work and beyond.
“Trade union research has found that the number of workers who need whistleblower protection at some point is estimated at 7% of the global workforce. Thanks to our trade union petition, the support of NGOs and the European Parliament the Commission seems to want to take the matter seriously.”
The Commission consultation covers the policy areas of Justice and Fundamental rights, Employment and Social Affairs, Food safety, Public health, Public procurement, Taxation, Culture and media, Banking and financial services, Business and industry, Customs, Economy, finance and the Euro.
The objective of the Consultation is to enable the Commission to collect information, views and experiences on the benefits and drawbacks of whistleblower protection and on the elements that are important for effective EU-wide whistleblower protection measures.
It follows on the publication of the EC road map to come to proposals on whistle-blower protection on 26 January 2017 that refers to the trade union petition as well as to the European Parliament’s call for an EU horizontal instrument and the Council’s conclusions on tax transparency of 11 October 2016 that encourage the Commission to explore the possibility for future action at EU level.