The European status of the whistleblowers: the Commission procrastinates


JourovaartIn an interview with the daily newspaper “Le Soir” dated 29 September, the European commissioner for justice, Vera Jourova declared that the European Commission would postpone to next year the presentation of an initiative for the creation of a European status to protect the whistle-blowers. These words questioned the will of the European executive to develop a standard on this subject. As a rapporteur to the European Parliament on the text for the whistelblowers’ protection, the French MEP Virginie Rozière (socialists and democrats group) is wondering about the nature of this tergiversation and reminds the Commission of its responsibilities.


The word “Whistleblower” refers to the employees who uncover crimes, infractions and other acts contrary to the public interest committed by their company. In Europe, only six countries have a legislation protecting the whistleblowers. To solve this, the European Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs has started a work for one year to develop an ambitious standard. Even if it does not have the legal initiative, it is in position to compel the Commission to start draft directive on a given subject.


Concerning, the wistleblowers’ protection, the Commission had not shown any clear intention to propose binding legislation, giving legal constraints as a pretext. Through its commissioner for justice, it has even announced the deferment to the following year of the proposal of a legislative initiative aiming at a protection of the whistleblowers at European level.


This announcement provoked many criticisms. For Virginie Rozière, the justifications of the European executive call into question its will to legislate on the subject. Nevertheless, hoping that this delay would be the last, the MEP recognises many positions in accordance with the European Parliament’s.


Convened to an extraordinary session on October 2, the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee adopted Virginie Rozière’s report. This documents gives a particularly successful legal definition of the whistleblower and many financial, psychologic support mechanisms at the European level. The employees who use their right to criticism might benefit from the European Defender of rights’ whose powers would be extended. In the end, the report encourages the commission to propose legislation on the subject before the end of the year. The vote on the report during the plenary session is planned on October 23 and 26. While the vote of the European Parliament is acquired, will it be an incentive for the Commission to show willing?