Eurodad reaction to EU proposal for whistleblower protection
Today, the European Commission published its proposal for a directive on the protection of whistleblowers.
Tove Maria Ryding, Tax Justice Coordinator at the European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad), said:
"This is an extremely important proposal from the Commission, and we urge the Member States and Parliament to support it.
"In recent years, we've seen some very serious examples of how important it is to strengthen whistleblower protection in the EU. Without the actions of Antoine Deltour and Raphaël Halet, we wouldn't have learned about the secret tax sweetheart deals between Luxembourg and numerous multinational corporations. But after blowing the whistle, the two men had to endure years of highly distressing court cases. Other important tax revelations such as Paradise Papers and Panama Papers would also not have come about without whistleblowing."
The proposal would introduce important improvements to the scope and strength of whistleblower protection in the EU, where the quality of legislation in Member States today varies greatly.
"We warmly welcome the fact that the proposal covers all kinds of retaliation against whistleblowers, and that the proposal gives whistleblowers the possibility to contact both the employer, public authorities and the media. However, it's unfortunate that contacting the media, and thus the public, is only seen as a last resort. It is important to bear in mind that the public has a strong interest in knowing about wrongdoing, and that protection of the whistleblower's right to contact the media is essentially a protection of the public right to information.
"Ultimately, what we really need is more transparency, which can reveal tax dodging without whistleblowers having to put their wellbeing on the line. But until we get that, this directive will be very important for the public interest and for the brave individuals that risk so much to bring the truth out."
Media contact: Julia Ravenscroft, Communications Manager at Eurodad: +32 2 893 0854/ +32 486356814.