Whistleblower protection in the EU: Commission welcomes adoption by the Council

The Council of Ministers adopted today the directive on whistleblower protection at the Justice and Home Affairs Council in Luxembourg. The directive will guarantee a high level of protection for whistleblowers by establishing safe channels for reporting both within an organisation and to public authorities, setting EU-wide standards. It will also protect whistleblowers against dismissal, demotion and other forms of retaliation, and require national authorities to inform citizens and provide training for public authorities on how to deal with whistleblowers. First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, said: “I welcome the strong signal sent to whistleblowers by the Council today. Whistleblowers are courageous people who dare to bring illegal activities to light and stand up on their own to protect the public from wrongdoing.” Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equalityadded: “Whistleblowers should not be punished for doing the right thing. Our new, EU-wide rules will make sure they can report in a safe way on breaches of EU law in many areas. Whistleblowers can be crucial sources for investigative journalists. Therefore, protecting them also promotes media freedom. I urge Member States to implement the new rules without delay.” The directive on whistleblower protection covers many areas of EU law, ranging from anti-money laundering, data protection, protection of the Union’s financial interests, food and product safety, to public health, environmental protection and nuclear safety. Once it will be published in the Official Journal, the Directive will enter into force twenty days after publication. Member States will have two years, from the entry into force to transpose the directive into national law.