The proposed European Parliament directive on whistleblower protection could make it more difficult for individuals to come forward with information about wrongdoing, according to a group transparency and anti-corruption groups.

At issue is a provision that requires employees to report potential crimes and fraud internally before going to regulators and law enforcement.

Whistleblower Protection in EUIf this mandatory internal disclosure regime stands, the directive will have abandoned responsible Europeans who raise concerns appropriately to their employers through their supervisors or normal management channels of communication, who disclose information to competent authorities who have the power and mandate to address wrongdoing, or who provide information to the journalists who investigate and report in the public interest. They will suffer. Europe will suffer.

 

The letter also makes the following points:

• It allows law enforcement and regulatory bodies to do their jobs properly;
• It ensures employers take seriously their responsibility to make it safe and acceptable to report internally; and
• There is no evidence this undermines internal channels as the genuine first port of call for individuals
• It protects freedom of expression. Continue Reading The effort to improve whistleblower protection in Europe will fail unless insiders can seek help from outsiders

Whistleblowers in the European Union will be at risk of retaliation unless they can report crimes to regulators and law enforcement without first reporting them internally.

Danske Bank Whistleblower EU testimony
Danske Bank whistleblower Howard Wilkinson testifies during hearing at the EU Parliament Brussels, Belgium November 21, 2018.

That is the message from Stephen M. Kohn in an article published Wednesday on the website of Whistleblowerprotection.eu. Kohn, a Washington-based lawyer represents Danske Bank whistleblower Howard Wilkinson.

Kohn writes that a fundamental principle in whistleblower law is the protection of employees who come forward.

Common sense dictates that reports directly to government officials must be protected. For example, if you are looking out your window, and see youthful offender mugged a senior citizen, you do not call the young person’s parent. You call the police. The same goes for corporate crime. If a company is stealing from its investors, or engaging in money laundering, illegal secret banking or other offenses, it is clearly important to report these crimes directly to the police as quickly as possible Continue Reading The EU should follow the U.S. lead on whistleblowers — protect insiders by allowing them to report crimes directly to outside agencies

Whistleblower Directive heading for approval by the European Parliament contains serious deficiencies that impede direct reporting to law enforcement agencies

WASHINGTON, D.C. | July 13, 2018—The National Whistleblower Center (NWC) and leading international bank whistleblower, Mr. Bradley Birkenfeld, have filed a formal response to the European Commission’s proposed Whistleblower Directive. The response highlights serious deficiencies in the proposed Directive that undermine international anti-corruption treaties and place restrictions on the ability of private sector employees to directly report corruption to law enforcement officials.

Continue Reading National Whistleblower Center Urges EU to Amend Whistleblower Directive