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European Whistle-blower Directive: Draft for consultation

Starting: 18 May Ending

0 days left (ends 13 Nov)

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In a democratic society, we need to encourage and protect those who speak out and report wrong-doing or illegal behaviour. Thanks to whistle-blowers, scandals like illegal mass surveillance, industrial scale tax avoidance or the sexual abuse of children by peacekeepers have been revealed.

This is why the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament believes that there is an urgent need to enact an EU legal framework that would set out common minimum standards for the protection of whistle-blowers throughout the European Union.

We have drafted, together with legal experts, a draft EU law to protect whistle-blowers. We opened the draft up to public consultation for almost 4 months, from 16/05/15 to 12/09/2016.

We would like to thank everyone who participated for their feedback.

For technical reasons, this platform deletes the comments and votes received once you notify participants that you have edited the text in line with their recommendations. For this reason, we have not used the "change and inform users" function for the majority of the text, because we wanted to keep a record of the comments received. We have instead just edited the text directly.


protect whistle-blowers now!!


Further info

Status: Closed
Privacy: Public


<< Previous paragraphs


2. Member States may introduce or maintain provisions which are more favourable to the protection of whistle-blowers than those laid down in this Directive.

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3. The implementation of this Directive shall under no circumstances constitute grounds for a reduction in the level of protection of whistle-blowers already afforded by Member States in the fields covered by this Directive.

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Article 2



  1. This Directive shall apply to all workers, in all sectors of activity, both public and private.

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  1. Member States shall in accordance with this Directive protect any whistle-blower.

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  1. Protection shall be granted to whistle-blowers for the disclosure of information made in the reasonable belief that the information was true at the time of disclosure.

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  1. Protection shall be granted to whistle-blowers who disclose inaccurate information made in honest error.

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Article 3


Author: PamBQ Date: 24 August 2016

For the purposes of this Directive, the following definitions shall apply:

a. 'whistle-blower' means any worker, contractor or other person who is subject to employer management who discloses, attempts to, or is perceived to disclose information or supporting evidence that is in the public interest or that is related to a threat or prejudice to the public interest, of which he or she has become aware in the context of his or her work-based relationship;

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b. ‘protected disclosure’ means making information available, by any means at the disposal of the person making the disclosure, to the recipients defined in Article 5 of this Directive;

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c. ‘worker’ means any person employed by an employer, including trainees and apprentices and former employees, or as otherwise stipulated in EU law;

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d. ‘employer’ means any natural or legal person who has an employment or other written or verbal contractual relationship with the worker and has responsibility for the undertaking and/or establishment at which the worker works;

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Author: PamBQ Date: 22 July 2016

e. ‘reprisal’ means any adverse treatment or adverse consequence, such as any act, threat or cover up of an act, or an omission that is to the detriment of the whistle-blower or their entourage, including but not limited to:

  • Suspensions, demotions, lay-offs or dismissals;
  • Withholding of promotions, trainings or other career development opportunities;
  • Loss of benefits or status;
  • Transfer of duties, change of location of the workplace or of working hours;
  • Any disciplinary measure, reprimand or other penalty (including a financial penalty or suspension or revocation of a security clearance);
  • Coercion, intimidation, harassment, or discrimination.

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Chapter II


Article 4

Protected Disclosure

Author: PamBQ Date: 22 July 2016

1. Member States shall guarantee the protection of whistle-blowers by providing for, setting up or enhancing already existing disclosure mechanisms and procedures.

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2. Protected disclosures shall be made with a reasonable belief that the information is true at the time of disclosure, and may include but are not limited to:

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a) A criminal offence that has been, is being or is likely to be committed;

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b) A natural or legal person has failed, is failing or is likely to fail to comply with a legal or other regulatory obligation, other than one arising under the worker’s contract of employment or other contract whereby the worker undertakes to do or perform personally any work or services;

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c) A miscarriage of justice has occurred, is occurring or is likely to occur;

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