Recent Developments of Whistle-Blowers’ Protection Under EU Law, Trends and Ambiguities
Enik Pogace, Head of Employee Relations Division , Bank of Albania
In recent years EU has identified whistleblowing protection as a strong line of defence for safeguarding the public interest. Indeed, as shown in numerous public cases, whistle-blowers play an important role in revealing misconduct, and furthermore, from a corporate perspective, the good management of whistleblowing procedures contributes not only to recognizing and fighting possible offences and spreading the culture of ethics and legitimacy within organizations, but also to building a climate of transparency and a sense of participation and belonging, created by overcoming employees’ fear of reprisal by corporate entities or co-workers, or the risk of seeing their report disregarded.
Serving this purpose, in October 2019, the EU adopted a new Whistle-blower Directive (the EU Directive 2019/1937) (the Directive), to improve protection for whistle-blowers within the union, by providing common minimum standards across the EU, and requiring Member States to transpose it into national law. The Directive is a key EU legal act within the framework for the protection of whistle-blowers, striving to solve permanent issues such as the definition, the channels for disclosures and the protection given to whistle-blowers.
This papers shall analyse the key developments in this field at the EU level, with a view to the new legal prospective brought by the Directive, along with information on the protection of whistle-blowers in EU’s member states. Particular attention shall be paid to certain points of EU’s legal framework that need further analysis, such as its legal basis and its relation to criminal law as well as shed some light on how EU member states have implemented the directive.
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