Juncker Guarantees EU Law to Secure Whistleblowers

Whistleblower security is on the Commission’s radar. Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker guaranteed fast development on the topic when he appeared before MEPs on Tuesday to provide proof of his function in establishing Luxembourg’s tax evasion market.

” The Commission is dealing with a proposal to much better security whistleblowers and you will hear more about this in the months to come,” he stated.

Scandals

Over the last few years, whistleblowers have exposed succeeding scandals including industrial-scale tax evasion. When it comes to the Panama Papers, these stayed confidential, while when it comes to Luxleaks, their identities were understood and they were pursued and prosecuted by the state.

In both cases, the info dropped to papers enabled substantial development to be made in the battle versus tax evasion and unjust competitors in Europe.

Variations in between member states’ guidelines governing whistleblower security imply some are entrusted with no defense at all. Antoine Deltour and RaphaĆ«l Halet, the whistleblowers behind the Luxleaks discoveries, are a prime example. They are implicated of having dropped countless files concerning the tax practices of huge multinationals based in the Grand Duchy.

In March this year, Luxembourg’s appeal court handed Deltour a six-month suspended jail sentence and an EUR1,500 fine for file theft, while Halet got an EUR1,000 fine.

Public Assessment

The Commission had currently started mulling a European structure for whistleblower security by early March, releasing a public assessment which closed on Monday (29 May).

This assessment followed duplicated calls from MEPs for increased security, after the topic was brought up in law for the very first time in the EU’s trade tricks instruction.

EU legislators in February backed a non-binding resolution requiring systems to secure whistleblowers in business, public organizations, and non-profit organizations. They likewise proposed the facility of an independent European body to support and recommend whistleblowers.