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European Parliament formally adopts Directive to protect EU whistleblowers

16/04/19

The European Parliament (EP) plenary session, on 16 April 2019, formally adopted at first reading a Directive on the protection of persons reporting on breaches of Union law (Directive), introducing amendments to the text of the European Commission's proposal.

This proposal is part of a package of measures adopted by the Commission on 23 April 2018. The package also includes a Communication, Strengthening whistleblower protection at EU level, and two Staff Working Documents setting out the Commission's Impact Assessment on the proposal and an Executive Summary of the Impact Assessment 

In particular, under the Directive, organisations with 50 or more employees will be required to establish internal reporting channels and respond to reported concerns within three months (or six months in complex cases). Whistleblowers will also have the right to make an external disclosure to a competent national authority or, in limited cases, a public disclosure.

Taking into consideration the informal trialogue agreement reached on the final text of this Directive on 12 March 2019, and the Council's undertaking by letter of 15 March 2019 to approve the EP's first-reading position without further amendments, it is expected that the Council will formally adopt the Directive at first reading at one of its next meetings, after which it will be published in the Official Journal.