The European Commission needs to come forward with a proposal on EU wide legislation to protect those who expose wrongdoing or misconduct for the public good and the S&D Group is determined to take the lead in the fight and show that EU level legislation is possible. All that is needed is the political will. This was the message coming out of an S&D conference on protection of whistleblowers in the European Parliament today.
S&D Group spokesperson for legal affairs, Evelyn Regner, said:
“A democratic society is dependent on courageous and brave whistleblowers who shine a light on shady practices or illegal dealings. However, far too often those that expose wrongdoing are the ones who face trials and punishment, while the perpetrators continue their work without sanctions.
“Many times the revelations have effects across borders, but there are currently no measures at EU level to encourage those with information to pass it on. Whistleblowers need to feel safe and they need to have legal clarity.
“The EU has to go beyond nice words and ensure effective protection of those who denounce dodgy dealings, act for the good of society and risk their own reputation and economic existence, and sometimes even their freedom. We expect the Commission to take the issue seriously and include it in their plan of activities for 2017.
S&D Spokesperson for economic and monetary affairs, Pervenche Berès, added:
“Tax evasion and tax avoidance cost European Union governments €1 trillion each year. Tackling this scourge, and proving that the EU is not only prioritising banks and multinationals over justice and human rights, must be our number one priority, so we can finance good quality public services and help boost ecological transition and job creation in Europe.”
“As we have seen with LuxLeaks and the Panama Papers, whistleblowers play a critical role in exposing the shady dealings that let multinational companies and super wealthy individuals get away with this robbery.”
“The S&D Group will continue to push for a comprehensive legal framework that will guarantee protection from retaliation or prosecution to those exposing illegal, immoral, improper or unethical activities. We want the Parliament to start working on its own report on the issue as soon as possible and look at different legal basis for this new law.”