A European directive protecting whistleblowers will be presented in the coming months promised Juncker

On May 30, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker promised that a European directive protecting whistleblowers will be presented “in the coming months”, during an hearing with MEPs of the Committee of Inquiry into Money Laundering, Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion (PANA). This declaration is another important step towards a protection of whistleblowers at the European level. Earlier this year, the European Commission had launched a public consultation aiming to collect information on the benefits and drawbacks of a sectorial and horizontal protection for people shading light on wrongdoings. “The European Federation of Journalists welcomed the European Commission’s public consultation. Whistleblowers became a hot topic following…

EU colloquium called on Commission to protect whistleblowers

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) attended on 17-18 November 2016 the second edition of EU colloquium on fundamental rights dedicated this year to media pluralism and democracy. Hosted by Frans Timmermans, the European Commission’s first vice-president said in his opening speech that “being a journalist has become one of the most dangerous professions worldwide. Being a journalist is dangerous because of the physical dangers, it’s dangerous because of all the abuse you get all the time – online and elsewhere – it’s dangerous also because you take huge risks with the sustainability of your finances since it also is…

ETUC says new research shows need for EU whistleblower protection law

The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) issued today a press release calling for an EU-wide whistleblower protection. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is a member organisation of the ETUC and fully supports the following statement. The EFJ is encouraging individuals and organisations to sign its petition on the issue. The EU can and should do a lot more to protect workers who come forward and blow the whistle on wrongdoing. Legal protection for whistleblowers throughout  the EU is a complicated maze of protections and the various civil liability laws mean that some people may be penalised and held personally liable…

Whistleblowers need EU protection: sign the petition #whistleEU

On 17 October, a platform initiated by Eurocadres (Council of European Professional and Managerial Staff) calling for an EU-wide whistleblower protection was launched by the first 48 signatories of a joint statement, including the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ). The EFJ is encouraging individuals and organisations to sign the petition. At a press conference at the Brussels Press Club , representatives of Eurocadres, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), Transparency International and the EFJ all emphasised the importance of joining forces on this crucial issue. Following the debate before summer of the trade secrets…

Luxembourg appeals verdict in LuxLeaks scandal

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is shocked by the decision of the public prosecutor on 2 August  to open a counter-appeal against Antoine Deltour, Raphaël Halet and Edouard Perrin, the two whistleblowers and the journalist involved in the so-called ‘‘LuxLeaks scandal’’. The EFJ and its French affiliates the Syndicat National des Journalistes (SNJ) and the SNJ-CGT believe the appeal is targeting at the investigative journalist Edouard Perrin who was set free by the court in June. Mogens Blicher Bjerregard, the EFJ President said, ‘‘it is unbelievable that the government is determined to use more public resources in order to pursue Perrin who was acted in the public…

European Parliament calls for protection of whistleblowers

Whistleblowers protection was debated yesterday evening (6 July) in Strasbourg during the plenary session. Members of the European Parliament (MEP) from different political groups expressed the need to have an EU-wide legislation protecting whistleblowers, while the Commission said it can’t move forward without firm legal basis. The discussion was prompted by the unsatisfying LuxLeaks judgement and the Panama Papers scandal, which recalled on the essential role whistleblowers play for the general public interest and the lack of protection they face at the national level. According to European People’s Party MEP Constance Le Grip, “those cases show the usefulness of whistleblowers in sheding light on activities where people are…

LuxLeaks verdict gives the wrong signal for potential whistleblowers

Suspended jail sentences for whistleblowers (12 months and 1.500 EUR penalty for Antoine Deltour and 9 months and 1.000 EUR penalty for Raphaël Halet) and acquittal for the investigative journalist (Edouard Perrin), that’s the verdict of Luxembourg court in the LuxLeaks case. Judges in Luxembourg delivered today (29/06/2016) a verdict in LuxLeaks case related to the prosecution of two whistleblowers and a journalist for disclosing confidential documents from auditing firm PwC that showed how 340 multinational companies used secret tax deals to avoid paying into the public coffers. A European Parliament’s study estimates that EU countries lose 50 billion to 70 billion EUR in tax…

Belgium : protection of sources under threats

The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) have alerted the Council of Europe about new worrying threats in Belgium against the protection of journalistic sources and the status of journalists. The Minister of Justice of Belgium, Koen Geens, announced his intention to increase sentences for violation of professional secrecy, which would permit wiretapping or computer tracing of journalists’ sources. According to media reports, the Minister also has plans to allow intelligence services to “withdraw the protection linked to the status of professional journalist” if these services consider that the beneficiary of that legal status in Belgium is not really a…

Adoption of the EU Directive on trade secrets: legal assessments including on whistleblowers

The Academy of European Law (ERA)  based in Trier, organised in Brussels a workshop on “The adoption of the EU directive on trade secrets” . While the workshop was geared at lawyers in private practice and representatives of national and intellectual property officers and ministries, the EFJ as well as EUROCADRES, organising professionals and managers in branches of industry, public and private services and administrative departments, were present as well. Mariano Fernandez-Salas, European Commission, DG Internal Market, gave an overview of the directive explaining also the procedure which started with a Commission proposal in November 2013 and the final publication…

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