Articles / Transparency International: EU Directive to Protect Civil Society and Whistleblowers

This image is a 3D-illustration promoting legislation that protects whistleblowers.

Transparency International: EU Directive to Protect Civil Society and Whistleblowers

The European Commission submitted the EU Directive to Protect Civil Society and Whistleblowers to Transparency International, after it was adpoted by the EU in 2019.

About a year into the transposition process of the Whistleblower Protection Directive, Transparency International created a report, including assessments of all the 27 EU member states. The EU member states had two years from its submission to comply with this directive, until it was enforced the 17th of December.

Do you want to know what this EU Directive is all about and how the different countries comply according to Transparency International’s report? Keep reading to find out!

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Why is Whistleblowing so important?

Fighting corruption and white-collar crimes is more difficult than trying to reduce other kinds of crimes, and the reason for that is people who try to unveil those crimes often suffer the consequences of it.

There have simply not been enough legislation to protect whistleblowers from the danger of retaliation against the civil society and whistleblowers. This is why it’s so great to have helpful organizations like Transparency International, essentially helping to improve the safety and sustainability of the civil society.

Next up, we will go one deeper into how Transparency International work and why whistleblowing is an important subject.

How Transparency International works

Transparency International is a non-profit, non-governmental organization, that focuses on developing new policies and recommending countries what they should do to be as transparent as they can towards their citizens.

Transparency Vision

From their international secretariat in Berlin, they`re spearheading a worldwide coalition against corruption.

– a world in which government, business, civil
society and the daily lives of people are free of

Transparency International, the global coalition against corruption.

This organization works with other international bodies such as UNESCO, United Nations Global Compact, United Nations Sustainable Development Group, and even the G20. Transparency International also published the Corruption Perception Index and Global Corruption Barometer.

As it happened in this case, Transparency International assesses international legislation on topics regarding transparency and anti-corruption.

When it comes to this case, the European Commission submitted this EU Directive to Protect Civil Society and Whistleblowers to Transparency International to get support with it’s implementation, and to recommend what countries should do to comply. 

Let’s dive even deeper into what the EU Directive to Protect Civil Rights and Whistlerblowers is all about.

Transparency Gate presents a photography by Andrea Piacquadio, spearheading the global fight against corruption.

EU’s Directive to Protect Civil Society and Whistleblowers

The EU Directive to Protect Civil Society and Whistleblowers was enacted to protect whistleblowers and anyone reporting any sign of corruption in their city, country, or continent. This proposal focuses on lawsuits made by business people, CEOs, and governmental entities to shut down whistleblowers. 

All organizations involved in this Directive truly care about fighting corruption and protecting whistleblowers as people who, without having a profit in mind while doing it, tell people everything high-end companies and governments hide from them. 

Hence, the EU Directive includes measures to protect whistleblowers, make reporting anything they know easier, and penalize anyone who harms them. 

Where does this EU-directive come from?

Now that you know what this Directive is all about, you may ask yourself: why is Transparent International doing all this? The truth is that we, as a society, have been fighting corruption for many years, and although several measures have been effective worldwide, it’s an ongoing issue. 

One of the biggest threats to whistleblowers is Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs), and they consist of lawsuits that powerful entities use to coerce whistleblowers into taking back what they did and stopping it altogether. 

SLAPPs not only represent a coercive action against whistleblowers, but are also a big hit to their personal and economic lives.

The biggest threat to transparency is not only the damage whistleblowers go through, but that people in the future may be scared to tell the truth or speak up against big companies due to the fear of getting hurt.

Setting aside how dangerous it is for whistleblowers to notify the world with everything they know, there are not enough communication channels that help them do that in the safest way possible.

Thus, the EU Directive to Protect Civil Rights and Whistleblowers also recommends governments establish a system to get information from whistleblowers and do a follow-up report.

Are Countries Supporting this EU Directive?

As mentioned before, Transparency International underwent an assessment on how the EU member states complied with the implementation of the directive.

Unfortunately, not many countries are following the directions set by the Directive. Most of them are actually far behind. In 2021, 18 members of the EU hadn’t made any progress toward protecting whistleblowers or making things easier for them.

Let’s list some of the findings within the report.

    • The Czech Republic has made substantive progress, marked as “quiet advanced”.
    • Latvia and the Netherlands has made moderate progress, meaning they have created bills that stakeholders have yet to consider enacting.
    • Sweden has made limited progress, meaning they have two bills awaiting parliamentary process.
    • While the rest of the EU member states have been marked with either limited, minimal or no progress.

The EU members compliance with the Directive to Protect Whistleblowers and Civil Society remains passive.

You can read all the details from Transparency International’s report here: Are EU Governments taking Whistleblower Protection seriously?

A Software to Protect Whistleblowers and solve cases?

In general, International Companies are far ahead of the Countries on Whistleblower Protection.

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Digitaliq's Whisteblower Gate, logo

Governments, organizations and companies listen:

Do you want a better and healthier work enviorement? Do you want to lower the risk of having news worthy whistleblowing cases spin out of control?

According to Transparency International’s report, countries are far behind on Whistleblower Protection. Forward thinking companies, on the other hand, have transparency on their agenda.

Digitaliq have developed and established a best practice whistleblower software in Norway. After it’s launch in 2016, it has solved thousands of cases internally.

By providing whistleblowers safe communication channels and clear case handling procedures, they all dare to speak up, and the cases are more often solved on the lowest possible level in the organization.

Transparency Gate and Whistleblower Gate (Mitt Varsel in Norwegian), is developed by Digitaliq.

Feel free to contact us for more information.

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