The US seems to have a pretty well established and thorough framework of whistleblower protection laws and regulations. The EU, on the other hand, seems to have absolutely no whistleblower protection regulations. Individual member states may have their own laws and regulations on the matter, but I'm more interested on what happens on a EU-wide level.

Am I missing something? Does the EU have any kind of EU-wide regulations or even recommendations on whistleblowers?

2 Answers 2


On October 22, 2013, the EU parliamentary committee on Organised Crime, Corruption, and Money Laundering has suggested to create a unified protection programme and the EU Parliament has adopted a resolution, stating the following, among other things:

Calls on the Commission, by the end of 2013, to submit a legislative proposal establishing an effective and comprehensive European whistleblower protection programme in the public and in the private sector to protect those who detect inefficient management and irregularities and report cases of national and cross-border corruption relating to EU financial interests and to protect witnesses, informers, and those who cooperate with the courts, and in particular witnesses testifying against mafia-type and other criminal organisations, with a view to resolving the difficult conditions under which they have to live (from risks of retaliation to the breakdown of family ties or from being uprooted from their home territory to social and professional exclusion); calls also on the Member States to put in place appropriate and effective protection for whistleblowers. (cited from here)

The European Commission, however, has rejected the request.


It's unclear under what provisions the EU could address this. It's mostly a criminal matter and the EU certainly isn't competent in any way to legislate on that. All it could possibly do is issue calls to enact legislation and weak attempts at coordinating those efforts but such efforts would almost certainly die in the Council so the Commission is understandably uninterested.

And lest anyone thinks the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union would somehow provide a basis to act in this domain, you should read article 51 (1):

The provisions of this Charter are addressed to the institutions, bodies, offices and agencies of the Union with due regard for the principle of subsidiarity and to the Member States only when they are implementing Union law.

What this means is that the EU should not itself infringe on the rights defined in the charter. But it's not in charge of protecting them against the member states or anyone else. The contents of the charter (including article 11 on the freedom of information and expression) therefore have absolutely no bearing on national laws that allow for the prosecution or the protection of whistleblowers.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .