A Civil Campaign Against Corruption in Europe


Petition addressing the European Parliament and the Council of Europe

We urge the European Union to approve the Directive protecting whistleblowers, who now suffer retaliation for speaking up against fraud and corruption, and sometimes even risk their lives.

It takes real courage to speak out about corruption. Those who raise the alarm about wrongdoing in their workplaces are genuine champions of democracy and freedom of speech. They should not face reprisal, intimidation or unemployment for preventing and reporting harms to the public interest. Not only should  whistleblowers be legally protected, they should be encouraged to speak up and thanked for their contribution.

It took us over two years campaigning with 90 European civil society organisations, to reach the first, important step: the European Commission’s draft proposal announced back in April. This was the start of a serious effort to protect whistleblowers which must be completed without further delay. The draft Directive has to be approved before the legislative mandates ends; if not, the European Union will lose the opportunity to protect those citizens who blow the whistle. 

At the end of 2018, the European Parliament listened to civil society’s suggestions and proposed improvements that would make Europe’s whistleblower protections truly world class. Now the European institutions started a three way negotiation to come up with the final text.  We must seize this moment so that future whistleblowers across the Union know that they will be able to speak up, and follow their conscience without fear.

We want the Directive to be a real safeguard to whistleblowers across Europe, so that no-one has to risk their health, their career or their private life when raising the alarm about corruption or wrongdoing. There is strong public support for whistleblowers across the European Union, but many Member States have failed to introduce adequate protections. An EU Directive will establish minimum protection for whistleblowers throughout the entire Union and improve equality among EU citizens.

Enough is enough. Whistleblower protection should be a priority for the European Union as a whole. We need a strong Directive, which does, at least, the following:

  • Whistleblowers protection must be extended to all areas of EU law, covering workers in different industries and all kinds of jobs.
  • Whistleblowers must be trusted to go to the most appropriate person with their report. This won’t always be a member of the organisation where the wrongdoing occured.
  • Whistleblowers must be able to go to to trades unions, NGOs and to the media. These organisations have the ability to advise whistleblowers about the best course of action and help them achieve change, bringing issues to public attention where necessary.