European network on integrity and whistleblowing

European network on integrity and whistleblowing established

State authorities from several European countries have established a network to collaborate and exchange knowledge on whistleblowing and integrity.

The founding meeting in The Hague on Friday May 24, 2019 was initiated by the Dutch Whistleblowers Authority. The new network is called the Network of European Integrity and Whistleblowing Authorities, NEIWA. The first participating authorities are:

  • Autorità Nazionale Anticorruzione (Italy)
  • Défenseur des Droits (France)
  • Federaal Ombudsman (Belgium)
  • Huis voor Klokkenluiders (The Netherlands)
  • MFSA (Malta)
  • Vlaamse Ombudsdienst (Belgium)
  • Wirtschafts- und Korruptionsstaatsanwaltschaft (Austria)

The members strive for competent authorities from other EU countries to join the network.

Chairman Wilbert Tomesen, Dutch Whistleblowers Authority:
“In this network, we can exchange practical knowledge and experiences in the field of integrity in general and whistleblowers in particular. This is an effective way to learn from each other. We can also develop joint tools, programs and shared opinions. By working together we can ensure that throughout the EU the reporting of wrongdoings becomes as safe as possible.”

European directive

A European directive on whistleblowing will come into force in 2021. This directive prescribes what all EU countries have to do to protect people who report breaches of EU law. It also has to be laid down how to handle the reports and protect reporters. In every EU country one or more competent authorities will have to be designated for this task. This can be a new organization or an existing one, for example an anti-corruption institution or an ombudsman service. In the Netherlands, the Dutch Whistleblowers Authority is designated by law to investigate reports and give advice to whistleblowers.

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