The NEIWA network commits to ambitious national legislation to protect whistleblowers

Paris Declaration:
The NEIWA network commits to ambitious national legislation to protect whistleblowers following the publication of the European directive.

Created in May 2019 in The Hague, the Network of European Integrity and Whistleblowing Authorities (NEIWA) met for the second time in Paris on 2 December 2019, at the Défenseur des droits’ initiative.

In the presence of a representative of European Commission’s Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers, the representatives of institutions discussed in particular the procedures for transposing the European Directive 2019/1937 on the protection of persons who report breaches of Union law, which was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 26 November 2019. They recognised that this Directive represents a major step forward and encouraged States to go beyond the common minimum standards guaranteeing protection of whistleblowers, “with a view to ensuring that there is a comprehensive and coherent whistleblower protection framework at national level”.

Given the fragmentation of national legislations on the protection of whistleblowers and the diversity of levels of protection offered within the European Union, NEIWA members have committed to coordinate their efforts to contribute in each State to the establishment of effective protection regimes in each State.

The seminar was successfully concluded with the signing of the Paris Declaration, supported by 11 members of the network and based on relevant international and European standards. The Paris Declaration recommends that all Member States of the European Union, using all the options offered by the Directive, provide for a system to protect whistleblowers, which is:

  • accessible to all, thanks to coherent, clear and easily understandable legislation and effective public information;
  • highly protective, with an effective protection for whistleblowers throughout the whole process, and mechanisms ensuring that whistleblowers’ reports are managed timely and effectively;
  • backed by sufficient resources, both human and financial, guaranteeing the independence of the process and/or the structures responsible for providing support and protection to whistleblowers and/or the adequate follow up of whistleblowers’ reports.

To this end, the members of the NEIWA network, in the context of their national jurisdictions and within the limits of their mandates, commit, by the Paris Declaration of 3 December 2019, to contribute actively to establish or reinforce the appropriate mechanisms for the protection of whistleblowers in the member States.