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First meeting of the “EU Integrity” sub-working group 1 “Support and protection of whistleblowers”

The first sub-working group meeting took place at the State Criminal Police Office of North Rhine-Westphalia (LKA NRW) from 12 to 13 November 2019.

On the first day, keynote speeches presented the new EU Directive on the protection of persons reporting on breaches of Union Law (Whistleblower Directive), the tasks of the Whistleblowers Authority in the Netherlands and the introduction of a whistleblower system in a private company. On the second day, participants from ten EPAC/EACN network authorities and one private sector participant discussed the possible impact of the Directive. The aim was to identify potential problems in the implementation of the Directive in practice.

Several key points were highlighted during this workshop. The most important point was: How do we handle actual cases and what advice can we give? Among other things, the possible reporting channels of whistleblowers (internal or external) and the obligatory feedback were discussed and recognized as problematic. Another focus was on financial support for whistleblowers mentioned in the Directive. In addition, potential problems with the implementation and comprehensibility of the Directive for possible whistleblowers were identified as a challenge. Another important point was the possible misuse of the established messaging channels by misrepresentation or abuse of safeguards, which also raises the question of where to set the threshold for the protection of whistleblowers.

Contributions to these topics are currently being prepared with the individual participating countries and are expected to be finalized in the next workshop in April 2020.





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