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Protecting Whistleblowers since 1977

GAP Report on European Whistleblower Protections

Dylan Blaylock, April 29, 2013

Earlier today, GAP released a new report that details the existing whistleblower protections found throughout Europe. This paper, authored by GAP Adjunct Attorney Thad Guyer and Seattle-based attorney Nikolas Peterson, is being released ahead of next week's midyear meeting of the American Bar Association's International Labor & Employment Law Committee, being held in Rome. Guyer will speak on a panel discussion about whistleblowing on Wednesday, May 8.

The report, The Current State of Whistleblowing Law in Europe, details how very few European countries have enacted laws that directly protect whistleblowers. This is in "stark contrast" to the United States, which offers a multitude of different protections for employees across corporate industries and government agencies. The paper argues that most European Union (EU) nations have nothing more than a "patchwork" of whistleblower protections found buried in other legislation. From the report:

Currently, only six countries in Europe have any type of dedicated whistleblower legislation – United Kingdom (UK), Norway, Netherlands, Hungary, Romania, and Switzerland. Of these six countries, only two, UK and Norway, have dedicated whistleblower protection laws that extend to all workers, in both the public and private sectors, including contractors and consultants.

This paper explains current protections in the EU, United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Italy. It also provides a summary of current European whistleblower issues, and looks at the current state of protections at international organizations that are, or have departments based, in Europe. This includes the United Nations and the International Monetary Fund. This section specifically focuses on International Administrative Tribunals at these institutions.

 

Dylan Blaylock is Communications Director for the Government Accountability Project, the nation's leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization.