Legal regulations to protect whistleblowers are few and far between in Germany. This means that there is a considerable amount of legal uncertainty for all employees who want to expose breaches of law, misconduct and dangers in their working environment. This is why our central fields of work encompass influencing the political and legal developments with respect to whistleblowing. Our objective is a comprehensive legal protection of whistleblowers.
In October 2016, the European Union adopted a Directive on the protection of persons who report breaches of Union law in their working environment. Within two years, the German legislator must create legal regulations that protect whistleblowers against retaliation. These must at least correspond to the level of protection of the Directive, and, in Germany in particular, they will involve a considerable improvement of whistleblower protection. After several failed attempts of various parties to pass a whistleblower law in Germany, this is a pleasing development. For effective protection, however, the minimum requirements of the Directive would have to be exceeded considerably. Whistleblower-Netzwerk and Transparency Germany have adopted a joint position paper on this.
Timeline for Transposing the EU Directive into National Law
In the timeline below, we have set out the most important milestones and comments from the fields of politics, economy, and civil society for transposing the EU Whistleblower Directive in Germany. This list is continuously updated. However, if you think that there is an entry missing, we would be delighted if you sent a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.
17/04/2020 Whistleblower-Netzwerk criticises the Key Issues Paper of the BMWi (Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy) on the Transposition of the EU Directive into National LawTo the Press Release
30/01/2020: Bundestag (German Parliament) rejects the motion of the AfD for a subsidiarity complaint against the Whistleblower DirectiveTo the debate in the Bundestag
13/12/2019: Parliamentary group of the Greens commits itself for a comprehensive transposition of the EU Directive into national lawTo the comment (with video clip)
26/11/2019: With the publication in the Official Journal of the EU, the time limit for national transposition starts, and it elapses on 17 December 2021To the publication in the Official Journal
21/11/2019: Former ECJ judge Colneric affirms equal status of internal and external whistleblowingTo the speech
21/11/2019: Workshop of Whistleblower-Netzwerk and Transparency Germany identifies „key issues" in the transposition of the EU DirectiveTo the Blog
08/11/2019: Parliamentary group of the Greens submits brief inquiry on experiences made with external reporting units (hotlines) in Germany so farTo the brief inquiry
07/11/2019: Conference of the Ministers of Justice of the federal states requires expansion of the scope of validity of the EU Directive to national areas of competenceTo the statement
04/11/2019: Parliamentary group of the Greens submits brief inquiry on whistleblower protection as a prerequisite for the funding of top sports associationsTo the brief inquiry
11/10/2019: In the newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, Heribert Prantl calls for expansive transposition of the EU DirectiveTo the article
09/10/2019: dbb (German Civil Servants’ Association) advocates the adherence to the official channels in the public serviceTo the press release
07/10/2019: Whistleblower-Netzwerk and Transparency Germany require expansion of the scope of application of the EU Directive to national areas of competenceTo the press release
07/10/2019: EU Directive finally adopted by the European Parliament and the European CouncilTo the press release
15/09/2019: BDI (Federation of German Industry) considers equal ranking of internal and external whistleblowing to be sign of distrust to companiesTo the statement
12/09/2019: Siemens Chief Financial Officer fears misuse of whistleblower protectionTo the article
30/08/2019: European Council (ALDE) advocates more support for whistleblowersTo the statement
01/05/2019: EU Directive creates equal ranking of internal and external whistleblowing. Clarification by former Judge at the European Court of Justice, Mrs. Colneric, in the legal weekly magazine: Neue Juristische Wochenschrift 19/2019To the blog contribution
17/04/2019: German Confederation of Managers (DFK) demands protection for falsely accused peopleTo the press release
16/04/2019: Whistleblower-Netzwerk and Transparency Germany demand comprehensive Whistleblower Protection ActTo the press release
16/04/2019: European Parliament adopts EU Directive with a large majorityTo the adopted Directive
15/03/2019: Council of the EU confirms agreement with European ParliamentTo the press release
13/03/2019: German Nurses’ Association (DBfK) praises equal ranking of reporting channelsTo the press release
12/03/2019: Confederation of German Trade Unions (DGB) appreciates equal ranking of internal and external whistleblowingTo the press release
On the Website of the EU, you will also find a timeline showing the legislative process on a European Level.