EU-Kommission beantwortet EP-Anfrage zu Whistleblowing

Die zuständige Kommissarin V. Reading hat vor kurzem im Namen der Europäischen Kommission eine Anfrage der italienischen Europaabgeordneten Sonia Alfano zu Whistleblowing beantwortet, die wir nachfolgend im englischen Original dokumentieren:

Answer given by Ms Reding
on behalf of the Commission

1. The importance of whistleblowing in preventing corruption was recognised by the Commission in its 2003 Communication on a comprehensive EU policy against corruption1 in which, inter alia, Member States were invited to introduce common standards for the protection of whistleblowers. Given the legal framework before the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty and the exclusive competence of Member States in the field in question, to date the Commission is not in the possession of a complete overview of the domestic legal provisions in the Member States.

However, in recognition of the importance of whistleblowing as an effective tool to countering corruption, a project on Enhancing Whistleblower Protection in the European Union is currently funded by the Commission under the Programme Prevention and Fight against Crime (ISEC). The project, implemented by Transparency International, is aiming at enhancing the protection of whistleblowers and developing a comprehensive overview of existing protection mechanisms in 10 EU Member States. The findings have been compiled into a regional report2 that gives an overview of domestic legislation in the 10 Member States considered.

2. The 3rd Anti Money Laundering Directive (Directive 2005/60/EC3) in Article 27 also provides for the protection of whistleblowers. It follows from here that Member States shall take all appropriate measures in order to protect employees of the institutions or persons covered by the Directive which report suspicion of money laundering or terrorist financing.

Reflecting the importance attached to the protection of whistleblowers within EU institutions, the Staff Regulations of officials of the European Communities contains explicit provisions on such protection4.

As concerns Member States, at this stage, the Commission is not in the position to provide a comprehensive overview of legal instruments that incorporate whistleblowers protection.

3. The recently adopted Stockholm Programme provides for evaluation mechanism of anti-corruption policies in the Member States against the background of common indicators. The strengthening of the EU anti-corruption policy is indeed an important issue. To the extent to which protection of whistleblowers will be identified among minimum standards to be applied EU wide, the Commission will consider at the appropriate stage of developing the EU anti-corruption policy to propose appropriate mechanisms.

4. Further to the implementation of the project mentioned in point 1 above and depending on its conclusions and recommendation, the Commission will consider the most appropriate ways of further promoting research on whistleblowing as part of an overall EU comprehensive policy against corruption. The Commission may also address the issue as part of its regular surveys on the attitude of Europeans towards corruption.

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