The New EU Whistleblower Directive: 26 countries must now adopt a whistleblower protection law and will have until 2021 to enact the laws. Each country is having a separate debate and will vote on its own laws.

The European Union passed a Whistleblower Directive designed to protect citizens who report fraud, threats to the environment, and other violations of law. Twenty-six countries must now adopt a whistleblower protection law and will have until 2021 to enact the laws. Each country is having a separate debate and will vote on its own laws.

“It is absolutely essential that the EU whistleblower directive follows the precedents set by U.S. law.”

Stephen Kohn, Founding Partner

International whistleblower law firm Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto, LLP along with the National Whistleblower CenterWhistleblowing International, and the European Center for Whistleblower Rights, filed a public comment with the Irish Government’s Department of Public Expenditure and Reform providing the Government of Ireland specific recommendations for the new whistleblower legislation Ireland is in the process of drafting to fulfill the requirements of the Directive (EU) 2019/1937 on the Protection of Persons who report Breaches of Union Law, passed this year. In addition to filing comments with Ireland, Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto is filing comments with each of the 26 countries in hopes of further engaging members of parliament, other lawmakers, and local NGOs.

Because the Directive sets forth the “common minimum standards” for whistleblower protection required by each European Union (“EU”) Member State, the Directive plainly permits Member States to extend protections beyond these minimum standards. Therefore, when implementing the Directive each Member State has an opportunity to create robust whistleblower programs that protect whistleblowers, incentivize the reporting of crimes or regulatory violations, and enable law enforcement agencies to effectively combat corruption.