Intergroup meeting report: "Whistleblowers: the protection of persons reporting on breaches of EU law”
This morning, the Intergroup on the Welfare and the Conservation of Animals gathered to discuss the protection of whistleblowers, the people who “report (within the organisation concerned or to an outside authority) or disclose (to the public) information on a wrongdoing obtained in a work-related context”. Whistleblowers are necessary to ensure the exposure of illegal and unethical activities damaging the public interest. As they are often victims of retaliation and since national legislations offer different levels of protection, the EU institutions decided to legislate on this so as to ensure a minimum level of protection in the EU. In April 2018, the Commission published its initial proposal for a Directive on the protection of persons reporting on breaches of Union law. The JURI Committee adopted its report in November 2018. After weeks of interinstitutional negotiations in trilogue, the Parliament, the Council and the Commission reached a provisional compromise last Monday.
NGOs are working in close collaboration with whistleblowers operating in slaughterhouses, in transport companies, in laboratories, in farms or in the field. Whistleblowers are crucial for the enforcement of legislation relating to wildlife conservation. They can denounce illegal trafficking or poaching. Species conservation, animal health and animal welfare are thus all explicitly included in the policy areas covered by the current legislative proposal.