Protection of whistleblowers

Whistleblowers are a key piece in the fight against fraud and corruption. But reporting cases of corruption can become risky since those who report illegal behaviors are exposed to reprisals in the professional and even in the personal sphere. The Directive for the protection of persons who report breaches of Union law (published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 26 november 2019) represents a great achievement to ensure effective protection and balanced of these people. Once the Council approves it, the Member States will have two years to transpose the internal regulations.

This European normative initiative does not have a general scope (the Directive establishes common minimum standards to protect people who report certain breaches of Union law), but, among other things, has once again revealed the key role played by whistleblowers to prevent and discover infractions, cases of fraud and corruption and other behaviors that seriously injure the public interest.

The Anti-Fraud Office of Catalonia adopts the term "reporting person" to refer to those who warn of improper behavior, considering it preferable to include a positive nuance against terms that incorporate the prejudices that, even today, drag the report, and also to indicate that we are in a wider context than the one defined for the complainant in the Administrative Law. The term has been inspired by the French "lanceur de alerte", which is equivalent to the Anglo-Saxon whistleblower.

Reporting fraud and corruption should not imply any waiver of personal well-being; should not involve retaliation or harassment; It cannot put the professional or personal environment at risk, it cannot compromise neither the whistleblower nor those in its closest circle.

The Anti-Fraud Office of Catalonia calls for the implementation of safe alternatives to silence: advancing in the construction of a comprehensive regulatory framework, introducing organizational reforms that complement legal changes (including anonymous channels) and promoting cultural change that recognizes the civic value of the report. It is also possible to accompany the reporting person throughout the process.

In this space you will find documentation and information related to the protection of reporting persons: regulations (including initiatives in process), studies, articles and links of interest. Also answers to the most frequently asked questions that arise in relation to the scope of the European Directive and its incorporation into domestic law.

Directiva (UE) 2019/1937 del Parlamento Europeo y del Consejo, de 23 de octubre de 2019, relativa a la protección de las personas que informen sobre infracciones del Derecho de la Unión

Directive (EU) 2019/1937 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2019 on the protection of persons who report breaches of Union law

Directive (UE) 2019/1937 du Parlement européen et du Conseil du 23 octobre 2019 sur la pro­tection des personnes qui signalent des violations du droit de l’Union