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Protection of whistleblowers: legislation must be changed, says rapporteur

Sylvain Waserman (France, ALDE), rapporteur of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on improving the protection of whistleblowers all over Europe, has commented on recent cases involving whistleblowers in Serbia (case related to sales of arms to Saudi Arabia) and the United States (a case related to requests for inquiries made to the President of Ukraine), two countries with laws which are very protective of whistleblowers.

“Serbia and the United States are two countries whose legislation is at the forefront of the protection of whistleblowers: many countries could be inspired to change their legislation in this area. However, laws alone are not enough and require strong institutions to enforce them. Respect for the rule of law and checks and balances is therefore fundamental here. That is why we will follow with great interest the way these two cases unfold,” he said.

Sylvain Waserman proposed in his report, in connection with the criteria of the Venice Commission, a set of indicators to determine the state of legislation on the protection of whistleblowers in each member State. These criteria, according to Sylvain Waserman, “make it possible to measure the maturity of our democracies on a subject that becomes a “true democratic marker”.

The resolution adopted by PACE on 1 October 2019 proposed to create a General Rapporteur on the issue of the protection of whistleblowers. “This future rapporteur may, if its creation is validated, take a stand on these topical issues and pay the greatest attention to respect for the protection of whistleblowers,” Mr Waserman concluded.