UK – The new Whistleblower Directive and treatment of whistleblowers in eight European countries


Hannah Price, Catherine Hayes, Soren Kristophersen (Firm: lewissilkin)

Wouter Van Loon (Firm: Claeys Engels)

Emanuela Nespoli (Firm: Toffoletto De Luca Tamajo e Soci)

Fadi Sfeir (Firm: Capstan)

Gisella Alvarado (Firm: Sagardoy Abogados)

Till Hoffmann-Remy (Firm:


The new EU ‘Whistleblower Directive’ (The Directive on the protection of persons reporting on breaches of Union Law) has now been approved by the EU Parliament. This report sets out the background to and main provisions of the Directive. It also reviews the current state of whistleblower protection in eight European jurisdictions and what will need to change when the Directive becomes effective in 2021.


Recent scandals such as Luxleaks, Panama Papers and Cambridge Analytica have been the main driver behind the Directive. Originally, the EU Commission was against a Directive, but strong lobbying by journalists’ organisations, civil society and MEPs, coupled with the recent scandals, resulted in the Commission initiated a proposal for a Directive. This was also motivated by a desire to harmonise whistleblower laws across the EU as only ten Member States

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