Tribune. More than ever, the news shows to what extent the whistleblowers are essential for the proper functioning of democracy. From Frances Haugen’s revelations about how Facebook favors profit over the safety of its users, to the “Pandora Papers” which once again shed a harsh light on tax evasion, not a day goes by without The importance of these lookouts is not recalled.
Without these revelations, many financial, health or environmental scandals would remain unknown to the general public, and the perpetrators of these misdeeds go unpunished. However, these simple citizens who stand up to protect the general interest and the well-being of each one remain very badly off. Intimidation, dismissal, shelving, threats… remain the daily lot of these men and women: it is therefore urgent to improve their protection.
It is for this reason that, in 2017, France adopted a general law for the protection of whistleblowers, the Sapin 2 law. This law, if it marked a first step towards a status of the whistleblower warning, is insufficient. The 2019 European directive addresses some of its shortcomings, in particular by eliminating the obligation of a prior internal alert which too often led whistleblowers to put themselves in danger. But this directive alone will not fill all the gaps in our legislation.
Establishment of real criminal immunity
It is no longer possible to be satisfied with words or to confine oneself to sleeve effects. The public authorities must act and quickly. For the reprehensible acts denounced to cease, and so that whistleblowers are not exposed to the risk of reprisals, Parliament and the government must be the engines of a profound transformation of the culture of whistleblowing for the benefit of all and all. The transposition of the directive is an unmissable opportunity!
It is for this purpose that our coalition of associations and unions has published twelve concrete proposals several of which were taken up by MP Sylvain Waserman: strengthening of the role of the Defender of Rights in terms of support, establishment of real criminal immunity including the acts necessary to obtain information, obligation for the authorities to deploy financial and psychological help …
Its two bills must be defended as well by parliamentarians, who must adopt them as soon as possible – because time is running out! -, that by the government which must publicly affirm its support and show, on the eve of the French presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU), that an ambitious transposition of the directive is possible, and within the allotted time, or before December 17, 2021.
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“Protecting the whistleblower and the whistleblower is a major social issue”