EU whistleblowers regulation


European Commission welcomes key milestone in EU whistleblowers regulation

15 March 2019

Regulatory News Alert

Context and objectives

The European Parliament and Member States reached a provisional agreement on new rules that will guarantee a high level of protection for whistleblowers who report breaches of EU law.

The new rules cover a wide range of areas within EU law, including anti-money laundering, corporate taxation and data protection. Moreover, Member States are free to extend these rules to other areas. The Commission encourages them to establish comprehensive frameworks for whistleblower protection based on the same principles.

The provisional agreement removes the hierarchy of reporting obligations that would have obliged whistleblowers to report internally to their employers first, or risk losing all protection against dismissal or other retaliatory actions, even if they reported sensibly to a regulatory body.

The major elements of the provisional agreement are:

  • Clear reporting procedures and obligations for employers: the new rules will establish a system of safe channels for reporting both within an organization and to public authorities.
  • Safe reporting channels: whistleblowers are encouraged to report first internally, if the breach they want to reveal can be effectively addressed within their organization and where they do not risk retaliation. They may also report directly to the competent authorities as they see fit, in light of the circumstances of the case. In addition, if no appropriate action is taken after reporting to the authorities, or in case of imminent or manifest danger to the public interest, or where reporting to the authorities would not work (for instance because the authorities are in collusion with the perpetrator of the crime), whistleblowers may make a public disclosure, including to the media. This will protect whistleblowers when they act as sources for investigative journalism. 
  • Prevention of retaliation and effective protection: the rules will protect whistleblowers against dismissal, demotion and other forms of retaliation. They will also require national authorities to inform citizens about whistleblowing procedures and the protection available. Whistleblowers will also be protected in judicial proceedings.
PDF - 68kb

Next steps

This provisional agreement has to be formally approved by both the European Parliament and the Council. Unless there is an unexpected event, the text of the provisional agreement is now final and should not be subject to change, as the remaining steps are of technical nature.

How can Deloitte help you?

Deloitte’s advisory specialists and dedicated services will help you design and implement your business strategy. In light of the future evolution of the regulatory framework and market trends, we can help in the set-up of the appropriate organization to comply with these upcoming obligations.
Deloitte can also help you with its RegWatch Kaleidoscope service to stay ahead of the regulatory curve to better manage and plan upcoming regulations.


Pascal Martino
Partner – Banking Leader
Tel : +352 45145 2119

Simon Ramos
Partner – IM Advisory & Consulting 
Tel : +352 45145 2702

Bastien Collette
Director – Advisory & Consulting (AML/CTF)
Tel : +352 45145 3372

Benoit Sauvage
Senior Manager – RegWatch, Strategy 
& Consulting
Tel : +352 45145 4220

Marijana Vuksic
Manager – Regulatory & Consulting
Tel : +352 45145 2311



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