Romania reprimanded by European Commission on Whistleblower law

On Thursday, the European Commission sent a reasoned opinion in the infringement procedures against Belgium, Austria, Romania, and Slovenia for failing to fully transpose the „Whistleblower Protection Directive” (Directive 2019/1937). The deadline for Member States to transpose the Directive was 17 December 2021. In January 2022, the Commission sent letters of formal notice to 24 Member States for failing to transpose and communicate the transposition measures to the Commission within the deadline. In July 2022, the Commission sent reasoned opinions to 15 Member States which had not yet communicated full transposition. Today, the Commission decided to send reasoned opinions also to these four Member States, which have not yet fully notified transposition measures, and now have two months to reply. If their replies are not satisfactory, the Commission may decide to refer these cases to the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis however, on July 28, returned to Parliament the law that transposed a Directive on whistleblower protection, warning that improper transposition of the Directive may trigger infringement procedure and even activate the conditionality mechanism of European funds, reported.

Several NGOs have severely criticised the draft law because of the weak protection that discourages reporting of acts of corruption and non-compliance with the law. The head of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office, Laura Codruța Kovesi, said that she ponders referring the draft law to the European Commission for the activation of the conditionality mechanism in case it is promulgated as it is.

The Directive aims to provide common minimum standards of protection across the EU to whistleblowers who raise breaches of EU law with their employer.



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