European Union flags in front of the Berlaymont building, the headquarters of the European Commission, in Brussels on January 18, 2015.
Brussels – The European Commission will take a case to the Court of Justice of the EU against eight member states including the Czech Republic. They did not introduce rules to protect whistleblowers from possible retaliation, the EC said in a statement.
In addition to the Czech Republic, the lawsuit also concerns Germany, Estonia, Spain, Italy, Luxembourg, Hungary and Poland. Enshrining the protection of whistleblowers in the legislation of individual states is based on the European directive from October 2019, the deadline for its incorporation into the legal systems of the member states expired last year in December.
According to the EC, the directive is key in the enforcement of EU law in those areas where its violation may lead to damage to public interests. It concerns various policies, from environmental protection to public procurement to nuclear safety.
Last November, the Czech government approved the relevant draft law, which is now being assessed by the parliamentary constitutional and legal committee. He interrupted its discussion at the beginning of February, and will deal with it again at the beginning of March.
The purpose of the directive is to create an environment in which whistleblowers do not have to fear any sanctions in case they report illegal actions. The measure is intended to help people who uncover practices at their workplace that threaten public health, data protection, product or transport safety, or nuclear safety, for example. It applies to the public sector as well as private companies with 50 or more employees.