24 October 2017
A majority of MEPs today voted to support a report from the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs committee calling for urgent and effective protection for whistleblowers at EU level. Green MEP Molly Scott Cato, who was rapporteur for the opinion in the Economic and Financial Affairs Committee, commented:
“Today’s report calls on the European Commission to present legislation to protect whistleblowers in both the public and private sectors before the end of the year. We cannot allow the Commission to drag its feet any longer. Whistleblowers urgently need protection; this is fundamental to freedom of speech in Europe."
Speaking to the European Parliament ahead of the vote, Scott Cato paid tribute to two whistleblowers in particular: Antoine Deltour, who exposed the Lux Leaks tax scandal, and Daphne Galizia the Malteste journalist killed by a car bomb last week and who led the Panama Papers investigation into corruption in Malta. Scott Cato is due to meet with Daphne’s family this week. She told MEPs:
“These two brave people gave us the information we need to challenge the corrupt and self-serving behaviour of the global plutocracy. Behaviour that is shaking the very foundations of our democracy. One was found guilty and barely avoided jail; the other was viciously murdered. This is the sort of courage it takes to be a whistleblower in a world without protective legislation.”
Scott Cato went on to say:
“It is thanks to whistleblowers that concrete policy changes to tackle tax fraud, money laundering and corruption have been initiated. We therefore have a deep responsibility to act to protect people that take the brave step of challenging wrongdoing or illegal or corrupt activity in Europe. Without protection, whistleblowers and journalists will continue to suffer. We expect the Commission to listen and bring forward robust proposals as soon as possible.”