Romania - step forward regarding the transposition of the EU Directive on whistleblower protection
On the World Whistleblowers Day, 23th of June 2021, Transparency International and Whistleblowing International Network updated the map regarding the transposition of the Directive (EU) 2019/1937 on whistleblower protection.
The first progress report on the transposition of the EU Directive regarding whistleblower protection was published 4 months ago. At that moment, two-thirds of the EU member states had not started the Whistleblower Protection Directive transposition or the steps done were minimal.
Now, less than 6 months before the deadline to transpose the Directive, 14 member states appear to have still either not started or have made minimal progress towards implementing the Directive. Among these are: Italy, Croatia, Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary.
Five countries have made limited progress – Portugal, Spain, France, Germany and Estonia and four have made moderate progress towards transposition – Romania, Lithuania, Latvia and Denmark.
Relatively, in the first progress report Romania was among the states with minimal progress on this issue. In the meantime, the Ministry of Justice has had public consultations on the transposition o the Directive. Hence the advance in the ranking.
Four countries can now be considered to have made substantive progress are Czech Republic, Ireland, Sweden and the Netherlands, that have already debating bills in national parliaments or are in advanced stages of public consultation on documents.
There are still problems regarding the transparency and inclusiveness of stakeholders in the transposition process. Following pressure from civil society on the lack of inclusion, public consultations have been launched in Spain and Romania, as well as in France, but often very little time is afforded for proper engagement. In some countries only two or three weeks was allowed, well below the European Commission's own 12-week standard. As a good practice in this regard, we mention Denmark, a country where the consultation took place with over 90 CSOs.
Civil society experts continue to work together across Europe to monitor draft laws and benchmark against evolving norms - coalitions have formed in several countries such as in Greece, Romania and Germany. Important attention is on Article 25 of the Directive, the ‘non-regression' clause, to ensure governments do not purposefully or inadvertently weaken pre-existing protections already available in national framework on whistleblower protection.
Public education campaigns, as in the Czech Republic for example, are essential to raise awareness of whistleblowing rights, and petitions like the one run in France demonstrate the importance of public pressure on government.
In Romania, the Ministry of Justice launched a public consultation on a draft bill on March this year. Transparency International Romania sent to the Ministry of Justice a series of recommendations regarding the draft law and closely follows this topic.
More information on Report updates can be found at: https://www.transparency.org/en/blog
For advocacy tools and guides to whistleblowing protection legislation and transposition of the Directive, see: https://www.whistleblowingmonitor.eu/resources-list.php
The full report elaborated by Transparency International and Whistleblowing International Network is available here: https://www.transparency.org.ro/en/tironews/progress-report-transposition-eu-directive-regarding-whistleblower-protection