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Whistle-blowers acting in the public interest must be protected

News item

Tuesday 12 May 2015

Whistle-blowers and investigative journalists, who uncover scandals in the public interest, have to be legally protected throughout the EU. The Socialists and Democrats’ call came following an exchange of views today in the special TAXE committee with whistle-blowers (in a non-public session for their protection) and the investigative journalists who revealed the LuxLeaks case.

Independent MEP, Nessa Childers, who is a substitute member of the TAXE committee welcomed her political group’s support for these measures: ‘These informants have unveiled several tax scandals and some of them have, as a consequence, been accused and prosecuted for the disclosure and passing on of stolen information, particularly in light of the LuxLeaks affair in Luxembourg.’

S&D Group spokesperson on the tax special committee (TAXE), Peter Simon stated: “The experiences and challenges, which have been imposed on these informants and journalists by states, are preposterous. Somebody, who points out deficiencies for the general public and without personal interest, must be protected and not be prosecuted.

“This applies both to informants as well as to journalists. The fact that these people are subject to public repression due to their expression of civil courage, is simply unacceptable. The European Commission must eventually present an EU-wide legal framework, which protects these people from prosecution.”

S&D MEP Anneliese Dodds who will draft the report on “Bringing transparency, coordination and convergence to Corporate Tax policies in the Union” concluded: “How far would we have come in our fight against tax dodging without whistle-blowers and investigative journalists? We would still remain in the dark. The fact is that the EU Commission is conducting investigations at all is due to these courageous people. We must put in place measures to protect people who blow the whistle on immoral practices in the public interest.”

Link to to European Parliament website for more information on TAXE committee work