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Protecting whistle-blowers a matter of both moral and financial sense–Childers

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Press Release

Thursday 16 Feb 2017

Nessa Childers, MEP for Dublin, urged the Commission to come forward with proposals to guarantee a minimum level of protection to whistle-blowers across the European Union.

The MEP’s remarks came on foot of a report adopted this week in the European Parliament on the role of whistle-blowers can play in protecting the public against misuse of EU funds.

Speaking from Parliament in Strasbourg, this afternoon, Ms. Childers, a member of a cross-party group working on transparency and integrity issues, said:

“In Ireland, we are sadly familiar with the corrosive effects of suppressed wrongdoing in public life and that of individuals.

“The unedifying developments we have been witnessing with the plight of Sgt. McCabe, just to mention the latest example, show how entrenched institutional cultures can turn on those who shed light on crime or misconduct.

“These predatory and immoral behaviours are often spurred by a misguided and self-defeating attempt at preventing reputational damage.

“This is an approach where everybody loses even when the facts eventually come to light. Institutions lose public trust, whistle-blowers are slandered and victimised, and the original victims denied justice.

“This is why Parliament wants to see legislative action to protect those who reveal misuse of EU resources anywhere in the EU, be they EU civil servants, citizens or journalists.

“It is also why we acknowledge that whistle-blower protection of a general scope is also needed irrespective of whether wrongdoing happens in a public or private organisation.

“This is also why in the past I rejected EU legislation on trade secrets, which Fine Gael lapped up, disregarding protection for whistle-blowers and the journalists who report on wrongdoing.”

ENDS

Contact:  Mário Monteiro de Sá +32-474 08 80 19