All Member States of the European Union were obliged to implement Directive (EU) 2019/1937 of the European Parliament and of the Council of October 23, 2019, by December 17, 2021. Most countries did not fulfill this obligation at that time, delaying the implementation of the Act until 2022.
The Whistleblower Protection Directive provides for the need to establish internal reporting channels. All countries, regardless of the progres of implementation of national regulations, should comply with the requirements of the directive. As a result, entrepreneurs to whom the regulations apply are still legally obliged to internally receive and resolve incidents. Companies usually fulfill this obligation by purchasing an appropriate ticketing management system. A system that has all the most important functions needed to manage tickets is, for example, a Whistleblower.
Below is a list of countries in which the directive and its individual national provisions have been implemented.
Denmark was the first country in the European Union to transpose the provisions of the EU Whistleblower Protection Directive into national law. In this country, the law was passed on June 24, 2021 and thus, private sector enterprises with at least 250 employees and public sector employers with at least 50 employees had to establish internal reporting channels.
The consequence of the implementation of the directive in Denmark is the possibility of reporting breaches of European Union law by Whistleblowers and reporting serious irregularities occurring in Danish national law, which include, inter alia, corruption, sexual harassment, bribery.
Sweden was the second European country after Denmark to transpose the EU directive into national law. The law reached the national parliament in May 2021, was approved in September, and entered into force as required on December 17. The provisions contained therein go beyond the minimum standards of the European Union directive, as they contain additional provisions concerning protection and impose an obligation on smaller communes to implement them.
Companies in Sweden with more than 250 employees must establish internal reporting channels by 17 July 2022, while organizations with 50 to 250 employees will have until 17 December 2023.
Portugal has become a third country, it has implemented the provisions of the EU Directive on the protection of Whistleblowers into national law. The bill was approved on November 26, 2021, and is expected to enter into force in June 2022. The new law provides protection and support for Whistleblowers and prohibits any form of retaliation.
Another country that has transposed the EU directive on reporting about infringements into national law is Lithuania. At the beginning of 2022, the regulations were implemented. The law in Lithuania allows the reporting of all illegal activities and therefore exceeds the specifications in other European Union countries, such as Denmark or Portugal.
On September 21, 2021, the Latvian government announced the approval of a new act that transposes the EU's Whistleblower Protection Directive into local law. The provisions entered into force in February 2022. The provisions of the national law take into account the issues of illegality and unethical proceedings. Interestingly, Latvia is currently the only Member State that explicitly protects Whistleblowers who report irregularities.
Indeed, France did not meet the original deadline for implementing the directive, but its implementation took place in February 2022, when the French government approved an act on the reporting of irregularities. The new law places even greater emphasis on compliance with European Union standards. The law obliges companies and public institutions with at least 50 employees and municipalities with more than 10,000 inhabitants to establish an internal reporting system.
On April 8, 2022, Croatia joined the Member States of the European Union and transcribed the EU directive into local law. Public consultations on the act took place in November and December 2021. At that time, 134 comments to the draft were received, and some of them were taken into account. One of the significant adjustments was the commitment of the Ministry of Justice to provide the European Commission with key statistics during the first year.
As for Poland, on April 12, 2022, the Ministry of Family and Social Policy published a new draft act on the protection of Whistleblowers on the website of the Government Legislation Center. At the moment, the document is to be considered, but its implementation is still ongoing. Check what significant changes have been included in the new draft act on the protection of Whistleblowers.