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The European Whistleblower (Legislation & Taxation Newsletter no. 124 – German Italian Chamber of Commerce – Vittorio De Luca, Luciano Vella)

On 23 April 2018, the European Commission formalised a proposal for a Directive for the protection of whistleblowers (Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Protection of Persons reporting on Breaches of Union Law) in all Member States. Its purpose is to standardise the laws currently in force in some Member States, including Italy, and oblige Member States which have not yet introduced such legislation, to do so. In particular, the proposal states that the “European Whistleblower” (that is, anyone who wants to report breaches within EU territory) has the duty to report if he becomes aware of breaches of provisions of EU law, including: money laundering, environmental protection, public health and the protection of privacy. The proposal provides that the subjects of the legislative initiative (private companies with at least 51 employees or a turnover of more than 10 million euros, as well as public and government bodies of municipalities with more than 10 thousand inhabitants) adopt protection mechanisms. If the proposal in question is accepted, these mechanisms would necessitate the adaptation of any 231 Models adopted, and a system for gradually revealing identity would also be provided for, allowing whistleblowers to liaise with the relevant investigative authorities.