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Legal Developments in the Protection of Whistleblowers in the European Union


Annelies Vandendriessche

With recent whistleblower scandals shaking the European Union (EU), the plight of whistleblowers has received renewed attention from the public and policymakers, leading the European Commission to launch a Proposal for a Directive on the Protection of Persons Reporting Breaches of Union Law. This article analyses recent jurisprudential and legislative developments in the legal protection of whistleblowers in the EU. Solutions offered by jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights are examined, as well as their adaptability to national law, taking the Luxembourgish courts’ approach in the LuxLeaks case as an example. When comparing these jurisprudential solutions to the solutions offered by the Directive Proposal, a convergence was observed between the jurisprudential and legislative approach to whistleblower protection. The Directive Proposal successfully further refined the jurisprudential criteria for whistleblower protection into more concrete legislation. The current-day convergence of both sources of protection could contribute to developing effective legal protection and strengthening legal certainty for whistleblowers in the EU.
Keywords: Whistleblower Protection, Proposal for a Directive on the Protection of Persons Reporting Breaches of Union Law, Guja v Moldova, LuxLeaks

Annelies Vandendriesscheis a doctoral candidate at the Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance of the University of Luxembourg. For correspondence: <>.


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