Country Facts

Whistleblowing in Sweden

Full protection by law
Partial protection by law
Designated agency focusing on the issue
Legal definition
Pending political initiatives
Public availability of data and statistics
Prominent cases

YES NO


Recent notable case

“Code 291”, 2017, Public Sector

In early 2017 two police officers exposed what they called a cover-up of crimes committed by immigrants. They cited “Code 291,” a procedure that reportedly directed officers to withhold information on such incidents from the public.


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en

Whistleblowing in United Kingdom

Full protection by law
Partial protection by law
Designated agency focusing on the issue
Legal definition
Pending political initiatives
Public availability of data and statistics
Prominent cases

YES NO


Recent notable case

High Mortality Rate, 2007, Public Sector

In 2007-08 whistleblowers helped expose wretched conditions and high mortality rate sat Stafford Hospital. The scandal, sparked by the death of Bella Bailey, set off a nationwide debate on care standards and the treatment of whistleblowers.


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en

Whistleblowing in Spain

Full protection by law
Partial protection by law
Designated agency focusing on the issue
Legal definition
Pending political initiatives
Public availability of data and statistics
Prominent cases

YES NO


Recent notable case

Gürtel Case, 2007, Public Sector

Ana Garrido disclosures and collaboration with the justice system was key to uncovering a national conspiracy. Following her reports, she suffered harassment at work in her position at the Boadilla del Monte town council.


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en es

Whistleblowing in Slovenia

Full protection by law
Partial protection by law
Designated agency focusing on the issue
Legal definition
Pending political initiatives
Public availability of data and statistics
Prominent cases

YES NO


Recent notable case

Vulnerable Radio Communication, 2015, Public Sector

In 2015 an investigative journalism portal reported that the radio system used by law enforcement, military and emergency services was vulnerable due to a lack of encryption mechanisms. The disclosure was made by an engineering student who had tested the system for research purposes.


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en sl

Whistleblowing in Slovakia

Full protection by law
Partial protection by law
Designated agency focusing on the issue
Legal definition
Pending political initiatives
Public availability of data and statistics
Prominent cases

YES NO


Recent notable case

Fuel Thefts, 2010, Public Sector

In 2010 football referee Jozef Žaťko revealed that government chauffeurs were stealing fuel. Managers cut his salary, disciplined him and harassed him into leaving his job. He was vindicated when the government intervened and reduced fuel consumption by 30,000 liters per month.


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en sk

Whistleblowing in Romania

Full protection by law
Partial protection by law
Designated agency focusing on the issue
Legal definition
Pending political initiatives
Public availability of data and statistics
Prominent cases

YES NO


Recent notable case

Bucur Case, 1998, Public Sector

A former employee of the Romanian Intelligence Service, Bucur was dismissed and convicted of illegally disclosing secret information in 1998 after he revealed that journalists, politicians and business people were being secretly wiretapped.


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en ro

Whistleblowing in Portugal

Full protection by law
Partial protection by law
Designated agency focusing on the issue
Legal definition
Pending political initiatives
Public availability of data and statistics
Prominent cases

YES NO


Recent notable case

Imbalanced Land Deal, 2006, Public Sector

In 2006 lawyer José Sá Fernandes filed a court injunction seeking to block an imbalanced land deal between the city of Lisbon and the development company Bragaparques. When the court suspended the transaction, Bragaparques’ CEO Domingos Névoa attempted to convince Fernandes’ brother Ricardo Sá Fernandes to act as a go-between, offering a bribe of €200,000 to drop the injunction.


Download full paper (PDF):

en

Whistleblowing in Poland

Full protection by law
Partial protection by law
Designated agency focusing on the issue
Legal definition
Pending political initiatives
Public availability of data and statistics
Prominent cases

YES NO


Recent notable case

Wisniewiski Case, 2014, Private Sector

In a 2014 case, Jarek Wisniewiski, a former sales representative for UK pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, claimed that money paid to doctors for medical training instead was used to boost sales of drugs for asthma and other maladies.


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en pl

Whistleblowing in Netherlands

Full protection by law
Partial protection by law
Designated agency focusing on the issue
Legal definition
Pending political initiatives
Public availability of data and statistics
Prominent cases

YES NO


Recent notable case

Gotlieb Case, 2014, Public Sector

In January 2014 whistleblower Arthur Gotlieb committed suicide after years of being ignored by senior managers at the National Health Authority. Gotlieb repeatedly warned about leaks and problems with the Authority’s IT system, including that the entire staff – including temporary employees – had access to highly sensitive information.


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en nl

Whistleblowing in Malta

Full protection by law
Partial protection by law
Designated agency focusing on the issue
Legal definition
Pending political initiatives
Public availability of data and statistics
Prominent cases

YES NO


Recent notable case

Works-for-votes, 2015, Public Sector

In 2015 contractor Joseph Cauchi obtained protection under Malta’s whistleblower law after reporting an alleged works-for-votes scheme by the husband of former Gozo Minister Giovanni Debono.


Download full paper (PDF):

en

Whistleblowing in Luxembourg

Full protection by law
Partial protection by law
Designated agency focusing on the issue
Legal definition
Pending political initiatives
Public availability of data and statistics
Prominent cases

YES NO


Recent notable case

LuxLeaks Scandal, 2014, Public Sector

The affair became public in November 2014 when, in cooperation with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, newspapers and TV stations in several countries published tens of thousands of internal documents and 548 tax rulings. Decisions by the Luxembourg government gave tax rates of less than 1 percent to major companies including Amazon, Apple, Deutsche Bank, Heinz, IKEA and Pepsi.


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en

Whistleblowing in Lithuania

Full protection by law
Partial protection by law
Designated agency focusing on the issue
Legal definition
Pending political initiatives
Public availability of data and statistics
Prominent cases

YES NO


Recent notable case

The "Envelope Practice", 2006, Private Sector

One prominent case stems from 2006. During a public meeting with politicians in Krekenava, resident Dalia Budreviciene stood up and asked when the salaries a large local company would be paid according to official rules. The meat-processing company Krekenavos Agrofirmfor, which was owned by a political party chairman, had been paying workers off books.


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en

Whistleblowing in Latvia

Full protection by law
Partial protection by law
Designated agency focusing on the issue
Legal definition
Pending political initiatives
Public availability of data and statistics
Prominent cases

YES NO


Recent notable case

"Neo", 2010, Public Sector

In 2010 a whistleblower initially known as “Neo” released 7.5 million classified files from Latvia’s tax authority, the State Revenue Service, which he had obtained after discovering a flaw in the electronic system. The documents revealed evidence of senior government employees receiving dubious wages and bonuses,


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en lv

Whistleblowing in Ireland

Full protection by law
Partial protection by law
Designated agency focusing on the issue
Legal definition
Pending political initiatives
Public availability of data and statistics
Prominent cases

YES NO


Recent notable case

Police Misconduct, 2013, Public Sector

In 2013 two whistleblowers revealed systemic misconduct within the national police force Garda Síochána, including allegations of waiving traffic violation points, bugging the Ombudsman’s office and monitoring telephones in police stations.


Download full paper (PDF):

en

Whistleblowing in Italy

Full protection by law
Partial protection by law
Designated agency focusing on the issue
Legal definition
Pending political initiatives
Public availability of data and statistics
Prominent cases

YES NO


Recent notable case

Ferrovie Nord Milano, 2013, Private Sector

In 2013 Franzoso was working in the audit unit of Ferrovie Nord Milano, an Italian public transport company and the country’s second-largest railway company, when he discovered that the then president of the company was using company funds for personal use.


Download full paper (PDF):

en it

Whistleblowing in Hungary

Full protection by law
Partial protection by law
Designated agency focusing on the issue
Legal definition
Pending political initiatives
Public availability of data and statistics
Prominent cases

YES NO


Recent notable case

Tax Evasion, 2016, Public Sector

Tax inspector András Horváth disclosed that the National Tax and Duty Authority (NAV) had deliberately turned a blind eye on tax irregularities at multinational companies. The NAV sued Horváth for HUF 3 million (€9,500), alleging he violated the agency’s honor and good reputation.


Download full paper (PDF):

en hu

Whistleblowing in Germany

Full protection by law
Partial protection by law
Designated agency focusing on the issue
Legal definition
Pending political initiatives
Public availability of data and statistics
Prominent cases

YES NO


Recent notable case

Rotten Meat, 2007, Private Sector

Miroslaw Strecker, truck driver, had witnessed the relabeling of old meat and offcuts in a Bavarian food factory. He informed authorities, leading to the conviction of two employees. Strecker was not immediately dismissed but pressured into leaving his job.


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en de

Whistleblowing in Greece

Full protection by law
Partial protection by law
Designated agency focusing on the issue
Legal definition
Pending political initiatives
Public availability of data and statistics
Prominent cases

YES NO


Recent notable case

Greek Watergate, 2004, Public Sector

In 2004-05 the illegal phone tapping and monitoring of more than 100 prominent public figures became public. The affair became known as the “Greek Watergate.” An investigation into the alleged involvement of public officials as well as Vodafone executives yielded no results.


Download full paper (PDF):

en el

Whistleblowing in France

Full protection by law
Partial protection by law
Designated agency focusing on the issue
Legal definition
Pending political initiatives
Public availability of data and statistics
Prominent cases

YES NO


Recent notable case

UBS France, 2012, Private Sector

Gibaud refused to comply with her manager’s instructions to delete the contents of her hard drive after an earlier disclosure by Bradley Birkenfeld led to major investigations against UBS. Instead she blew the whistle on her employer. For this she was harassed, dismissed and made redundant in 2012.


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en

Whistleblowing in Finland

Full protection by law
Partial protection by law
Designated agency focusing on the issue
Legal definition
Pending political initiatives
Public availability of data and statistics
Prominent cases

YES NO


Recent notable case

Fira Case, 2016, Private Sector

One of the few cases is that of Jussi Aho, who blew the whistle on his own construction company, Fira. After becoming aware of procurement irregularities, Aho, who had founded Fira and still serves as its CEO, contacted the police.


Download full paper (PDF):

en fi

Whistleblowing in Estonia

Full protection by law
Partial protection by law
Designated agency focusing on the issue
Legal definition
Pending political initiatives
Public availability of data and statistics
Prominent cases

YES NO


Recent notable case

Fictitious Medical Procedures, 2013, Private Sector

In April 2013 a psychiatrist reported payments being made for fictitious medical procedures at a health center. The psychiatrist became aware that the center was receiving money from a donor for counselling of former drug addicts that was not actually being done.


Download full paper (PDF):

en et

Whistleblowing in Denmark

Full protection by law
Partial protection by law
Designated agency focusing on the issue
Legal definition
Pending political initiatives
Public availability of data and statistics
Prominent cases

YES NO


Recent notable case

War in Iraq, 2004, Public Sector

Frank Grevil, a major in the Danish Defence Intelligence Service, passed on a classified report to journalists revealing that then-Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who openly supported the war, had grossly overstated the evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.


Download full paper (PDF):

en da

Whistleblowing in Czech Republic

Full protection by law
Partial protection by law
Designated agency focusing on the issue
Legal definition
Pending political initiatives
Public availability of data and statistics
Prominent cases

YES NO


Recent notable case

Multiple Disclosures, from 1996, Public Sector

Czech Republic’s most notable whistleblower is Libor Michálek, whose two major disclosures have made of him a national hero. While working at the National Property Fund in 1996, he disclosed embezzlement related to a tunneling project. In 2010, while serving as the CEO of the State Environmental Fund, he reported a scheme to inflate a public water project by €120 million and funnel the money to a political party.


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en cs

Whistleblowing in Cyprus

Full protection by law
Partial protection by law
Designated agency focusing on the issue
Legal definition
Pending political initiatives
Public availability of data and statistics
Prominent cases

YES NO


Recent notable case

Opaque Hires, 2009, Public Sector

A senior public official alleged that staffers in the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment were hired based on party loyalty and manipulated test results. Minister Michalis Polynikis was directly accused of being involved.


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en el

Whistleblowing in Croatia

Full protection by law
Partial protection by law
Designated agency focusing on the issue
Legal definition
Pending political initiatives
Public availability of data and statistics
Prominent cases

YES NO


Recent notable case

Swine Flu Vaccine, 2010, Public Sector

Biologist Srecko Sladoljev was suspended from the Institute of Immunology in 2010 after he exposed what he called a lack of transparency in the Institute’s purchase of swine flu vaccine. Sladoljev said he feared public health risks.


Download full paper (PDF):

en hr

Whistleblowing in Bulgaria

Full protection by law
Partial protection by law
Designated agency focusing on the issue
Legal definition
Pending political initiatives
Public availability of data and statistics
Prominent cases

YES NO


Recent notable case

Atanasov Case, 2004, Public Sector

Since 2004 Boyko Atanasov, a former investigator at the Bulgarian Prosecutor’s Office, has been exposing alleged illegal practices within the institution. These include a scheme to pressure high-profile politicians and business people through illegal wiretapping and manipulating unsolved crimes.


Download full paper (PDF):

en bg

Whistleblowing in Belgium

Full protection by law
Partial protection by law
Designated agency focusing on the issue
Legal definition
Pending political initiatives
Public availability of data and statistics
Prominent cases

YES NO


Recent notable case

Hazodi Case, 2009, Public Sector

In what became known as the “Hazodi Case,” four police employees anonymously handed over evidence to prosecutors indicating fraud in expenses and overtime pay, and the improper dropping of criminal charges. In response, no action was taken and the employees were either fired or transferred.


Download full paper (PDF):

en

Whistleblowing in Austria

Full protection by law
Partial protection by law
Designated agency focusing on the issue
Legal definition
Pending political initiatives
Public availability of data and statistics
Prominent cases

YES NO


Recent notable case

Poker and Champagne, 2009, Public Sector

An employee in the Austrian Health Department discovered that a cleaning contract for a public hospital in Vienna was awarded to a company that was not the lowest bidder, and that organized “poker nights and champagne parties” with hospital employees.


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en de

Support to whistleblowers

WEAKER

STRONGER

The analysis shown above is based on qualitative research regarding the situation for whistleblowers in the 28 EU member states. It not only analyses dedicated whistleblower protection legislation, but also looks at labour and criminal law or other legal provisions that may support whistleblowers, serve as deterrents for disclosures or put whistleblowers at risk. Furthermore, it takes into account the socio-political environment in each country. 
The assessment was made with regards to the Blueprint Principles for Whistleblower Protection.

The contents of this map are being provided by the organization Blueprint for Free Speech. They may be used, copied, distributed and referenced to by any person, provided that a reference is made to Blueprint for Free Speech. This is valid until the cessation or alteration of the copyright subsisting in the content owned by Blueprint for Free Speech.