Portugal - Transposition of the EU Directive on Whistleblowing
New National Strategy Against Corruption legislation has been approved by the Council of Ministers. The legal instrument includes several anti-corruption provisions as well as the creation of a whistleblowing protection framework. This is the first initial step to transpose the EU Directive on the protection of persons who report Union law into Portuguese national law. The law seeks to provide assurance to whistleblowers who report illicit wrongdoing that they will not be dismissed or suffer detrimental treatment in both public and private sectors. The next step is for the draft Bill to be approved in Parliament.
Transparency International Portugal has published their repsonse to the public consulation on the National Strategy to Combat Corruption 2020-2024. The response can be read in Portugese here. TI Porgual noted 'The proposal for a National Strategy to Combat Corruption presented by the Government is vague, cautious, very legalistic and not very ambitious, in which it is not clear what position Portugal should be in when it is implemented and the definition is lacking, concrete form, of the strategic or foundational principles and objectives of the future action and implementation plan, with no indicators or other metrics about what it is intended to combat and overcome.'
In September, the Portuguese government introduced its National Strategy Against Corruption which includes mechanisms to protect whistleblowers, following EU’s Whistleblowing Protection Directive, opening up the possibility that any defendant of economic and financial crimes will not have to serve time if he confesses or helps justice find evidence. The proposed document also introduces the possibility that private companies will be forced to pay fines if they do not adopt anti-corruption plans.
One of the main goals is to develop a general corruption prevention regime which provides for the implementation, within the public administration and medium and large companies, of programs aimed at preventing and detecting illicit practices (the so-called compliance programs) and protecting managers or workers who report these practices (as requested by the European Union).
The document was open to public consultation until October 20th.
The Portugese government intends to incorporate the European directive on the status of whistleblowers into national legislation later this year the Minister for Justice, Francisca Van Dunem announced Wednesday.
Law to protect whistleblowers ‘unlikely to pass in this parliament’ according to Portugal’s minister of justice, Francisca Van Dunem. The minister stated this due to the European elections on 26 May and the general election on 6 October, which leaves little time for the parliament in Lisbon to pass the directive through all the necessary legislative stages within the Portugese parliament.