Belgium - Transposition of the EU Directive on Whistleblowing
A second draft legislative proposal relevant to whistleblowing protection has been introduced to the Belgian House of Representatives. Draft resolution (doc 55 1730/001 submitted by Mr. De Smet and Ms.Rohonyi of the DéFi political party offers partial provisions to protect disclosures confidential information of public and private entities if it is in the public interest. Parliamentary debate is expected to commence soon.
The federal government of Belgium has, in its Coalition Agreement, expressed a commitment to a timely transposition of the Directive on Whistleblowing. While the report does not contain any further details on how the Directive will be implemented, it does reference the protection of civil servants reporting breaches in good faith (see page 77). It will be important for Belgium to transpose the Directive to protect a wider range of reporting persons beyond civil servants as required (see Article 4.) It shall also be noted that good faith was specifically avoided in the drafting of the Directive and that Recital 32 explicitly states that the motives of a whistleblower should not be relevant as a condition for protection. The government has tendered to hire someone to conduct a consultation process. The results of the tender are not yet known. Given the COVID-19 crisis and the national implications of Brexit, further progress on transposition in Belgium is not expected until the beginning of 2021.
The federal Department of the Economy responsible for the transposition of the EU Directive on Whistleblowing has published a tender to outsource an investigation and report into implementing the EU Directive.
A draft legislative proposal for a dedicated whistleblowing protection law has been introduced to the Belgian House of Representatives by the ‘Workers Party of Belgium’ PVDA political party. Draft law (reference: doc 55 1380/001) was submitted by Mr Boukli and others will be subject to future parliamentary debate.