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Protesters blow whistles in Brussels to draw attention to the plight of whistleblowers and press freedom one year after Lux leaks


brussels bureau

Protesters blow whistles in Brussels to draw attention to the plight of whistleblowers and press freedom one year after Lux leaks

One year after the Lux leaks scandal, what about the protection of whistleblowers? That is the question protesters are asking in Brussels today.

With Antoine Deltour, former PriceWaterhousecoopers employee and French journalist Edouard Perrin facing hefty fines and prison sentences for their role in Lux leaks, NGOS like Oxfam and Eurodad are concerned. In what became known as the Lux Leaks, Deltour brought almost 26,000 pages of documents to light that showed how authorities in Luxembourg made secretive tax rulings with a number of big companies. Edouard Perrin – who received the information – is charged by Luxembourg for his alleged role in the second set of leaks. NGOs believe this is a direct threat against press freedom.

Euronews spoke to Oxfam representative Aurore Chardonnet. She calls on the EU to act globally in the protection of whistleblowers. She is worried that the less people are protected, the less people will denounce these kind of scandals.

Corporations like Starbucks and Apple are more and more in the eye of the European Commission, as the recent work of Competition commissioner Margrete Vestager has shown. But for activists like Chardonnet and her colleagues from the European Network on Debt and Development, the European Commission and member states have a lot more work to do.

After recent decisions on Starbucks and Fiat, the European Commission could soon go after Microsoft and Kraft, according to Dutch newspaper Trouw. But the European Commission has yet to confirm.

While the Commission contemplates next steps, interest in protection for whistleblowers is growing around Europe.

This November, whistleblowers, journalists, lawyers and activists will meet in Montreuil near Paris to debate the lack of legal protection for whistleblowers. This first ever Whistleblowers book fair aims to increase awareness on the importance of whistleblowing.

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