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EU moves to protect whistleblowers

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By Damon Embling
EU moves to protect whistleblowers

From Lux Leaks to Cambridge Analytica, whistleblowers have rarely been out of the headlines.

And now those exposing fraud, tax evasion and data breaches, among other things, are set to better protected from retaliation - under new rules being proposed by the European Commission.

It comes after criticism from campaigners.

"As you know whistleblowers are a crucial source for investigative journalism, this is a form of journalism democracy cannot do without," said Frans Timmermanns, the European Commission's First Vice-President. 

"Safeguarding investigative journalism's watchdog role is crucial in our democratic societies, it is one of the institutions democracy resides upon. So our proposal makes sure whistleblowers are protected when they have good reason to go public."

The Commission says its plans are a 'game changer' - with companies having to set up internal channels for whistleblowers. Informants would also be protected from being fired or demoted.

Transparency International says the proposals, which still have to be approved by member states and the European Parliament, are a "bold step" forward.