Beyond Paper Rights: Implementing Whistleblower Protections in Central and Eastern Europe

In 2019, the European Union implemented protections for those who speak up about wrongdoing, through the adoption of a landmark whistleblower protections directive: Directive 2019/1937. The EU Directive was hailed as a globally significant development for integrity and accountability. But since then, local adoption and implementation has proven challenging. Now, almost four years after the EU Directive was finalised, and two years since it was due to be transposed, the EU directive in member states remains incomplete.  

This new report published by the CEELI Institute analyses whistleblower protections in six Central and Eastern European nations: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and Romania. It summarises the transposition process in each jurisdiction, noting the challenges that have arisen and the opportunities that remain. After surveying these developments, this report explores three overarching recommendations to ensure the EU Directive has practical effect–in other words, that the protections it provides are not merely “paper rights”.