- October 1, 2021
- Posted by: Arman Fazlic
- Category: RAI News
Friday, October 1 – The Gap Analysis of Whistleblower Protection Laws in the Western Balkans and Moldova (hereinafter: Gap Analysis) was recently finalized, translated and delivered to partner institutions in beneficiary jurisdictions.
Whistleblowing is one of the most effective means of exposing and combating corruption. In order to maximize the benefits of whistleblowing, comprehensive laws must be brought in place to provide whistleblowers with reliable avenues to disclose corruption, and mechanisms to protect them from retaliation. Most of the whistleblower protection laws in the Western Balkans and Moldova were adopted during the period between 2014 and 2019. As a contribution to effective whistleblower protection in SEE, the Gap Analysis was conducted by whistleblowing experts Mr. Tom Devine and Mr. Mark Worth, and coordinated by Ms. Elmerina Ahmetaj Hrelja, Anticorruption Expert and RAI Secretariat Project Manager.
The Gap Analysis compared nine whistleblower protection laws in seven jurisdictions to the two predominant legal instruments in Europe: the 2014 Council of Europe Recommendation on Protection of Whistleblowers (hereinafter: CoE Recommendation) and the 2019 European Union (EU) Directive on the Protection of Persons who Report Breaches of Union Law (hereinafter: EU Directive).
The seven jurisdictions whose laws were assessed are: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Kosovo*, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia. For this study, 21 key standards that represent the basic elements of a whistleblower protection system were condensed from the CoE Recommendation and the EU Directive. This assessment examines whether and to what extent each standard is incorporated into each jurisdiction’s law. The assessment does not examine the impact of the implementation of laws. Through this assessment, general and specific gaps in statutory provisions are identified, and recommendations for improvement have been developed for each jurisdiction. The purpose of this gap analysis is to assist jurisdictions in reviewing and improving their whistleblower legislation to be in line with the EU Directive.
Stakeholder consultations with anti-corruption agencies and other institutions were carried out to verify the legislative assessment. The assessment will serve as a basis for dialogues in the jurisdictions, with the purpose of advocating for the translation of the recommendations into action, leading to better whistleblower protection for citizens. Input was received from public institutions of the beneficiary jurisdictions, which was included in the Gap Analysis.
The Gap Analysis was produced as part of the project “Breaking the Silence: Enhancing Whistleblowing Policies and Culture in the Western Balkans and Moldova”, funded by the European Union. The project aims to help partners from the beneficiary jurisdictions to improve whistleblower reporting channels and protection mechanisms; strengthen the capacity of civil society to support whistleblowers; and raise public awareness of the importance of whistleblowing in the fight against corruption.
* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.