Monday

22nd Jan 2018

Green MEPs launch EUleaks

  • Green MEPs don't want to wait for an EU framework on protection of whistleblowers. (Photo: Green group in the European Parliament)

Green MEPs have set up a platform granting whistleblowers anonymity in the lack of an EU framework to protect such sources.

”It’s abundantly clear that if we want to make progress in the field of tax justice, environmental and public health protection, democracy and good administration, we need transparency,” Belgian Green deputy Philippe Lamberts told journalists on Tuesday.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • (Photo: Green group in the European Parliament)

The platform, known as EUleaks, is open to tips on wrongdoing in areas covered by EU law.

Instructions for how to access the channel through Tor can be found on the group’s website .

MEPs said Tor, a secured network, will guarantee that whistleblowers stay anonymous.

The rights of sources are otherwise dire in many parts of the EU.

LuxLeaks

One case regards two former auditors who exposed dubious deals between large companies and tax authorities in Luxembourg, depriving fellow EU treasuries of billions of euros in lost revenue.

The revelations had the EU step up its work against tax avoidance.

But the leakers were sentenced by Luxembourgish authorities. After their appeal, more charges were opened against them.

The Green group in May unveiled a proposal for whistleblower protection, hoping it would inspire the European Commission to follow.

“Jean-Claude Juncker has a personal responsibility to act,” German Green MEP Sven Giegold said on Tuesday, referring to the commission’s president, who was for many years Luxembourg’s prime minister and finance minister.

But the MEP added it was unlikely the commission would deliver.

Under EUleaks, responsibility for publishing materials would fall upon MEPs, who are protected by parliamentary immunity.

The group - one of the parliament’s smallest - said it was unwilling to let MEPs from other factions join the project, because it wanted EUleaks to be used for pro-European purposes.

“We want to make Europe greener, democratic, social, effective. Our promise to whistleblowers is that we will use the information in a way that promotes the EU project,” said Lamberts.

He said eurosceptic MEPs might want to use the new instrument to harm the EU’s reputation.

But he also criticised the EU “mainstream”, which he said “had vested interests” and which “doesn’t want its own shortcomings published”.

Leading by example

Lamberts said the Green group already “receives lots of leaks” and that "we share this information with some journalists."

He said EUleaks would not be competing with the press.

Asked why whistleblowers would turn to a political group rather than the media, Giegold said Green MEPs could use information they received to put pressure on EU institutions in their political work.

He also said MEPs would share the information with journalists and civil society if the leaker agreed.

The Greens vowed to stay neutral and not filter information.

When asked what they would do in case of sensitive documents, for instance information that could be incriminating for fellow MEPs or EU officials and politicians, they said they would stick to EU rules of conduct.

"This is not about political exploitation but about defending the public interest," Lamberts said.

”I would love if the European Parliament had come up with this initiative,” he said, ”but it was unlikely to happen. We want to lead by example.”

Ethics drive at EU parliament hits a wall

Plans to increase transparency at the European Parliament have been postponed, in a move likely to result in weaker proposals when it goes to a vote.

EU trade law could criminalise whistleblowers

A new directive passed by the European Parliament Thursday to protect European companies from corporate espionage could lead to preventing information on business wrongdoings, critics argue.

EU commission presents 'realistic' lobbying rules

The EU executive called for more stringent regulation of interest representatives trying to influence EU decision making. Critics say the 'transparency revolution' is being blocked by the European Parliament and EU member states.

EIB 'more sensitive' to fraud after Dieselgate

The president of the European Investment Bank, Werner Hoyer, said the bank had high standards - but did not explain why an anti-fraud report on a loan to Volkswagen was being kept secret.

News in Brief

  1. Germany confirms attendance at air quality summit
  2. Nearly half of 'fixed' Dieselgate cars show problems
  3. YouTube, Twitter, Facebook up hate speech deletion
  4. UK mulls bridge to France
  5. German far-right float anti-asylum bill
  6. EU Parliament to investigate glyphosate-decision process
  7. 'Mutagenesis' falls outside EU's GMO rules, says EU top lawyer
  8. Decision on Polish MEP's Nazi-era slur postponed

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Solutions for Sustainable Cities: New Grants Awarded for Branding Projects
  2. Mission of China to the EUTrade Between China, Belt and Road Countries up 15%
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersOresund Inspires Other EU Border Regions to Work Together to Generate Growth
  4. Mission of China to the EUTrade Between China, Belt and Road Countries up 15%
  5. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Calls on EU to Sanction Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Expel Ambassadors
  6. Dialogue PlatformRoundtable on "Political Islam, Civil Islam and The West" 31 January
  7. ILGA EuropeFreedom of Movement and Same-Sex Couples in Romania – Case Update!
  8. EU2017EEEstonia Completes First EU Presidency, Introduced New Topics to the Agenda
  9. Bio-Based IndustriesLeading the Transition Towards a Post-Petroleum Society
  10. ACCAWelcomes the Start of the New Bulgarian Presidency
  11. Mission of China to the EUPremier Li and President Tusk Stress Importance of Ties at ASEM Summit
  12. EU2017EEVAT on Electronic Commerce: New Rules Adopted

Latest News

  1. Middle East, Messi and missing MEPs on the agenda This WEEK
  2. Instagram and Google Plus join EU anti-hate speech drive
  3. EU wants 'entrepreneurship' in education systems
  4. UK loses EU satellite centre to Spain
  5. Pay into EU budget for market access, Macron tells May
  6. Ethiopian regime to get EU migrants' names
  7. EU to lend Greece up to €7bn more next week
  8. Nato prepares to take in Macedonia

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressChair of EU Parliament Working Group on Antisemitism Condemns Wave of Attacks
  2. Counter BalanceA New Study Challenges the Infrastructure Mega Corridors Agenda
  3. Dialogue PlatformThe Gülen Community: Who to Believe - Politicians or Actions?" by Thomas Michel
  4. Plastics Recyclers Europe65% Plastics Recycling Rate Attainable by 2025 New Study Shows
  5. European Heart NetworkCommissioner Andriukaitis' Address to EHN on the Occasion of Its 25th Anniversary
  6. ACCACFOs Risk Losing Relevance If They Do Not Embrace Technology
  7. UNICEFMake the Digital World Safer for Children & Increase Access for the Most Disadvantaged
  8. European Jewish CongressWelcomes Recognition of Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel and Calls on EU States to Follow Suit
  9. Mission of China to the EUChina and EU Boost Innovation Cooperation Under Horizon 2020
  10. European Gaming & Betting AssociationJuncker’s "Political" Commission Leaves Gambling Reforms to the Court
  11. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Applauds U.S. Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital City
  12. EU2017EEEU Telecom Ministers Reached an Agreement on the 5G Roadmap