The Southeast Europe Coalition on Whistleblower Protection (SEE Coalition) held its Annual Meeting Ensuring Strong Protections for Employees who Report Wrongdoing in Sarajevo on 3 February 2023. The SEE Coalition annual meetings serve as a platform for discussion of common challenges, strategies and solutions for improving the protection of whistleblowers, as well as on how to best utilize the Coalition resources. The meeting was co-hosted by the Centre for the Development of Youth Activism CROA (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and supported by the Regional Anti-corruption Initiative (RAI) Secretariat. Representatives of CSOs from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria (Center for the Study Democracy), Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, and Slovakia took part in the meeting. In the panel Update on the Transposition of the EU 2019/1937 Directive on Whistleblower protection: Challenges and Opportunities participated representatives from Croatia, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic. The CSD representative Maria Yordanova presented Bulgarian experience and newly adopted Protection of Persons Submitting Signals and Reporting Publicly Information about Wrongdoing Act.
Credit: Regional Anti-corruption Initiative
The Center for the Study of Democracy is actively involved in improving whistleblowing policies and culture as a regional anti-corruption actor and member of the South East Europe Coalition on Whistleblower Protection (SECWP). CSD advocated for the transposition of the EU Whistleblowing Directive. Its experts participated in the Ministry of Justice's working group to draft national legislation. They also provided comments on all draft laws submitted to Parliament. Following the adoption of the transposition law by the Bulgarian Parliament (27 January 2023, effective 4 May 2023), they advise and assist the designated central authority for external reporting and follow up - the Commission for Personal Data Protection (CPDP), in drafting the regulatory framework provided for in the law.
By January 2023, Denmark, Sweden, Portugal, Malta, France, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Cyprus, Belgium, Austria, Croatia, Finland, Ireland, Latvia and Lithuania have transposed the Whistleblower Directive. The remaining Member States are in a process of draft law consideration.