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Synopsis: Last October the European Union passed a binding Directive requiring all 27 member countries to pass a comprehensive whistleblower protection law. Activists throughout Europe who pushed Brussels for many years are celebrating the new law, which is far stronger than its original draft. Whistleblowers are making a big difference in many regions. But is Old Europe – where very few countries recognize legal rights for whistleblowers – ready to embrace the new wave?
• Wendy Addition, founder SpeakOut, SpeakUp (UK). Former whistleblower who exposed financial fraud by the two CEOs of LeisureNet, a large fitness center company in South African. The CEOs served 19 months in prison. Addison received death threats and moved to the UK, where she and her young son slept in a squat and lived on welfare. She since has become a sought-after coach, speaker and advisor, in particular for large international companies. SpeakOut, SpeakUp is an independent whistleblower support and advocacy group.
• Michal Pleticha, founder WBcz (Czech Republic). Founder of Czech Republic’s only independent whistleblower support organization, which receives and investigates whistleblower reports, and advises employees and citizens. Pleticha is a long-serving public official for the Czech Supreme Audit Office. He frequently writes about European whistleblowing and privacy issues.
• Rainer Winters, founder Ana Logo (Germany). Founder of one of Germany’s leading independent news and information portals. He was harassed by Deutsche Bank after he published a leaked copy of the company’s internal whistleblower policy, which included provisions that threatened employees with dismissal.
Moderator: Mark Worth, Whistleblowing International / European Center for Whistleblower Rights / Southeast Europe Coalition on Whistleblower Protection