It is possible that the European Union will also react.
The government’s changes in the law on the protection of anti-social activity whistleblowers will make people in Slovakia afraid to report corruption. This is claimed by the head of the international organization for the protection of whistleblowers. In a letter, she urged the government and the parliament not to continue discussing the amendment to the law, which the parliament has on its agenda next week.
In the past, for example, former police vice president Branko Kišš, or ex-investigators around Ján Čurilla received the protection of the office. According to experts, the change may discourage potential whistleblowers from reporting corruption or a crime.
“If the text of the law is unclear, you don’t know if you’re going to get into trouble. There is a part in the proposed change that says that the whistleblower may not receive protection if he is accused of abusing the anti-social activity whistleblower’s office,” points out Director of the Whistleblowing International Network, Anna Myers.
Editor Erik Adamson covered the changes in the Whistleblower Protection Act in a report for:
SaS MP Juraj Krúpa fears that the changes in the law on whistleblowers will cause the European Union to react as well.
“It’s actually a loss of legal certainty, which was already provided not only to the police, but also to the whistleblower,” warns Krúpa. When the whistleblower loses this status despite having previously been granted it, it is, according to Krup, a procedure against the EU legal system. “This means that action from the EU or EC is expected automatically,” says Juraj Krúpa.
The final version is said to be still being worked on
Minister of the Interior Matúš Šutaj Eštok (Hlas-SD) claims that the ministry, which will present the law in parliament, continues to work on its final wording.
“Mr. Prosecutor General drew attention to possible retroactivity. That law should still be rewritten. I know that State Secretary Kurillovská should have a meeting with Mrs. Dlugošová this week. So we will go through all the suggestions from them,” explained Šutaj Eštok.
“This draft amendment to the Act on the Protection of Whistleblowers turns the protection of the whistleblower upside down. In fact, it puts the whistleblower himself at great risk if he wants to obtain whistleblower status when he reports, for example, serious suspicions of criminal activity. Such protection can be taken away from him at the initiative of the employer himself,” criticizes the chairperson of the Whistleblower Protection Office, Zuzana Dlugošová.
The law was approved by parliament during the third government of Prime Minister Róbert Fico in 2019.