In the final stretch for the approval of the anti-corruption whistleblower law in Spain


EU member states must pass a law to protect whistleblowers by December.

In the final stretch for the approval of the anti-corruption whistleblower law in Spain.

All EU member states are obliged to pass the 2019/1937 directive law by December. 

Since the procedure for the implementation of the law for the protection of whistleblowers in Spain we are awaiting approval in the Congress of Deputies, which means that the country is on the verge of the European Union initiating a formal infringement procedure, as this directive must be approved by 17 December 2021 and put in place for its application before that date.

Do we have enough time to pass the law by the deadline?

In real terms, Spain has run out of time, so the proposed deadline has been missed and as the days have passed the government has not yet drafted the draft bill by the council of ministers to be taken to the congress of deputies for debate and approval, a procedure that has not been carried out to date.

What is the whistleblower protection law of directive 2019/1937? 

The law defends whistleblowers who provide information on irregularities in public procurement, terrorist financing, animal health and welfare, money laundering, environmental protection, privacy and personal data as well as any wrongdoing affecting the EU’s financial interests. 

The anonymity of these mailboxes managed by víadenuncia serves to avoid possible retaliation, including dismissal, harassment or intimidation, as the reports are made within a work context and are sensitive to such practices, which is why our mailbox maintains the anonymity of the whistleblower at all times.

These rules in no way affect the national security of each country, national order, EU law regarding sensitive or classified information, nor do they invade professional secrecy; these rules do not override national rules regarding the due exercise of consultation of trade unions by workers.

What steps has the Ministry of Justice taken so far? 

  1.  Approval of the European directive on 23 October 2019.
  2. Creation of the working group within the general codification commission to present the law proposal on 2 June 2020.
  3. First meeting of the working group to address the issues concerning the transposition of the European regulation on 16 June 2020.
  4. Delivery of the draft or proposal that was completed by the deadline of 2 December 2020.

Debate: Finalising details of the whistleblower law.

 The debate on the law regulating the protection of whistleblowers is still pending, all within the framework of the initiatives that the government plans to approve during the year 2021 according to the Annual Regulatory Plan.

On 7 January 2021, the prior consultation was opened so that organisations, associations and citizens could make relevant requests on the issues raised in the document. The deadline was 27 January 2021.

The European Union offers a flexible scope due to the fact that each member state of the Union has legal peculiarities that are part of the legislation and laws of each of the countries. In the case of Spain, the debate has focused on the extension and admission of anonymous complaints.

Another question that was asked was how to manage the complaints channels, in which víadenuncia is a pioneer, therefore, in the case that the operation of the complaints channels be centralised by an independent administrative authority that monitors and responds to the complaints according to this legal framework, víadenuncia is fully capable of maintaining the standards in legislative and operational matters.

Issues of the economic impact of the regulation included in the report of the regulatory analysis report are being analysed, but in the meantime this has not been fully decided, as cross-cutting issues such as the development of the state regulation by the autonomous communities are still pending.

The political groups and their proposals.

The proposals from the political groups were not long in coming, which is why ERC, Compromís, BNG and Más País are proposing an independent authority for the protection of whistleblowers in an anonymous and secure mailbox.

On the other hand, VOX wants each whistleblower to be rewarded with 10% of the total money recovered. They also propose that these complaints should be passed on to the public prosecutor’s office after being studied for possible crimes. VOX’s proposal includes sanctions for whistleblowers who file false reports, with penalties ranging from €200 to €400,000.

On the other hand, Ciudadanos defines a framework for the prevention, detection and punishment of corruption. The framework they propose is to regulate internal and external whistleblowing, a proposal that has yet to be submitted to the plenary of the Congress of Deputies.

Spain ranks 34th in the corruption perception index according to Transparency International.

The first places in the ranking go to the countries of Northern Europe: Denmark, Finland and Norway as European benchmarks with scores above 85 points.

Spain, meanwhile, is in 34th place, ahead of Israel, Italy, Poland, among others. According to this perspective, Spain is still far from being in the first places.

If you want to consult the ranking click here

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