32 thoughts on “Juncker hinders exposing European Union corruption

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  20. Friday 15th April 2016

    posted by James Tweedie in World

    Green MEPs condemn ‘unnecessarily broad’ trade secrets Bill

    OPPONENTS of new European Union rules on trade secrets warned yesterday that the legislation would criminalise whistleblowers.

    The stated aim of the Trade Secrets Protection Act, which was debated by the European Parliament yesterday, is to protect EU firms from corporate espionage by foreign rivals.

    But critics said businesses could use the law to prosecute journalists and whistleblowers for exposing corporate wrongdoing.

    More than half a million people have signed a petition against it.

    According to the European Commission website, the Bill would outlaw “further disclosure of misappropriated trade secrets,” potentially preventing the publication of sensitive information.

    It would also grant companies the right to “compensation for the damages caused by the unlawful use or disclosure of the misappropriated trade secret,” meaning that businesses would be able to sue whistleblowers.

    French Republican Party MEP Constance Le Grip, a member of the conservative European People’s Party group, is leading the legislation’s progress through the parliament.

    “We have very precisely and clearly set out the exemptions for both journalists and whistleblowers,” she claimed.

    “The Panama Papers have nothing to do with this kind of matter.”

    But the Greens/European Free Alliance group of MEPs warned that the legislation’s definition of what constitutes a trade secret was “unnecessarily broad,” enabling corporations to suppress information which belongs in the public domain.

    MEP Julia Reda, the sole German Pirate Party representative, said the proposed law would “leave the door open to abuse by unscrupulous businesses across Europe.”

    She added that it creates “uncertainties about the role of whistleblowers and investigative journalists.”

    The Greens/EFA group said it would present its proposals for a directive on the protection of whistleblowers on May 4.

    War on Want spokesperson Ross Hemingway said: “The public are already in the dark when it comes to the shady tax affairs of big business. It’s a scandal that politicians want to hand more power to corporations to keep their affairs secret.

    “Criminalising whistleblowers, rather than do all that’s necessary to expose corporate crimes, is shameful. The voice of the European people must be heard on this.”



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