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Is It freedom? The coming about of the EU directive on whistleblower protection

Is It freedom? The coming about of the EU directive on whistleblower protection

Vandekerckhove, Wim ORCID: 0000-0002-0106-7915 (2021) Is It freedom? The coming about of the EU directive on whistleblower protection. Journal of Business Ethics, 179 (1). pp. 1-11. ISSN 0167-4544 (Print), 1573-0697 (Online) (doi:

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In November 2019 the EU Whistleblower Directive came into force. Whistleblowing has been described as a human right and a freedom fundamental to democracy. But it is not always straightforward to understand concrete cases of reporting wrongdoing in terms of abstract political philosophy. This paper uses a discussion between Berlin and Skinner about what negative freedom is, as a theoretical framework to understand the struggles of a campaigning platform of trade unions and civil society organizations, in the coming about of the EU Whistleblower Directive. The paper is empirically based on a document analysis of two Resolutions in the European Parliament, the European Commission’s proposal text, the approved text in the European Parliament, and messages on the listserv of the campaigning platform between February 2017 and April 2019. The paper provides insights on how whistleblowing freedom relates to public interest and autonomy.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © The Author(s) 2021. Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Uncontrolled Keywords: Berlin, freedom, whistleblowing
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Faculty of Business > Centre for Work and Employment Research (CREW)
Faculty of Business > Department of Human Resources & Organisational Behaviour
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2022 09:51

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