Whistleblowing is not seen as a favoured phenomenon in Estonia. People who dare to speak up against injustice or fraud are usually beaten down by the criticism from the society, or even worse: their colleagues, friends and family.
Nevertheless, the lack of legislative support to whistleblowers is ought to change by the end of 2021 when the EU directive on the protection of people reporting abuses of the Union law will be incorporated into the Estonian legislation. The directive sets concrete standards how both, companies as well as public institutions will have to ensure the confidentiality and protection from retaliation of the whistleblower.
Encouraging employees to report wrongdoing, and protecting them when they do, is essential for corruption prevention in both the public and private sectors. Whistleblower protection is vital in order to safeguard the public interest and to promote a culture of public accountability and integrity. Workers are often the first people to witness any type of wrongdoing within an organisation. The information that workers may uncover could prevent wrongdoing, which may damage an organisation’s reputation and performance, and could even save people from harm or death.
Still, the question remains - can a law change systemic and historic attitudes to the better? What are companies and public institutions already doing in relation to whistleblowing protection and what must be improved?
Come join the discussion at Arvamusfestival in Paide, Estonia on August 14 at 16-17:30. The discussion will be broadcast live on Norden's Facebook page.
- A company case from Estonia, Tõnis Sepp, Eesti Energia AS
- Whistleblowing case in Estonian media, Martin Laine, Ekspress Meedia, Investigative Editorial Office, Reporter
- Changes in the legislation - What must the authorities and companies do? Mare Tannberg, Estonian Ministry of Justice
Moderator: Carina Paju, Executive Director, Transparency International Estonia
Language: English, interpretation into sign language (Estonian)
See more at Arvamusfestival's website.