You are here

SAFE for Whistleblowers

23 June 2024

Transparency International (TI) Ireland is participating in the ‘SAFE for Whistleblowers’ project, a new initiative aimed at strengthening the protection of whistleblowers across the European Union.

‘Strengthening and Fostering Enabling Environment (SAFE) for Whistleblowers’ is funded by the European Union and implemented by Transparency International Secretariat alongside national TI chapters and partners. The project aims to support the establishment of an enabling environment for protection of whistleblowers, with a focus on Czech Republic, France, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, and Ireland.

Whistleblowers play a critical role in uncovering corruption and ensuring transparency within both public and private sectors. Despite this, many potential whistleblowers face significant barriers, including fear of retaliation, uncertainty about reporting procedures, and scepticism about the impact of their disclosures.

SAFE for Whistleblowers aims to address these challenges by:

  • Raising public awareness about the importance of whistleblowing.
  • Enhancing the capacity of organisations to implement effective whistleblowing systems.
  • Supporting national authorities in enforcing whistleblower protection laws.
  • Collecting and analysing data to assess the effectiveness of whistleblowing frameworks.

TI Ireland’s Role

TI Ireland been engaged in whistleblowing initiatives since 2009. It established the Speak Up Helpline in 2011, and successfully campaigned for and assisted with the drafting of the Protected Disclosures Act 2014. TI Ireland launched the Transparency Legal Advice Centre and Integrity at Work programme in 2016, as well as a Psychological Support Service for whistleblowers in 2023.

Building on this experience and expertise, TI Ireland will collaborate with project partners on several SAFE for Whistleblowers key activities:

Capacity Building

TI Ireland will deliver a series of activities to build the capacity of other TI chapters in Europe to work with employers and competent authorities on implementing best practice whistleblowing procedures. Activities include:

  • Supporting and guiding TI chapters with the replication of its Integrity at Work programme and tools.
  • Delivering training to project partners and developing a train the trainer programme.
  • Development of a self-assessment questionnaire to enable organisations to evaluate procedures with the EU Directive and best practices, such as Transparency Internationals’ Internal Whistleblowing Systems Best Practice Principles.

Irish CSO Support

TI Ireland will also develop national guidance for civil society organisations (CSOs) in Ireland, including producing a model policy for small CSOs and provide support and advice to implement internal whistleblowing systems. This will include several free memberships to the Integrity at Work initiative, as well as online trainings, including for organisations dedicated to supporting whistleblowers from vulnerable categories of workers including women, migrant, temporary and low paid workers

EU Whistleblowing Monitor

TI Ireland - in collaboration with the Whistleblowing International Network - will collaboratively gather and centralise relevant information and resources regarding the implementation and effectiveness of the EU Directive on the EU Whistleblowing Monitor - a civil society led initiative to track the transposition of the Directive across the 27 EU Member States.

Under the SAFE for Whistleblowers project, the website will be redesigned, and new country pages developed to enable national partners to continue to make available regular news updates, easily understandable information on the new transposition laws - including on their compliance with the Directive, international best practice principles, and recommendations for improvement.

Other activities include:

  • Regular regional meetings of civil society partners to share information on best practices and challenges.
  • A series of briefings and seminars targeting stakeholders with a role supporting whistleblowers - investigative journalists, trade unions, and civil society organisations - as well as for judges across the region.
  • A series of blogs and a report on the implementation and effectiveness of the EU Directive.

The SAFE for Whistleblowers project will run until early 2026. For further information on the project see here: SAFE for Whistleblowers -

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.