Following the New Deal for Consumers proposed on 11 April 2018, which includes proposals for new European group action regime, the EU Commission‘s latest proposal to improve whistleblowers‘ protection is driven by a similar motive to fight corporate scandal.
The Dieselgate scandal has once more shown that the European legal arsenal has gaps that, too often, are left to the US to fill with investigations and sanctions against unlawful activities.
For companies, the new proposal should encourage the reviewing and improving of compliance management systems. At the same time, it is a fairly easy prediction that internal investigations will continue to rise - as will the often very substantial associated costs.
For directors and officers, liability risks resulting from insufficient corporate governance will also continue to increase in parallel - as does the risk exposure for D&O insurers. But where there are new and increased risks, there may also be an appetite for better insurance protection, such as for new or improved products covering investigation risks and costs.
Finally, in view of increasing company fines, an open debate will become even more necessary over whether and to what extent fines and penalties should be insurable.
Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality added: "The new whistleblowers' protection rules will be a game changer. In the globalised world where the temptation to maximise profit sometimes at the expense of the law is real we need to support people who are ready to take the risk to uncover serious violations of EU law. We owe it to the honest people of Europe.