Blowing the Whistle in the EU: A Policy Analysis of the Agenda-Setting of the Proposal for a Whistleblowers Protection Directive

  • Cecilia Ivardi Ganapini
  • Johanna Rick
Keywords: Whistleblowing, Agenda-setting, European Union, Kingdon model


Scandals concerning wrongdoings of multinational corporations and governments are inescapable in the news. “Blowing the whistle” on these is often constrained out of fear of retaliation, which is why in April 2018, a Directive to assure protection to whistleblowers was proposed. Tracing the origins of the process is complicated because there are several actors operating in a multilevel polity. Hence, Kingdon’s multiple-streams model is applied to legislative texts and several news outlets, and inferences are drawn to describe the facets of the rise of whistleblowers protection on the EU agenda. This paper finds that the Greens Parliamentary group became a policy initiator after being urged by Transparency International to act. The Greens justified the need to act with old arguments, which however acquired momentum only when the political climate soothed after the scandals of LuxLeaks and Panama Papers.


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