Whistleblowing in Europe
WHISTLEBLOWING IN EUROPE:
THE CASE OF EULEX and MARIA BAMIEH
Ghent University, Tuesday 2 December, 19-21, AUD I
Law Faculty, Universiteitstraat 4, 9000 GHENT
The UN, OECD, OSCE, the Council of Europe and the EU have recently developed or promoted programmes, action plans, guidelines, recommendations or legal provisions in order to have in place a normative, institutional and judicial framework to protect whistleblowers who report or disclose confidential information in the public interest and expose wrongdoing. The case of Wikileaks and Julian Assange and the case of Bradley (Chelsea) Manning have raised particular awareness in Europe regarding the need for better protection of whistleblowers who contribute to strengthening transparency and democratic accountability. The European Court of Human Rights on several occasions has secured protection of whistleblowers under Article 10 of the Convention: the right to freedom of expression and information (e.g. Guja v. Moldova, Kudeshkina v. Russia and, most recently, Matúz v. Hungary). The Belgian Chairmanship of the Council of Europe and the recently updated legislation on protection of whistleblowers in Belgium are stimulating factors for further reflection on this issue.
Legal instruments and political statements on whistleblower protection very often contrast with the practice in many states or the European institutions.
It is in this context that the case of Maria Bamieh, former EULEX public prosecutor in Kosovo, deserves attention.
The European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) is the biggest international mission of the EU, with more than 1,600 staff members and an annual budget of more than 100 million Euros. Whistleblower Maria Bamieh, former EULEX prosecutor, claims that the EU mission in charge of fighting corruption may be corrupt itself. Bamieh filed internal official requests to start an investigation against two of her colleagues suspected of taking bribes to shut down criminal cases, but no actions were taken. In October 2014 she was suspended for “leaking” documents to a local newspaper in Kosovo and a formal investigation against her has been launched. Maria Bamieh, who previously served as a barrister and a public prosecutor in the United Kingdom, maintains that she went public only after she was suspended by EULEX. Recently, Europe’s Ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly, has opened a fresh enquiry into the EU’s handling of corruption allegations at EULEX. For more information see http://euobserver.com/foreign/126580
19:00 – 19:15 Prof. dr. Dirk Voorhoof (Ghent University),
Welcome and short introduction: recent developments on whistleblowing in Europe
19:15 – 19:30 Mrs. Flutura Kusuri (PhD student, Ghent University)
Introduction on EULEX and Maria Bamieh
19:30 – 20:15 Maria Bamieh (Former Public Prosecutor EULEX, Kosovo)
A whistleblower’s story from Kosovo: a new challenge for Europe
20:15 – 20:45 – Questions & Answers
Where: Auditorium NB1
Law Faculty of Ghent University, Universiteitstraat 4
When: 2 December 2014, 19:00 – 21:00
Organisation: The Human Rights Centre and Centre for Journalism Studies, Ghent University
Entrance is free but registration is required due to limited places. To register send an e-mail, including your full name and organization you are associated with to: Flutura.Kusari@Ugent.be
You will be requested to show a printed copy of the confirmation of your registration.
V.U. - Dirk Voorhoof, UGent, Korte Meer 9-11, 9000 GENT