By the end of 2023, it is anticipated that visitors to the European Union (EU) who do not require a visa will have to apply for authorisation through the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS). This new pre-travel screening system will apply to visitors to countries that are in the Schengen Area of the EU. Countries within the Schengen Area include all EU member states (except for Ireland), as well as the four members of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) – Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Although Bulgaria, Cyprus and Romania are not currently within the Schengen Area, as EU member states that are expected to join Schengen, they will be part of ETIAS.
On January 12, 2022, Luxembourg’s Minister of Justice submitted to the country’s legislature Bill 7945, which transposes Directive (EU) 2019/1937, otherwise known as the Whistleblower Protection Directive (“Directive”). The official deadline for EU member states to transpose the Directive into national law was December 17, 2021, however, nearly every state, including Luxembourg, failed to meet this deadline. Now that Bill 7945 has been presented to the legislature, experts will review it and compare the legislation against the requirements of the Directive. Given the expiration of the deadline for transposition in December, the legislature is expected to act quickly in passing Bill 7945 into law, so as to avoid the European Commission taking legal action for non-implementation.
Bill 7945 provides a framework to protect individuals who have obtained information in the work context about acts or omissions that violate national law or are against the public interest, and report protected information in any of the manners proscribed by the draft law. Specifically, Bill 7945 protects reports made by current and former employees, prospective employees, volunteers, trainees, self-employed individuals, shareholders, contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers. To be protected under the draft law, individuals must have reasonable grounds to believe the information they report is true and that it falls within the scope of the measure. The measure prohibits retaliation against individuals based on them reporting protected information in accordance with the draft law’s provisions.
The 27 European Union member nations gave majority approval on Tuesday, 30 June 2020 to allow non-essential travel from its initial “safe list” of countries. People travelling from the countries on the “safe list” can travel to the EU for business or leisure.
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