Written by 17 h 19 min -Press release-en, Advocacy, Corruption and embezzlement

Sapin II: Progress on Whistleblowers, Status Quo on the Anti-Corruption Agency, Regression in the Fight against Corruption


Paris, 26 May 2016


The Sapin II Bill was examined by the Law Committee on 25 May 2016. Certain measures were passed, some of which were based on Anticor and Sherpa’s recommendations, thus increasing the Bill’s reach. However, in order to meet the ambitious aim to suppress corruption, further provisions should be passed during the plenary session.


Our organizations welcome the adoption of a global and unified, albeit perfectible, whistleblower protection system. The Bill now includes the protection of whistleblowers’ anonymity, new measures against retaliation, financial support for legal fees as well as moral and financial damages. With these measures, France finally recognises the essential role played by whistleblowers.


Unfortunately, the provisions currently being considered in order to ensure the Agency, its members and its bodies’ independence are insufficient[1]. In addition, approved non-profit organisations are still unable to notify corruption cases or probity breaches to the Agency. Moreover, the Bill does not set out the appropriate procedures for the Agency’s recruitment of experts responsible for carrying out checks in companies or implementing penalties.


Above all, an amendment has introduced negotiated justice into the Bill. This will lead to impunity for companies that will only need to pay a fine. This provision is unrealistic in the French context and could turn into a tax on corruption rather than a real threat[2]. In any case, this mechanism cannot be an adequate response to the justice system’s lack of efficiency, which stems from the prosecution’s lack of independence or from the lack of human and financial means allocated to the fight against international corruption.


Members of Parliament must take advantage of this Bill’s examination by the National Assembly, from 6 to 9 June, in order to further improve a text which does not yet meet the challenges set by this issue.



Press contacts:

– Eric Alt, Anticor Vice-President : 06 87 76 71 02
– Lisa Rieux, Communications officer at Sherpa : 01 42 21 33 25 / 06 08 45 55 46


[1] See the Position Paper on the Status of the Anti-Corruption Agency.

[2] See the Position Paper on Negotiated Justice.

Last modified: 17 December 2019