FRANCE: Law on Business Secrecy – Do not let enterprises and business banks impose a law of silence!

(Pollinis / Translated from French)


“Ladies and gentlemen,

You will soon be asked to decide on the proposed law “on the protection of know-how and undisclosed commercial information (trade secrets) against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure”.

This text is the transposition of a European directive adopted in 2016 despite the warnings of NGOs, unions, journalists and the massive opposition of citizens. Developed by the representatives of multinational corporations and business banks, it is an unprecedented offensive against the public interest and citizens’ right to information.

The “Law on Business Secrecy” has serious legal, social, health and environmental implications. Under the guise of protecting businesses, it locks information on firms’ practices and products marketed by companies. Scandals such as the Médiator or Bisphenol A, or cases like the Panama Papers or LuxLeaks, may no longer be brought to the attention of citizens.

Through the systematic threat of lengthy and costly lawsuits, this law is a massive deterrent to journalists, unions, scientists, NGOs and whistleblowers.

We, the signatories of this petition, whistle-blowers, unions, NGOs, journalists, researchers, and ordinary citizens, oppose the application of this law in France, and ask you to defend the right to information and the interest of the citizens you represent, by adopting the amendments presented to you in order to restrict its scope only to competitive economic actors.”

The campaign was launched by the collective “Stop secret des affaires” which brings together NGOs, journalists, unions, lawyers and citizens’ representatives united against the application of the Secrets of Business Directive in France and is hosted by the association POLLINIS for the protection of pollinators and the environment.