Statewatch produces and promotes critical research, policy analysis and investigative journalism to inform debates, movements and campaigns on civil liberties, human rights and democratic standards. We began operating in 1991 and are based in London.

Statewatch is a UK registered charity and is funded by grant-making trusts and donations from individuals. You can support our work by making a donation.

If you are interested in contributing work to Statewatch, please see here.

Vision, mission and strategy

Our vision

An open Europe of democracy, civil liberties, personal and political rights, free movement, freedom of information, equality and diversity.

Our mission

To monitor, analyse and expose state activity that threatens civil liberties, human rights and democratic standards in order to inform and enable a culture of diversity, debate and dissent.

At the beginning of 2022 we adopted a new five-year strategic plan based around three overarching themes:

  • Objective 1: Strengthen civil society’s access to information
  • Objective 2: Expose and challenge new means of surveillance, coercion and control
  • Objective 3: Build a more sustainable and more effective organisation

You can read a summary of the strategic plan here (pdf).

Our work

  • Observatories

Our Observatories bring together legislation, draft policies, analyses, media reports, critiques and campaigns about specific issues such as freedom of information and asylum.

Go to: Observatories

  • Statewatch News

Reports on civil liberties, EU and national policies and practice mdae up of own work and key material from other sources.

Go to: Statewatch News

  • Analyses

In-depth examinations of key issues in the fields of migration, policing, secrecy, surveillance, privacy and more.

Go: Analyses

  • Research projects

We engage in research projects investigating key civil liberties issues and finding ways to resolve them. In recent years we have worked with the EU Justicia Network, observing EU standards on procedural rights and rights of victims of crime; the SECILE project, gathering and analysing all the EU's adopted counter-terrorism measures since 2001; undertaken media analysis of asylum and refugee stories for the Ethical Journalism Network; examined the transparency and accountability of EU agencies; and investigated the growth and development of biometric identity initiatives in the EU.

Go to: Projects

  • Unique documentary archives

The Statewatch European Monitoring and Documentation Centre (SEMDOC) tracked every measure, proposed and adopted, in the field of EU justice and home affairs policy from 1993 to 2019. It contains a legislative observatory of past, current and future JHA measures.

The Justice and Home Affairs Archive is a unique online collection of over 9,000 official EU documents (1976-2000) charting the development of EU justice and home affairs policy.

  • Statewatch online archives

All the material we have published since 1991, including Statewatch News, the Statewatch Bulletin/Journal and the State Research archive alongside official reports and documentation, analyses, links and more. We currently hold over 35,000 items.

Go to: Search

  • Mailing list and social media

In addition to thousands of followers on Facebook and Twitter, we currently have more than 10,000 people signed up to our mailing list.

  • Statewatch Library & Archive

Our hard-copy archive has been gathered over 40 years and holds unique materials from national and local activism across Europe in pamphlet format, from Roneo to lithographic publications, plus key books ranging from the 1920s onwards and many hard copy EU documents which predate the EU’s digitisation of its records. Many of these materials are unique.

Go to: Statewatch Library & Archive

  • Events

we organise occassional seminars and workshops to launch projects, present our work and to discuss pressing civil liberties issues.

Go to: Events

  • Friends of Statewatch newsletter

A twice-yearly newsletter just for Friends of Statewatch.

Accessing and broadcasting our work

Access to all our work is free via this website.

Like us on Facebook: /statewatcheu

Follow us on Twitter: @statewatcheu

Sign up to our mailing list to receive our regular newsletter, announcements and other key information.


Statewatch has received seven awards for its work:

  • 2019: 1st place in the Hostwriter Story Prize for the project Invisible Borders, undertaken with a team of journalists from across Europe.
  • 2011: Liberty awards Statewatch the human rights "Long Walk" Award: "For dedication to openness, democracy and informed debate about European institutions, keeping us reliably informed and suitably engaged for the last 20 years. Their network of independent volunteers has become one of the most respected and reliable sources of investigative journalism and critical research in the fields of the state, justice, home affairs and civil liberties in the European Union."
  • 2004: European Voice newspaper, Brussels: Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, selected by a distinguished panel as one of the "EV50", one of the fifty most influential people in the European Union over the year for Statewatch's work on civil liberties and the "war on terrorism"
  • 2001: European Voice newspaper, Brussels: Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, selected by a distinguished panel as one of the "EV50", one of the the fifty most influential people in the European Union over the year for Statewatch's work on access to documents in the EU
  • 2001: The European Information Association gave Statewatch the "Chadwyck-Healey Award for achievement in 
    European Information" for its work on openness and the new code of access to EU documents
  • 1999: Privacy International gave Statewatch an award for its work in exposing EU-FBI telecommunications surveillance plans
  • 1998: The Campaign for Freedom of Information gave Statewatch an Award for its work on fighting for EU openness (access to documents)


A wide range of individuals and groups have praised our work:

  • "The campaign group Statewatch has performed great service over the years monitoring the activities of the European Union in the area of civil liberties. Its communications are a source of detailed, solidly researched, information on which NO2ID among many others (of all political persuasions) has come to rely" - No2ID, UK
  • "Statewatch provides a tremendous service rooting out documents which most of us have no idea how to get hold of!" - European Information Association
  • "We believe that, in general, Statewatch is a paradigm of sound scholarship" - Foundation for Critical Thinking
  • "A systematic job of researching this. It's the one source you need in Europe. It collects a lot. This is very serious. It's following the process for several years. So for any journalist training we do, doing FOI issues, that would be the one address to go to and say have a look there" - Wilfried Ruetten, Director of the European Journalism Centre, on Statewatch's work on FOI in the EU
  • "Statewatch has persistently and systematically over two decades, brought to public attention (through its exemplary website and thorough expert opinions, evidence and otherwise) the hidden and barely visible activities of EU executive power in its various components and manifestations. Often working behind the scenes, quietly, with little or no public funding.. individuals, such as Tony Bunyan, Professor Steve Peers and Dr Ben Hayes and others, have tirelessly worked to bring information and facts into the public domain" - Professor Deirdre Curtin in her book 'Executive Powers of the European Union' (Oxford, 2009)
  • "Statewatch's work in highlighting developments at the EU level over the past 30 years for the benefit of organisations like ICCL across Europe has proven invaluable" - Irish Council for Civil Liberties
  • "Statewatch is the most reliable source of comment and official documents - many not publicly available until request by Statewatch - on the most controversial areas of EU policy. It currently has the best coverage from around Europe of the "Mos maiorum"Joint Police Operation coordinated by the Italian Presidency, aimed at tackling illegal immigration to the EU." (INFO-EUROPA is edited by Patrick Overy at the European Documentation Centre, University of Exeter and Eric Davies of Eurojargon Enterprises, October 2014)
  • Steve Peers (Professor of Law, University of Essex) in the 4th Edition of EU Justice and Home Affairs Law (2016): "I am, as before, indebted to Tony Bunyan and Statewatch for continued advice and assistance."


As well as working with our contributors group, Statewatch works with a wide range of other organisations. We are a member of and work with:

We have also collaborated with a range of groups and organisations on particular projects and reports:

Our staff and trustees

About our staff, volunteers and trustees.

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Get in touch with us.

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Mailing list

Sign up to the mailing list and stay informed about civil liberties issues in Europe.

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In the press

Our work is regularly featured in the press in Europe and beyond.

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Contribute to Statewatch

We welcome the submission of material for publication.

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Research services

We are available to work with other individuals and organisations.

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Privacy Policy

Our collection and usage of personal data and your rights.

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