Working for openness and democracy in the EU since 1992
Statewatch has been applying for EU documents concerning
justice and home affairs policy and reporting on openness, secrecy
and access to documents since 1992.
Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor,
is the author of Secrecy and openness in the EU (Kogan
Page, 1999). An updated, online version of this book was produced
in 2003 with the support of the National Security Archive.
Establishing new rights
By 1998, Statewatch had
submitted eight complaints against the EU Council concerning
public access to its documents to the European Ombudsman. As
a result of Statewatchs complaints, the right of
the Ombudsman to investigate secrecy complaints was written into
the Amsterdam Treaty together with a commitment to enshrine
the publics right of access to information in an EC Regulation.
Two more complaints were submitted
by Statewatch in 2007, this time against the Commission's
failure to meet its obligations concerning public access to its
Campaigning for openness
During the negotiation of the
draft Regulation on public access to EU documents, which was
adopted in 2001, Statewatch led a coalition of NGOs in
a campaign for openness and citizens' rights.
The "Call for an Open Europe"
was launched by Statewatch and the European Federation
of Journalists in 2000. It is supported by hundreds of groups
and individuals across Europe.
Awards for Statewatch
In 1998 the Campaign for Freedom
of Information gave Statewatch an Award for its work
on fighting for EU openness (access to documents)
In 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.
In 2001 Tony Bunyan, Statewatch
editor, was selected by a distinguished panel as one of the "EV50"
- the fifty most influential people in the European Union over
the year in recognition of Statewatch's work on access to documents
in the EU. The EV50 is organised annually by the European
Voice newspaper in Brussels.
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