The Statewatch European Monitoring and Documentation Centre (SEMDOC) was launched at the London offices of the European Parliament in 1997, and exists to encourage critical research and investigative reporting on JHA law and policy. As well as outlining how and why the European Union goes about drafting, debating and legislating on JHA issues, it contains a legislative observatory of past, current and future measures. Detailed historical research can also be undertaken through the JHA archive, an online database that currently holds over 6000 records dating from 1971 onwards. Over time, this will increase by several thousand more, allowing researchers to chart the history, development and nature of JHA institutions, decision-making, policy, and law. The original SEMDOC website was created in 2000.
The SEMDOC website is made up of six sections:
Welcome to SEMDOC contains a list of the latest updates to the website, a site map, and a contact form through which queries can be submitted.
The JHA agenda outlines the decision-making process within the EU, and holds information on the three bodies of the EU relevant to the drafting of policy and passing of legislation: the Council, the Commission, and the Parliament. It also contains detailed listings of 'action plans' that outline policy on various topics - internal security, drugs, external relations, counter-terrorism, etc. This section should be used in conjunction with the legislative observatory in order to understand the overall context of particular legislative measures.
The legislative observatory details all adopted, proposed and forthcoming JHA measures and their status within the legislative processes of the Council, Commission and Parliament. It has its own introductory page.
Key texts provides a historical overview of JHA policy. The section on treaty provisions contains excerpts from EU treaties relevant to JHA, while the section on JHA programmes is made up of JHA action plans and analysis of the measures contained within. Key texts also contains the JHA 'acquis' - a list of all formal legal measures, cooperation mechanisms, soft law measures, strategy papers and reports.
The section on key texts should be seen as something of a companion to the JHA archive. Currently the archive holds over 6000 documents from 1971-2000, allowing users to chart the development of particular policies or institutions at EU level via historical documents from the Council, the Commission and the Parliament. Post-2001 documents will be added later.
Statewatch is a research and education trust operated by a registered charity that does not profit commercially in any way from SEMDOC or its online services.
It is comprised of lawyers, academics, journalists, researchers and community activists. Its European network of contributors is drawn from 18 countries. Statewatch encourages the publication of investigative journalism and critical research in Europe in the fields of the state, justice and home affairs, civil liberties, accountability and openness.
More information about Statewatch is available here.