About

Statewatch is a non-profit-making voluntary group founded in 1991 comprised of lawyers, academics, journalists, researchers and community activists. Our European network of contributors is drawn from 18 countries. We encourage 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.

Our vision:

  • European Union of freedom, democracy and diversity, a society of fundamental civil liberties and personal and political rights, free movement and freedom of information, and equal rights for all.

Our objectives:

  • To monitor civil liberties and the state in the European Union;
  • To inform and empower individuals and civil society in order to ensure a European Union based on civil liberties, human rights and democracy;
  • Action on civil liberties and justice and home affairs issues.

One of our primary purposes is to provide a service for civil society to encourage informed discussion and debate - through the provision of news, features and analyses backed up by full-text documentation so that people can access for themselves primary sources and come to their own conclusions.

Statewatch is the research and education arm of 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.

Main activities

  • Statewatch News: Launched in 1999 and updated regularly, Statewatch News has articles, reports, documentation and analyses on civil liberties, EU policies and state practices. Made up of our own work and key material from other sources, on average 50 articles are published weekly.
  • Research projects: We engage in research projects investigating key civil liberties issues and finding ways to resolve them: 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; media analysis of asylum and refugee stories for the Ethical Journalism Network; examining the transparency and accountability of EU agencies; investigating the growth and development of biometric identity initiatives in the EU.
  • Observatories: Our Observatories document the development of specific and thematic issues, from freedom of information to asylum and immigration. They bring together draft policies and adopted legislation, analyses from civil society, media reports, critiques and campaigns.
  • SEMDOC: The Statewatch European Monitoring and Documentation Centre tracks every measure, proposed and adopted, in the field of EU justice and home affairs policy since 1993. It contains a legislative observatory of past, current and future JHA measures.
  • Justice and Home Affairs Archive: The JHA 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.
  • 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 receive email alerts.
  • Statewatch Library & Archive: Our archive has been gathered over 40 years and holds unique materials from national and local activism in pamphlet format, from Roneo to lithographic publications, plus badges alongside key books ranging from the 1920s onwards and many hard copy EU documents which predate the EU’s digitisation of its records.
  • Our online archives: All the material we have published since 1991, including Statewatch News, the Statewatch Bulletin/Journal & the State Research archive alongside official reports and documentation, analyses, links and more. We currently have over 35,000 items.

Awards and praise

Statewatch has received six awards for its work:

  • 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."

A wide audience

Our services are very widely used. The Statewatch website has over 96,000 unique visitors each month and visit, on average, over 25,000 separate pdf/URLs each month. Thousands of people follow us on social media and are signed up to our mailing list.

Partners

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

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

Funders

Our staff

About our staff, volunteers and trustees.

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Contact

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Mailing list

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Contribute to Statewatch

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Research services

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