28 March 2012
Statewatch has been systematically monitoring and documenting the development of EU Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) policy since 1991. The Statewatch European Monitoring and Documentation Centre on Justice and Home Affairs in the European Union (SEMDOC) seeks to increase public understanding and debate about JHA policy through the provision of comprehensive information about adopted and proposed legislation.
Documenting the EU legislative process
More than 500 specific EU JHA measures are now detailed in the SEMDOC Legislative Observatory. The Observatory covers every adopted and proposed JHA measure, together with international treaties and EU case law. It provides details on the legal base, legislative procedures within the EU Council, Commission and Parliament, full-text documentation and links to additional information sources.
Key texts and information sources
The new SEMDOC website also includes all key texts relating to the development of the EU JHA agenda, the JHA acquis, Treaty provisions, institutions and NGOs. The website also contains a searchable database and latest news, documents and updates sections.
New content and functionality is still being added to the website and it will continue to be developed over the coming year. Full access to the SEMDOC website requires a subscription.
The SEMDOC archives cover:
* the pre-Maastricht intergovernmental cooperation on JHA matters (the TREVI Framework etc.)
* all measures and decisions adopted since November 1993 (the JHA 'acquis') and their implementation
* agendas and policy documents from the EU Council of JHA ministers and JHA working groups
* the Schengen acquis, the Schengen Executive Committee and Schengen working groups
* JHA proposals and documents from the European Commission
* European Parliamentary debates, resolutions, questions and reports on JHA issues
* European Court of Justice and European Court of Human Rights: judgments, press releases, bulletins and reports
SEMDOC holds over 6,000 hard-copy EU documents on justice and home affairs (JHA) dating back to the ad hoc cooperation Trevi period of the mid-1970s. This collection represents a unique historical record of the development of the 'Third Pillar' (the EU institutions provide little JHA documentation prior to 2000). All of the documents in the SEMDOC archives have been keyworded.
SEMDOC was launched at the London offices of the European Parliament in 1997 to encourage critical research and investigative reporting on justice and home affairs issues. The original SEMDOC website was created in 2000. Statewatch's work on openness, access to EU documents, civil liberties and democratic standards is supported by 40 individuals and 32 organisations across Europe.
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.
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