28 March 2012
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 for everyone
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 Statewatch’s complaints, the right of the Ombudsman to investigate secrecy complaints was written into the Amsterdam Treaty together with a commitment to “enshrine” the public’s 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 documents.
Campaigning for openness and transparency
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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