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Statewatch is a non-profit-making voluntary group founded in 1991. 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 the fields of the state, justice and home affairs, civil liberties, accountability and openness. Brochure on Statewatch's work
One of Statewatch's 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's 20th Anniversary Conference, June 2011: Statewatch conference speeches
Statewatch's services are very widely used:
- the Statewatch website has over 80,000 unique visitors each month
- during 2010 the average number of downloads of pdf files from our site was over 430,000 per month
- 7,781 people are signed up to the Statewatch e-mail list plus 1,256 on Twitter
- the searchable Statewatch database contains 28,861 stories, analyses and documents
"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. Its the one source you need in Europe. It collects a lot. This is very serious. Its 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, Maastricht, Netherlands 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 hihjlighting developments at the EU levelover the past 30 years for the benefit of organisations like ICCL across Europe has proven invaluable" Rights News, Irish Council for Civil Liberties (Summer 2001)
The Statewatch Journal was launched in 1991 and is now in its 21st year of publication. Coverage includes news, features and research sources on new measures introduced by national governments and the EU institutions in Brussels as well as reporting from the ground on the effect of policies and state practices in the community: Download a free sample issue of Statewatch Journal
In 1997 the Statewatch European Monitoring and Documentation Centre (SEMDOC) was launched. SEMDOC has a unique collection documents from the Council of the European Union, the European Commission and the European Parliament on justice and home affairs and civil liberties. The SEMDOC website was launched in 1998 together with the Statewatch European Monitor.
In June 2000 Statewatch News online was launched and carries news and features with extensive full-text background documentation to supplement coverage in the bulletin. On its website Statewatch has 22 "Observatories" on civil liberties and openness in the EU on this site, further four "Observatories" on the SEMDOC site and a free, searchable database which holds 26,000 items including coverage from the bulletin: Search database. Together with News online they provide one of the most comprehensive resources available and are widely accessed right across Europe.
In January 2001 the Statewatch subscriber website was launched which is accessible through an online subscription to bulletin subscribers - it carries the current bulletin in "pdf" format and a database of all coverage in the bulletin from 1991 to the current issue.
The Statewatch website was launched in 1999 - this is what our Home Page looked like in the summer of the year 2000: Statewatch website 2000
Since its launch this website has had 13,194,119 user sessions and 89,411,150 "hits" (December 2012)
In the year 2005 there were 979,772 user sessions with 4,076,016 "hits"
In the year 2006 there were 1,341,158 user sessions with 5,446,221 "hits"
In the year 2007 there were 1,693,941 user sessions with 6,464,960 "hits"
In the year 2008 there were 1,232,435 user sessions with 9,896,072 "hits"
In the year 2009 there were 1,263,573 user sessions with 7,305,161 "hits"
In the year 2010 there were 2,070,595 user sessions, with 11,306,982 "hits" (including 4,586,204 pdf/document files downloaded)
In the year 2011 there were 1,198,831 user sessions and 10,288,301 "hits" ***
In the year 2012 there were 959,237 user sessions and 17,138,956 "hits"
*** In 2011 the web statistics programme changed and it now counts as a single user session from the same IP address of multiple users in a set time span.
Statewatch has produced a number of publications on justice and home affairs in the EU, immigration, Europol, surveillance: Statewatch publications and has two free unlimited access websites - SEMDOC and Statewatch database
Since 1997 Statewatch has submitted evidence to parliaments and other institutions on a range of issues: Index of submissions
Statewatch has received five Awards for its work:
1998 The Campaign for Freedom of Information gave Statewatch an Award for its work on fighting for EU openness (access to documents)
1999 Privacy International gave Statewatch an Award for its work in exposing the EU-FBI telecommunications surveillance plans
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
2001 European Voice newpaper, 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
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"
2011 STATEWATCH GIVEN LIBERTY HUMAN RIGHTS "LONG WALK" AWARD 2011 for its work over the past 20 years: At the Liberty Human Rights Awards held at the Purcell Room, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, London on 22 November 2011 Tony Bunyan & Statewatch were given a "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."
See: Picture of the Award ceremony: Statewatch and Private Eye get Liberty Human Rights "Long Walk" Awards (pdf)
and Tony Bunyan's speech at the Liberty Human Rights Awards ceremony for 2011
"The Liberty Human Rights Awards aim to honour those individuals and organisations dedicated to protecting and promoting the rights of others. It is an opportunity to give proper recognition to the people who provide essential support, information or inspiration on human rights issues, and to say thank you not only to those shortlisted, but to all the countless individuals who fight to further protect and extend rights and freedoms for us all." See: 2011 Awards (link)
Statewatch networks with a whole range of other organisations and groups:
and is a member of:
Global Internet Liberty Campaign
INK, the independent news association
Freedom of Information Advocates Network - FOIANet
The International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group - see Report
Statewatch is represented on:
The International Commission on globalisation and human rights
Privacy International Advisory Board
Statewatch works with a number of partner groups including:
and has its own network of national correspondents in 18 European countries.
Statewatch is working with its partners - the American Civil Liberties Union and Privacy International - on a "policy-laundering project. See website:
European Civil Liberties Network
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Statewatch is the research and education operation of a UK registered charity and is funded by UK grant-making trusts and donations. "Click" here: To support our work by making a donation online
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© Statewatch ISSN 1756-851X. Personal usage as private individuals/"fair dealing" is allowed. We also welcome links to material on our site. Usage by those working for organisations is allowed only if the organisation holds an appropriate licence from the relevant reprographic rights organisation (eg: Copyright Licensing Agency in the UK) with such usage being subject to the terms and conditions of that licence and to local copyright law.