8 February 2012: Statewatch launches online historical archive of EU Justice and Home Affairs documents

012 (3/12)
Home page: http://www.statewatch.org/
e-mail: office@statewatch.org

Statewatch launches online historical archive of EU Justice and Home Affairs documents

Statewatch today launches a unique online archive of over 4,500 official documents (rising to over 6,500 by the end of 2012) that chart the development of EU justice and home affairs policy over three decades.

The documents cover the period 1976 to 2000, providing a historical record of the development of EU police and security cooperation leading up to and including the ‘Maastricht’ period of European integration. The collection is unique because the EU’s own public registers of documents were launched after 2000 and include very little historical matter.

The archive covers the ‘TREVI’ Group on “Terrorism, Radicalisation and Extremist Violence”, established by the governments of the then six EEC member states in 1976, the period of “European Political Cooperation” during the 1980s, and the negotiations leading up to the Schengen and Maastricht Treaty frameworks, which set the parameters for justice and home affairs cooperation throughout the 1990s.

The fully-searchable archive includes the justice and home affairs ‘acquis’ of adopted texts and legislation, policy proposals, working party documents, communications and action plans.

It can be accessed free of charge at: http://www.statewatch.org/jha-archive.

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments:

“The only way that external observers can really understand what’s happening in the EU is to read the documents it produces and then put those documents in an historical context. It is only once you have this full picture that you can grasp the significance of what’s being proposed or implemented.

“This collection provides a valuable resource for academics, journalists, students and citizens trying to understand the historical development of EU policy and governance. It also shines a light on a crucial period when the EU was even less open and transparent; the period that paved the way for the Europe-wide incursion into civil liberties that we have witnessed over the past decade”.

Notes for editors

1. Statewatch monitors the state and civil liberties in the EU. In 2011 its website recorded 10,288,301 million ‘hits’ and 1,198,831 million ‘user sessions’. In December 2011, Liberty awarded Tony Bunyan and Statewatch the “Human Rights “Long Walk” Award 2011 for “dedication to openness, democracy and informed debate about European institutions”: Home page: http://www.statewatch.org/

2. SEMDOC is Statewatch’s European Monitoring and Documentation Centre on EU Justice and Home Affairs policy. See: http://www.statewatch.org/semdoc/

3. Statewatch is grateful to Zennström Philanthropies for providing the financial support required to produce the online archive which involves the scanning and key-wording of each individual document.

For further information please contact:

Statewatch office: (00 44) 0208 802 1882

Or email office@statewatch.org
Statewatch: Monitoring the state and civil liberties in Europe
PO Box 1516, London, N16 0EW. UK
tel: +44(0)20-8802-1882; fax: +44(0)20-8880-1727

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