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The ECLN is an iniative of the following founding groups and individuals:

Statewatch (based in London, founded in 1990)

Access to Information Programme (Sofia, launched in 1996 by journalists, lawyers and academics working on human rights issues).

Bürgerrechte & Polizei/CILIP (covers civil liberties and policing and is based at the Free University of Berlin, founded in 1975).

European Race Audit (part of the Institute of Race Relations, based in London, founded in 1956).

Hellenic League for Human Rights (founded in 1953, Greece). 

Komitee für Grundrechte und Demokratie (Committee for fundamental rights and democracy, Germany).

Komitee gegen den Schnüffelstaat (renamed grundrechte.ch, works on democracy and civil liberties, based in Bern, Switzerland).

Mugak (covering immigration, racism and xenophobia, based in the Basque country in Spain).

VD AMOK (an anti-militarist and conscientious objectors organization that works closely together with the peace movement, the Netherlands).

Founding individuals:

The founding individuals are: Thomas Mathiesen, Professor Sociology of Law, Oslo; Liz Fekete, IRR European Race Audit; Mads Pedersen, journalist, Copenhagen; Aidan White, Secretary-General European Federation of Journalists, Brussels; Professor Wolf Dieter-Narr, Berlin; Gareth Peirce, lawyer, London; Heiner Busch, CILIP, Berlin; Lorenzo Trucco, Turin; Deirdre Curtin, Professor and Chair of School of Governance, University of Utrecht; Tony Bunyan, director Statewatch, London; Professor Steve Peers, University of Essex; Ann Singleton, University of Bristol; Gus Hosein, Privacy International; A.Sivanandan, Director of the Institute of Race Relations, London; Helmut Dietrich, Forschungsgesellschaft Flucht und Migration - FFM, Berlin; Professor Paddy Hillyard,Queens University, Belfast; Professor Phil Scraton, Queens University, Belfast.

The launch of the ECLN was supported by: