Page tree
Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

Purpose

URLs help users to navigate, to understand what content they can expect, but it also structures the domain. For this reason, the EC, Parliament and the Council agreed on common rules on URLs in 2005.

A coherent common structure enhances the user experience by its transparency and reinforces the trust in the sites under it. The web address is a guarantee of trustworthiness and reliability.

Rules

According to Europa domain and subdomains rules, websites owned by DGs and executive agencies must be hosted on the europa.eu domain. 

As part of the Europa.eu domain, the websites’ URLs must follow the below rules:

  • URLs must always be lower case (to avoid incompatibility between Unix and Windows, respectively case-sensitive and case-insensitive)
  • URLs must always be in English, even when they contain a page in another language (see also Language indicator)
  • multiple words contained in a URL must be separated by a dash/hyphen (-), though the underscore (_) is also accepted
  • URLs must not contain chained multiple words (e. g. europeancommission is wrong, european-commission is correct)
  • URLs must not contain acronyms, as they are not understood by a broader audience. Exceptions can only be granted for existing URLs already approved in the past.
  • Language Indicator:

Translated pages must have exactly the same URL of the original page, with the addition of suffix at the end of the page name.

For example:
ec.europa.eu/info/my-page → points to the English page
ec.europa.eu/info/my-page_en → English page
ec.europa.eu/info/my-page_de → German page
ec.europa.eu/info/my-page_sl → Slovenian page

The permitted suffixes for Eu-languages are the following (taken from alpha-3/ISO 639-2 Code)

Bulgarian: bg
Spanish: es
Czech: cs
Danish: da
German: de
Estonian: et
Greek: el
English: en
French: fr
Gaelic: ga
Italian: it
Latvian: lv
Lithuanian: lt
Croatian: hr
Hungarian: hu
Maltese: mt
Dutch: nl
Polish: pl
Portuguese: pt
Romanian: ro
Slovakia: sk
Slovenian: sl
Finland; fi
Swedish: sv

When listing the available languages, Spanish comes directly after Bulgarian (because of castillian spanish). Nevertheless the prefix is _es and not _cs

For non-EU languages, the following suffixes must be used:

Arabic: ar
Chinese (simplified): zh-hans
Chinese (traditional): zh-hant

For other languages, see the file DGT-languages

Note: URLs  of the European Commission's websites can be structured in two different ways depending on the hosting: 

  • if the website is hosted in DIGIT cloud servers: https://name-of-site.ec.europa.eu 
  • if the website is hosted in DIGIT Data Centre: https://ec.europa.eu/name-of-website.

Guidelines

Some elements used in brand names could negatively impact how people perceive your domain name and lead to misunderstandings if they are used in the URL. Therefore, we recommend to:

  • avoid using stopwords (e. g. "and", "or", "but"...) in URLs
  • avoid using numbers for words (e.g. “meant2be”) in the URLs as this is a risk for misunderstandings for audiences that use many different languages
  • avoid funny spellings or words that can be spelled different ways (e.g. “too”). This may make your site hard to find
  • try to satisfy users who expect to see the site name in the URL. Reflect your website title in the URL.

Printing URLs

In case you need to print or advertise or publish URLs, always use lower case (e. g. ec.europa.eu and not Ec.europa.eu nor EC.EUROPA.EU.

Drupal Instances

Urls containing the node keyword should rewrite to the human-readible version of the url. For example:

ec.europa.eu/drupalInstance/folder1/node_en → ec.europa.eu/drupalInstance/folder1/title-of-the-page_en

Procedure

The Commission services requesting for a URL/site name must always complete the necessary copyright checks on the names or association of words they intend to use before sending their request. For more information, contact the Intellectual Property Office (EC-IPR@ec.europa.eu).

Contact and support

If you require further assistance on this topic? Please contact the team in charge of Europa Domain Management (EU Login required).

  • No labels

The Europa Web Guide is the official rulebook for the European Commission's web presence, covering editorial, legal, technical, visual and contractual aspects.
All European Commission web sites must observe the rules and guidelines it contains.
Web practitioners are invited to observe its contents and keep abreast of updates. More information about the web guide.