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Rules

European Commission websites:

  • if required, must make use of Europa Webtools
  • cannot feature third party tools and services

If a business need cannot be addressed by any of the corporate tools and services then a justified request to approve a tool or service may be submitted. See below.

Third party tools

Third-party tools and services

Third-party tools tools and services are

  • web components, installed on the Commission infrastructure, but not developed in-house e.g charts, maps, social media feeds, etc.
  • commercial services that interact with or load/submit data to servers that are not part of the Commission infrastructure and thus beyond the control of the Commission, e.g. Google Analytics, embedded YouTube videos, embedded web fonts (e.g. Google Fonts), embedded maps, surveys, content delivery networks (CDN), etc.

Risks of using third-party tools and services

  • privacy and data protection - third party products often use permanent cookies and other tools
  • business continuity - the European Commission has no influence over maintenance
  • legal uncertainty - terms of use can be changed without notice
  • dependency - webmasters have no control over these tools
  • limited accuracy assurance - providers can change data collection without notice, and use differing methods to collect data
  • security - including undesired redirections or malware
  • endorsement - any use serves as implicit endorsement by the European institutions, which is a breach of competition rules

Europa Webtools 

To avoid the risks related to the use of third-party tools and services, DG Communication offers in-house maintained corporate solutions, often based on verified and approved third-party tools, which can be integrated into any CMS technology.

Europa Webtools are based on the following principles:

  • offer corporate out-of-the-box features 

  • in line with corporate standards in terms of styling, accessibility, usability and cookie rules

  • straightforward to implement and with dedicated corporate support
  • in case of any 3rd-party dependencies, these are centrally maintained 
  • standard functionality and labels available in 24 languages

See https://europa.eu/webtools (EU login required) for a full overview and implementation details.

Requesting an improvement to Europa Webtools

Requests for improvements to a tool or service that is part of the Europa Webtools offer can be sent by email to Comm Europa Management. After assessment, your Europa account manager or the corresponding product owner will contact you.

Requesting the approval of a 3rd-party tool

In exceptional cases, when a duly justified business need cannot be fulfilled by corporate solutions or approved 3rd-party tools, DG Communication will start a procedure that:

  • assesses the risk considering the requirements of Regulation (EC) 45/2001, Decision C(2006)3602 and Directive 2009/136/EC. This risk assessment will cover at least the above risks related with the use of third-party tools and services and will include a consultation with the DPO and HR.DS
  • if the aforementioned actions have lead to a positive outcome, your class manager or the corresponding product owner will contact you

Data protection

Any personal data that is processed as part of any task relating to the development of the European Commission's web presence must be done so in compliance with Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2018.

See data protection for more info.

Contact and support

If you require further assistance, please contact:

Comm Europa Management

European Commission
DG Communication 
Unit B.3 
Europa Web Communication 

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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. Read more.