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

Dates

  • write the day as a number and the month in letters - e.g. 12 May
  • use all 4 digits for the year - e.g. 2020 (not '20)
  • don't use commas - e.g. 14 July 1999 (not 14 July, 1999)
  • don't use 'the' before the date. Don't use letters (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th)
  • example: on 9 October 2019  (not "on the 9th of October 2019")

Date ranges

Separate dates with either prepositions or dashes but don't mix them.

  • from 1990 to 1995not from 1990- 95
  • between 1990 and 1995not between 1990 - 95
  • the 2007-08 report is available online

For date ranges where you indicate the year only, use a short dash with no spaces.

  • 1996 - 2006

If the years are in the same century, don't repeat the century.

  • 1939- 45 

For date ranges where you indicate more than just the year, use a short dash with a space on either side of the dash.

  • 2 - 5 March 2014
  • 25 December 2011 - 30 January 2012

Time

  • use the 24 hour clock
  • include the time zone (only once per date range)
  • separate hours and minutes with a decimal point (not colon)
  • 09.00 (CET)
  • 23.59 (EST)
  • 17 March 2019, 9.00 - 18 March 2019, 18.00 (CET)

Numbers

In most cases don't write numbers out, use numerals (1, 2, 3) which are easier to read onscreen.

However, avoid 2 numerals next to each other: 8 one‑day sessions, not 8 1-day sessions.

Decimals

 Use points, not commas, to indicate a decimal point

  • 9.7 billion people
  • 2.3 million light years

Thousands

Use commas, not points or spaces, to separate groups of thousands

  • DG X employs 2,350 officials.  DG Y spent €1,234,567 on IT infrastructure last year

Exception: In tables, separate groups of thousands by a hard space

No. of officials employed by DG X

2 350

 IT expenditures, DG Y

 1 234 567

Fractions 

Avoid using fractions. Decimals are easier to read and understand onscreen.

  • Duration of visit: 2.5 hours (NOT 2½ hours)

Numbers greater than 1 million

For readability, use the words million, billion and trillion rather than a series of 000's

  • The Commission has committed €2.5 billion to the initiative
  • The world economy has grown 470.1 trillion % since 2001

Billion means a thousand million (not a million million) Trillion means a million million.

In general do not abbreviate million and billion. However to avoid excessive repetition (for example in tables) they can be abbreviated to 'm' and 'bn' respectively. Use a space after the digits.

Country

Deficit (€)

Country A

10 m

Country B

15 bn


Recommendations for rounding large numbers

• if we don't need the highest level of accuracy, we can use rounding e.g. €60 million dedicated to language training for migrants, not €60,250,005 dedicated…

• use only the number of digits that are necessary and make sense for clear communication

• a disclaimer should be added, when applicable, at the beginning or end of the publication describing the rounding policy and the reasons for possible inconsistencies - e.g. Figures have been rounded to one decimal place for the sake of brevity

Telephone numbers

Write the full number including the international code. Use + instead of 00. Separate the regional prefix from the main number.

If the number does not send the caller to a specific department within the Commission, add Commission switchboard in brackets.

Example:

+32 2 299 11 11 (Commission switchboard)

Symbols

Do not use spaces between symbols and figures.

Avoid using the ampersand (&) - use 'and' instead.

Use the following symbols

  • currency symbols: €150 (EUR, GBP can also be used but the symbol is better)
  • percentage: 5%
  • temperature: 37°C

Do not use a space between the numbers and the symbol.

Contact and support

If you require further assistance, please contact:

Comm Europa Management

European Commission
DG Communication 
Unit B.3 
Europa Web Communication 

  • 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. Read more.