- 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")
Separate dates with either prepositions or dashes but don't mix them.
- from 1990 to 1995, not from 1990- 95
- between 1990 and 1995, not 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
- 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)
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.
In English, Irish and Maltese, a point is used to separate whole numbers from decimals:
- 9.7 billion people
- 2.3 million light years
A comma is used for the same purpose in all other languages and in multilingual texts:
- 9,7 milliards
- 2,3 millions d'années lumière
A ‘non-breaking’ space is used to indicate thousands in whole numbers (not a comma). Decimals are grouped in a single block:
- 152 231.324567
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.
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
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.
+32 2 299 11 11 (Commission switchboard)
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
Need further assistance on this topic? Please contact the team in charge of Europa Domain Management (EU Login required).