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  • 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


  • 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.


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.


+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).

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