What is EUROPA?
EUROPA is the European Union's Web portal accessible via the address http://europa.eu. It is managed by the European Commission (DG COMM) in co-ordination with all EU institutions. Given the central role of the Commission, the name EUROPA is also widely used to refer to both this portal and the European Commission’s own website hosted at the address http://ec.europa.eu. DG Communication has direct responsibility for the top-level pages of Europa, such as the homepage and a number of general information sites directly accessible from it, as well as for the Commission’s homepage and the overall co-ordination of the sites of the Commission’s directorates-general and services. Each institution and each directorate-general or service are responsible for the individual style and contents of their own site.
EUROPA provides a vast array of information on European integration concerning the European Union's objectives, policies and institutional set-up. It is designed to be as user-friendly as possible in line with the EU institutions' commitment to openness and one of its main objectives is to make information accessible to the greatest number of people possible. This means not only dealing with the problems posed by all forms of physical handicap or those faced by all the people on the wrong side of the digital divide, but also providing information in as many EU languages as possible. Compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, level AA is guaranteed, at least for the top level pages. For the same reason multilingualism is a priority for the Commission, and the number of EUROPA official languages is bound to be further increased with the next rounds of enlargement.
The EUROPA site was launched in February 1995 on the occasion of the G7 ministerial meeting on the information society organised by the Commission in Brussels. Although it was originally designed for that particular event, EUROPA expanded rapidly and the Commission decided to turn it into a useful information resource for everyone, specialising in all matters covered by the EU Treaties and the work of the European Institutions. The general public makes great use of EUROPA and statistics show an average of 165 million page viewings per month.