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General rules

The described rules bellow are commons for all templates.


Cascading Style Sheet/Formatting

Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) helps to simplify the task of maintaining websites by separating formatting information from the structure and content of a document and by providing more sophisticated layout and design features for web pages. All graphical formatting should be done through CSS.

CSS has put an end to the (mis)use of tables as design structure. However, even with current browsers, some CSS-formatting and positioning could be displayed differently in different browsers.

Pages must always be legible when CSS is disabled.

The templates use a standard style sheet, containing a set of classes that determine the presentation of the standard elements and a definition by default for all HTML elements. A local.css should also be used to customise the layout of the content area.



Reading on screen is harder on the eyes than reading on paper. Texts written specially for websites should be short and concise. Read more about writing for the Web.

A rule of thumb is that a line shouldn’t hold more than 75-80 characters. The optimal readability is achieved around 65 characters per line.

The font Verdana is mandatory for all typographical elements within the page. A general reference "Sans-Serif" must always be included in the specification, to help users who don’t have the specified font.

Underlined text is reserved for hyperlinks. It should not be used for other purposes.

Text must be displayed in a contrasting colour to the background colour used.

Scrolling and moving text should be avoided.



To maintain the image of the Commission and to assure the readers that they are in EUROPA, it is important that the mandatory colours are respected.

The colours of the European Commission logo in the banner must be dark blue #004494 and yellow #f9e904, dark grey #5c6a6d and grey #c5c7c8.

The site name in the identification banner should be blue, #0065a2.

The subtitle in the identification banner should be white, #ffffff. 

Text colour should be #000000 or in a contrasting colour to the background colour used.

Link colour should be #347C98.

Visited link colour should be #551A8B.

It is recommended to use white (#ffffff) as the background colour of all pages.

Use the hexadecimal format "#nnnnnn" instead of names, which are not all recognised by all browsers.