What are cookies?

A cookie is a small text file that a website stores on your computer or mobile device when you visit the site.

  • First party cookies are cookies set by the website you’re visiting. Only that website can read them. In addition, a website might potentially use external services, which also set their own cookies, known as third-party cookies.
  • Persistent cookies are cookies saved on your computer and that are not deleted automatically when you quit your browser, unlike a session cookie, which is deleted when you quit your browser.

Every time you visit the Commission’s websites, you will be prompted to accept or refuse cookies.

The purpose is to enable the site to remember your preferences (such as user name, language, etc.) for a certain period of time.

That way, you don’t have to re-enter them when browsing around the site during the same visit.

Cookies can also be used to establish anonymised statistics about the browsing experience on our sites.

How do we use cookies?

European Commission websites mostly use “first-party cookies”. These are cookies set and controlled by the Commission, not by any external organisation.

However, to view some of our pages, you will have to accept cookies from external organisations.  

The 3 types of first-party cookie we use are to:

  • store visitor preferences
  • make our websites operational
  • gather analytics data (about user behaviour)

Visitor preferences

These are set by us and only we can read them. They remember:

  • if you have agreed to (or refused) this site’s cookie policy
  • if you have already replied to our survey pop-up (about how helpful the site content was) – so you won't be asked again
Name Service Purpose Cookie type and duration
eu_cookie_consent Cookie consent kit Stores your cookie preferences (so you won’t be asked again) First-party session cookie deleted after you quit your browser
ecsi Website survey tools Stores information on whether you have already replied to a survey pop-up – so you won't be asked again. First-party persistent cookie, 1 month

Operational cookies

There are some cookies that we have to include in order for certain web pages to function. For this reason, they do not require your consent. In particular:

  • authentication cookies
  • technical cookies required by certain IT systems

Authentication cookies

These are stored when you log in to a Commission site, using our authentication service (EU Login). When you do this, you accept the associated privacy policy.

Name Service Purpose Cookie type and duration
MyEACSDomain Identity Management Service Remembers your domain First-party session cookie, deleted after you quit your browser
__Secure_CASTGC Identity Management Service Identifies your session First-party session cookie, deleted after you quit your browser
__Secure_ECAS_SESSIONID Identity Management Service Identifies the current Central Authentication Service session First-party session cookie, deleted after you quit your browser
ECAS_PREFS Identity Management Service

Remembers your settings and preferences:

user id, user name, acknowledged cookie policy, high contrast mode, privacy mode, view account details after login, last strength selected
First-party session cookie, deleted after you quit your browser

The names of these cookies may change, for technical reasons (particularly __Secure-CASTGC and __Secure-ECAS_SESSIONID).

 

Technical cookies

Name Service Purpose Cookie type and duration
has_js Corporate content management platform, based on Drupal open source software

Determines whether Javascript is enabled in your browser.

This allows our websites to function properly.
First-party session cookie, deleted after you quit your browser
JSESSIONID / CFID / CFTOKEN Java IT platform / Coldfusion IT platform Maintain a secure session for you, during your visit. First-party session cookie, deleted after you quit your browser
ecsi Website survey tools Stores information on whether you have already replied to a survey pop-up – so you won't be asked again. First-party persistent cookie, 1 month

 

Analytics cookies

We use these purely for internal research on how we can improve the service we provide for all our users.

The cookies simply assess how you interact with our website – as an anonymous user (they data gathered does not identify you personally).

Also, this data is not shared with any third parties or used for any other purpose. The anonymised statistics could be shared with contractors working on communication projects under contractual agreement with the Commission.

However, you are free to refuse these types of cookies – either via the cookie banner you’ll see on the first page you visit or at Europa Analytics.

Name Service Purpose Cookie type and duration
_pk_id# Corporate web analytics service, based on Matomo open source software Recognises website visitors (anonymously – no personal information is collected on the user). First-party persistent cookie, 13 months
_pk_ses# Corporate web analytics service, based on Matomo open source software

Identifies the pages viewed by the same user during the same visit.

(anonymously – no personal information is collected on the user).
First-party persistent cookie, 30 minutes

Third-party cookies

Some of our pages display content from external providers, e.g. YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

To view this third-party content, you first have to accept their specific terms and conditions. This includes their cookie policies, which we have no control over.

But if you do not view this content, no third-party cookies are installed on your device.

Third-party providers on Commission websites

You Tube
Internet Archive
Google Maps
Twitter
TV1
Vimeo
Microsoft
Facebook
Google
LinkedIn
Livestream
SoundCloud
European Parliament

These third-party services are outside of the control of the Commission. Providers may, at any time, change their terms of service, purpose and use of cookies, etc.

How can you manage cookies?

You can manage/delete cookies as you wish - for details, see aboutcookies.org.

Removing cookies from your device

You can delete all cookies that are already on your device by clearing the browsing history of your browser. This will remove all cookies from all websites you have visited.

Be aware though that you may also lose some saved information (e.g. saved login details, site preferences).

Managing site-specific cookies

For more detailed control over site-specific cookies, check the privacy and cookie settings in your preferred browser

Blocking cookies

You can set most modern browsers to prevent any cookies being placed on your device, but you may then have to manually adjust some preferences every time you visit a site/page. And some services and functionalities may not work properly at all (e.g. profile logging-in).

Managing our analytics cookies

You can manage your preferences concerning cookies from Europa Analytics on the dedicated Europa Analytics page.