Welcome to Protocol

The Protocol Service’s role is to facilitate high-level diplomatic contacts between the Commission and the Member States or third states. As well as other institutions and international organisations.

The Protocol Service works with other departments to improve the European Commission’s positive image in the eyes of both the authorities of the Member States and third States as well as other institutions and international organisations and the general public, and in so doing to contribute to the Commission’s overall objectives.

Protocol is a tool to shape a favourable context for political decision-making. A guest that feels well received is more likely to play a productive part in the negotiations he or she came for.

The main task of Protocol is to find reasonable and logical solutions to situations that will inevitably arise, whether foreseen or not. However, in order to be flexible when needed, it is necessary to know the rules that would normally apply.

The spirit of the Protocol in the European Commission is to be modern, adaptable and functional. Numerous national cultures and traditions have to be taken into consideration when dealing with "European" protocol, shaping a less formalised and more restrained protocol than one would usually expect.

In the European Commission, the Protocol Service is situated in the Secretariat-General and is headed by Acting Chief of Protocol, Ms Pernilla Sjölin.

Contact the protocol team

What is Protocol?

Protocol is commonly described as a set of internationally accepted and recognized courtesy
rules. These well-established and time-honoured rules, procedures, conventions and ceremonies
have been put in place to make it easier for nations and people to live and work together.
Protocol can also be seen as the accepted or established code of procedure or behaviour in any
group, organisation or situation.
The term protocol is derived from the Greek word protokollan (first glue). This comes from the
act of gluing a sheet to the front of a document to preserve it when it was sealed, which
gave additional authenticity to it. In the beginning, the term protocol related to the various
forms of interaction observed in official correspondence between states, which were often
elaborate in nature. In course of time, however, it has come to cover a much wider range of
international relations.
In the European Commission, the Protocol Service is situated in the Secretariat-General and it is
currently headed by Acting Chief of Protocol Ms Pernilla Sjölin. Its role is to facilitate high-level
diplomatic contacts between the Commission and the Member States or third States.
The European Union has diplomatic relations with the 192 Member States of the United Nations,
including the 27 EU Member States, and the Holy See. It also has accredited Heads of Delegation
in the Cook Islands and Niue, and has representations in the West Bank and Gaza, New
Caledonia, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Kosovo.
The Protocol Service works with other departments to improve the European Commission's
positive image in the eyes of both the authorities of the Member States and 3rd States as well in
the general public, and in so doing to contribute to the Commission's overall objectives. The
spirit of the Protocol in the European Commission is to be modern, adaptable and functional.
Numerous national cultures and traditions have to be taken into consideration when dealing
with "European" protocol, shaping a less formalised and more restrained protocol than one would usually expect.

Documents

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