The European Commission maintains this website to enhance public access to information about its initiatives and European Union policies in general. Our goal is to keep this information timely and accurate. If errors are brought to our attention, we will try to correct them. However, the Commission accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to the information on this site

This information is

  • of a general nature only and is not intended to address the specific circumstances of any particular individual or entity
  • not necessarily comprehensive, complete, accurate or up to date
  • sometimes linked to external sites over which the Commission services have no control and for which the Commission assumes no responsibility
  • not professional or legal advice (if you need specific advice, you should always consult a suitably qualified professional).

Please note that it cannot be guaranteed that a document available online exactly reproduces an officially adopted text. Only the Official Journal of the European Union (the printed edition or, since , the electronic edition on the EUR-Lex website) is authentic and produces legal effects.

It is our goal to minimise disruption caused by technical errors. However some data or information on our site may have been created or structured in files or formats that are not error-free, and we cannot guarantee that our service will not be interrupted or otherwise affected by such problems. The Commission accepts no responsibility with regard to such problems incurred as a result of using this site or any linked external sites.

This disclaimer is not intended to limit the liability of the Commission in contravention of any requirements laid down in applicable national law nor to exclude its liability for matters which may not be excluded under that law.

© European Union, 1995-2017

Reuse is authorised, provided the source is acknowledged. The Commission's reuse policy is implemented by the Decision of 12 December 2011 - reuse of Commission documents [PDF, 728 KB].

The general principle of reuse can be subject to conditions which may be specified in individual copyright notices. Therefore, users are advised to refer to the copyright notices on individual websites maintained under Europa and in individual documents. Reuse is not applicable to documents subject to intellectual property rights of third parties.

Personal Data Protection

The European Union is committed to user privacy.

The policy on "protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the Community institutions" is based on Regulation 45/2001 on processing of personal data by the EU institutions [PDF, 234 KB] of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2000.

This general policy covers the European Union's family of institutional website, within the .eu domain. Although you can browse through most of these Web Sites without giving any information about yourself, in some cases, personal information is required in order to provide the e-services you request. Websites that require such information treat it according to the policy described in the Regulation above and provide information about the use of your data in their specific privacy policy statements.

In this respect

  • for each specific e-service, a controller determines the purposes and means of the processing of personal data and ensures conformity of the specific e-service with the privacy policy

  • within each Institution, a Data Protection Officer ensures that the provisions of the Regulation are applied and advises controllers on fulfilling their obligations (see art. 24 of the Regulation)

  • for all the Institutions, the European Data Protection Supervisor will act as an independent supervisory authority (see art. 41 to 45 of the Regulation)

The European Union's family of Institutional websites, within the .eu domain, provides links to third-party sites. Since we do not control them, we encourage you to review their privacy policies.

What is an e-service?

An e-service on EUROPA is a service or resource made available on the Internet in order to improve the communication between citizens and businesses on the one hand and the European Institutions on the other hand.

3 types of e-services are or will be offered by EUROPA:

  1. information services that provide citizens, media, business, administrations and other decision-makers with easy and effective access to information, thus increasing transparency and understanding of the policies and activities of the EU
  2. interactive communication services that allow better contacts with citizens, business, civil society and public actors, thus facilitating policy consultations, and feedback mechanisms, in order to contribute to the shaping of policies, the activities and the services of the EU
  3. transaction services that allow access to all basic forms of transactions with the EU, e.g. procurement, financial operations, recruitment, event enrolment, acquisition or purchase of documents, etc.

Information contained in a specific privacy statement

A specific privacy policy statement will contain the following information about the use of your data:

  • what information is collected, for what purpose and through which technical means the EU collects personal information exclusively to the extent necessary to fulfil a specific purpose. The information will not be re-used for an incompatible purpose
  • to whom your information is disclosed. The EU will only disclose information to third parties if that is necessary for the fulfilment of the purpose(s) identified above and to the mentioned (categories of) recipients. The EU will not divulge your personal data for direct-marketing purposes
  • how you can access your information, verify its accuracy and, if necessary, correct it. As a data subject, you also have the right to object to the processing of your personal data on legitimate compelling grounds, except when it is collected in order to comply with a legal obligation, or is necessary for the performance of a contract to which you are a party, or is to be used for a purpose for which you have given your unambiguous consent
  • how long your data is kept. The EU only keeps the data for the time necessary to fulfil the purpose of collection or further processing
  • what security measures are taken to safeguard your information against possible misuse or unauthorised access
  • whom to contact if you have queries or complaints

Europa Analytics 

Europa Analytics is the corporate service which measures the effectiveness and efficiency of the European Commission's websites on EUROPA.

By default, website visitors are tracked using the first-party persistent cookies from Europa. You may choose not to be tracked by Piwik (opt-out). If you change your mind, you can choose to be tracked again by Piwik (opt-in).

To check your current status and make your choice, tick the corresponding box in the text appearing below.

The European Commission manages on behalf of all EU institutions and bodies the Inter-Institutional website (europa.eu). Visit the following legal notice page to opt out from being tracked on these pages.

EU institutions and bodies other than the European Commission (i.e. European Parliament) currently use their own Analytics system. Visit their legal notice page for more information.

Choosing not to be tracked by Piwik does not affect your navigation experience on Europa sites.

More about Europa Analytics

How do we treat emails you send us?

Many webpages on Europa have a contact button, which activates your email software and invites you to send your comments to a specific functional mailbox.

When you send such a message, your personal data is collected only to the extent necessary to reply. If the team responsible for the mailbox is unable to answer your question, it will forward your email to another service. You will be informed, via email, about which service your question has been forwarded to.

If you have any questions about the processing of your email and related personal data, do not hesitate to include them in your message.