The information on this site is subject to a disclaimer, a copyright notice rules related to personal data protection and cookies.
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 on-line exactly reproduces an officially adopted text. Only European Union legislation published in paper editions of the Official Journal of the European Union is deemed authentic.
It is our goal to minimize 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, 1995-2012
Reuse is authorised, provided the source is acknowledged.
The reuse policy of the European Commission is implemented by a Decision of 12 December 2011.
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 of the individual websites maintained under Europa and of the 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 (EC) N° 45/2001[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 Web Sites, 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.
In this respect:
- 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 [98 KB] will act as an independent supervisory authority (see art. 41 to 45 of the Regulation).
The European Union's family of institutional Web Sites, 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.
Three types of e-services are or will be offered by EUROPA:
- 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;
- 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;
- 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.
- 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 are the security measures taken to safeguard your information against possible misuse or unauthorised access;
- Whom to contact if you have queries or complaints.
How do we treat e-mails you send us?
Many web pages on Europa have a "Contact" button, which activates your e-mail 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 management team of the mailbox is unable to answer your question, it will forward your e-mail to another service. You will be informed, via e-mail, about which service your question has been forwarded to.
If you have any questions about the processing of your e-mail and related personal data, do not hesitate to include them in your message.
Cookies – storing information on your computer
What are cookies?
To make this site function properly, we sometimes place small data files on your computer, known as cookies.
Most big websites or internet service providers do this too. Cookies help the site remember your settings – language, font size and other preferences for how you want to view the site on your computer - so you don’t have to keep re-entering them whenever you come back to us.
Also, a number of pages on EUROPA show a survey box that asks you if the content was helpful or not. We store a cookie for this too, so we know not to show the box again once you've responded.
Our cookies are not used to identify you personally. They’re just there to make the site work better for you.
How you can control cookies
You can control and/or delete cookies as you wish – for details, see AboutCookies.org.
You can delete all the cookies already on your computer and you can set most browsers to block them being placed. But if you do this, you may have to manually adjust some preferences every time you visit the site.