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7.3.3. Rules for expressing monetary units

When to use the name

When a monetary unit is referred to generally but an amount is not included, it is spelt out in letters, except in tables (see ‘When to use the ISO code’):

an amount in euros
a sum in pounds sterling

When to use the ISO code

Text

When the monetary unit is accompanied by an amount, use the ISO code ‘EUR’ followed by a fixed space and the amount in figures (compulsory in all legal texts):

The amount required is EUR 12 500.
A difference of EUR 1 550 has been noted.

In written text it is ‘a’ rather than ‘an’ EUR 3 million programme.

Tables

When indicating the main unit for a whole table, the ISO code and any multiplier appear in parentheses above the table, ranged to the right. Italic type is used:

(EUR)
(million EUR)
(billion EUR)
Legal acts — Official Journal
Euro

In English texts published in the Official Journal, the ISO code ‘EUR’ must be used and amounts are indicated in figures:

EUR 10 000
EUR 1 000 000 (not EUR 1 million)
Other currencies

In English texts, for other currencies, when the monetary unit is accompanied by an amount, use the relevant ISO code for the currency followed by a fixed space and the amount in figures:

A sum of GBP 300 was received and GBP 250 was spent.
Court of Auditors

In texts for the Court of Auditors, the amounts are followed by the currency, spelt out:

an expenditure of 15 000 euros

When to use the euro sign (€)

The euro sign is reserved for use in graphics. However, its use is also permitted in popular works and promotional publications (e.g. sales catalogues). In word processing systems, the euro sign can be obtained by simultaneously pressing the left-hand Alt key and 0128. The technical specifications for the euro sign can be downloaded from the Commission’s euro website (http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/euro/cash/symbol/index_en.htm).

NB:
In HTML, the final presentation and configuration of a document must be taken into account. Texts created using Unicode pose no problem but in older texts created using ISO 8859, the HTML code ‘€’ will show the euro sign on screen but it may be missing when printed on paper. (This problem has been overcome by using a gif or jpg image for the euro sign.) For texts entering a production process and intended for automatic transfer to an intranet or Internet site, you are advised to avoid using the euro sign (use the ISO code ‘EUR’ instead).

Position of the ISO code or euro sign in amounts

In English texts, the ISO code ‘EUR’ is followed by a fixed space and the amount:

a sum of EUR 30
NB:
The same rule applies in Irish, Latvian and Maltese. In all other official EU languages the order is reversed; the amount is followed by a fixed space and the ISO code ‘EUR’ (or the euro sign in graphics):
une somme de 30 EUR

However, the euro sign (when permitted) is followed by the amount without the intervening fixed space:

€2.50
€1 500

With million or billion

The following forms may be used when referring to millions or billions:

all figures:
EUR 10 000 000
with the words ‘million’ or ‘billion’:
EUR 10 million
EUR 15 billion
in table headings (usually within parentheses):
million EUR, billion GBP
m EUR, bn GBP
10 million EUR, 10 billion GBP
10 m EUR, 10 bn GBP
NB:
m EUR or bn EUR may only be used when space is insufficent for spelling out.
Million/billion with decimals

When dealing with budgetary data, it is advisable to use the following form.

Up to three decimal places, keep to the appropriate unit:
1.326 billion (not 1 326 million)
Above three decimal places, descend to the smaller unit:
1 326.1 million (not 1.3261 billion)

This makes the figures easier to read and compare.

Last updated: 28.3.2014
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