Following a process that began in 1993 with the launch of the Vade-mecum for editors, the Interinstitutional Style Guide was originally published in 1997 in 11 languages, with this number later being increased to 24. It represents an achievement in linguistic harmonisation unique in its field due to the number of language communities involved in its development. It is intended to serve as a reference tool for written works for all European Union institutions, bodies and organisations.
Its development required the establishment of an interinstitutional steering committee, which designated representatives for each institution and for each language, working under the leadership of a coordinating group based at the Publications Office.
The effort of harmonising sometimes divergent practices is carried out taking into account the multilingual perspective of the institutions, which requires texts in all official languages to be comparable while retaining the specific character of each language.
Part One assembles the rules for strict application in editing the acts published in the Official Journal while Part Two gives the main technical and editorial norms for general publications. As well as being in agreement with the individual language rules indicated in Part Four, the 24 groups have concluded unique working conventions for all languages; these are indicated in Part Three of the guide, which serves as a base providing for the augmentation of the harmonisation process between all languages and all institutions.
The uniform conventions retained in the guide prevail over any other solution proposed elsewhere or used previously; they must be applied at all stages of the written work.
Finally, the present work is intended, above all, to encourage the dynamic interaction of all users as it undergoes a process of continual update. Its authors, therefore, call for the active contribution of all readers by communicating useful information, signalling any error or omission or sending suggestions to the following service:
Publications Office of the European Union
‘Style guide’ Coordination
A.1, MER 197/199/199 A
2, rue Mercier
Contact by email: