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5.4.2. Copyright qualification (right to reproduction and/or reuse)

In the publications of the European Union, the reproduction rights (see Section 5.4.1) are accompanied by an explanation (copyright qualification) modulating the degree of protection.

If there is no qualification, the work is entirely protected, subject to the exceptions laid down in the various pieces of national legislation and international conventions:
© European Union, [year]

General qualification (reproduction)

For the publications of the institutions, bodies and agencies of the European Union (except for the European Commission, which has a particular formula), the usual qualification recommended by the Publications Office is the following:

© European Union, [year]
Reproduction is authorised provided the source is acknowledged.

If necessary, the usual qualification may be accompanied by additional reservations or disclaimer formulas (see Section 5.4.3).

The Council and the Court of Auditors approved, on 9 October 2017 and 16 April 2019 respectively, decisions on the reuse of their documents. The wording ‘reuse is authorised’ may therefore be used, like in the case of Commission publications (see below). For these institutions, mentions of the three conditions described in Section 5.4.3 are always added (the wording of the mentions depends on the institution). The Court of Auditors may also license its publications under the Creative Commons CC BY 4.0 licence.

Qualification specific to the European Commission (reuse)

The European Commission has implemented a reuse policy for its documents, pursuant to Decision 2011/833/EU of 12 December 2011.

For European Commission works, apart from some exceptions (see Article 2 of the aforementioned decision), it is in principle the reuse formula that is applicable. In addition, in accordance with the provisions of that decision, which provides for the possibility of additional conditions (see Section 5.4.3), the Publications Office recommends inserting the obligation for the user to mention the source of the document.

© European Union, [year]
Reuse is authorised provided the source is acknowledged.
The reuse policy of European Commission documents is implemented by Commission Decision 2011/833/EU of 12 December 2011 on the reuse of Commission documents (OJ L 330, 14.12.2011, p. 39).

The Commission may also licence its publications under the Creative Commons CC BY 4.0 licence.

For any questions, contact the service in charge of copyright at the Publications Office (
Last updated: 6.7.2022
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