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European Union

‘EU-27 and candidate countries’

Countries, languages and currencies:
names, codes and listing order

(Development project for point 7 of the Interinstitutional style guide
Rev. 23 / 1.2.2020)

Rev. 23: United Kingdom (withdrawal from the EU)
Rev. 22: North Macedonia (new denominations)
Rev. 21: Czechia (short name)
Rev. 20: Iceland (candidate country)
Rev. 19: Lithuania (euro)
Rev. 18: Albania (candidate country)
Rev. 17: Latvia (euro)
Rev. 16: Croatia (Member State)
Rev. 15: Croatia (position in the protocol order)
Rev. 14: Serbia (candidate country)
Rev. 13: Hungary (new official name)
Croatia (acceding state)
Rev. 11: Estonia (euro)
Rev. 10: new candidate country (Iceland)
Rev. 9: Slovakia (euro)
Rev. 8: Cyprus, Malta (euro)
Rev. 7: new Member States (Bulgaria and Romania); Ireland (amendments); Slovenia (currency); new candidate country (update)
Rev. 6: currencies (Romania)
Rev. 5: currencies (Turkey)
Rev. 4: currencies (Romania, Turkey)
Rev. 3: new candidate country (Croatia)
Rev. 2, modifications to Rev. 1: adaptations to EU-25
Rev. 1, modification to version 1: Κύπρος/Kıbrıs


Names, codes and protocol order

Names, codes and listing order of language versions (multilingual texts)
Order of languages in text (unilingual texts)


1. COUNTRIES: names, codes and protocol order

The names of the Member States of the European Union must always be written and abbreviated according to the following rules.

The two-letter ISO code should be used (ISO 3166 alpha-2), except for Greece, for which the abbreviation EL is recommended.
The order of protocol for the Member States is alphabetical, based on the original written form of the short name of each country.

Short name
(source language)
Short name
Official name Code (1) Former
abbreviation (1)
Belgique/België Belgium Kingdom of Belgium BE B
България (*) Bulgaria Republic of Bulgaria BG
Česko Czechia Czech Republic CZ
Danmark Denmark Kingdom of Denmark DK DK
Deutschland Germany Federal Republic of Germany DE D
Eesti Estonia Republic of Estonia EE
Éire/Ireland Ireland Ireland IE IRL
Ελλάδα (*) Greece Hellenic Republic EL EL
España Spain Kingdom of Spain ES E
France France French Republic FR F
Hrvatska Croatia Republic of Croatia HR
Italia Italy Italian Republic IT I
Κύπρος (*)  Cyprus Republic of Cyprus CY
Latvija Latvia Republic of Latvia LV
Lietuva Lithuania Republic of Lithuania LT
Luxembourg Luxembourg Grand Duchy of Luxembourg LU L
Magyarország Hungary Hungary HU
Malta Malta Republic of Malta MT
Nederland Netherlands Kingdom of the Netherlands NL NL
Österreich Austria Republic of Austria AT A
Polska Poland Republic of Poland PL
Portugal Portugal Portuguese Republic PT P
România Romania Romania RO
Slovenija Slovenia Republic of Slovenia SI
Slovensko Slovakia Slovak Republic SK
Suomi/Finland Finland Republic of Finland FI FIN
Sverige Sweden Kingdom of Sweden SE S
(*) Latin transliteration: България = Bulgaria; Ελλάδα = Elláda; Κύπρος = Kýpros.
(1) The abbreviations to use are the ISO codes, except for Greece, for which EL is recommended (instead of GR). The former abbreviations were generally taken from the international code for automobiles and were used until the end of 2002.
NB: Do not use ‘Republic of Ireland’ nor ‘Irish Republic’.

Use ‘Netherlands’ not Holland, which is only part of the Netherlands (the provinces of North and South Holland).

Use ‘United Kingdom’ for the Member State, not ‘Great Britain’, which comprises England, Scotland and Wales; these three together with Northern Ireland are the constituent parts of the United Kingdom. The purely geographical term ‘British Isles’ includes Ireland and the Crown Dependencies (the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands which are not part of the United Kingdom).

Candidate countries

Short name
(source language)
Short name
Official name Code
Candidate countries
Crna Gora/Црна Гора Montenegro Montenegro ME
[Ísland] (1) [Iceland] [Iceland] [IS]
Северна Македонија (*) North Macedonia (2) Republic of North Macedonia (2) MK
Shqipëria Albania Republic of Albania AL
Сpбија (*) Serbia Republic of Serbia RS
Türkiye Turkey Republic of Turkey TR
(*) Latin transliteration: Северна Македонија = Severna Makedonija; Сpбија = Srbija.
(1) In March 2015 Iceland requested that it no longer be regarded as a candidate country. The Council took note and further practical adjustments of the working procedures were undertaken.
(2) Do not use ‘Northern Macedonia’ or ’Republic of Northern Macedonia’.


Names, codes and order of presentation of language versions (multilingual texts)

The language versions should appear in alphabetical order of their names written in their original scripts (the codes used are the ISO codes 639-1 in force, alpha-2 code – see also the ISO website).

(source language) (1)
Code (2)
български (*) Bulgarian bg
español (3) Spanish es
čeština Czech cs
dansk Danish da
Deutsch German de
eesti keel Estonian et
ελληνικά (*) Greek el
English English en
français French fr
Gaeilge Irish (4) ga
hrvatski Croatian hr
italiano Italian it
latviešu valoda Latvian lv
lietuvių kalba Lithuanian lt
magyar Hungarian hu
Malti Maltese mt
Nederlands Dutch nl
polski Polish pl
português Portuguese pt
română Romanian ro
slovenčina (slovenský jazyk) Slovak sk
slovenščina (slovenski jezik) Slovenian sl
suomi Finnish fi
svenska Swedish sv
(*) Latin transliteration: български = bulgarski;  ελληνικά = elliniká.
(1) Capital or lower-case initial letter: follow the written form in the source language name.
(2) ISO codes for languages are written in lower-case letters; nevertheless, they may be written in capital letters for better typographical presentation.
(3) In Spanish, the term lengua española or español substitutes castellano at the request of the Spanish authorities. The latter is the official designation of the language, but is only used to determine the place.
(4) Do not use the word ‘Gaelic’, the two terms are not synonymous (Irish is the Celtic language of Ireland; Gaelic is the Celtic language group of Ireland and Scotland).

Candidate countries

(source language)
English name ISO Code
crnogorski/црногорски Montenegrin cnr (1)
íslenska Icelandic is
македонски Macedonian mk
shqip Albanian sq
cрпски Serbian sr
türkçe Turkish tr
(1) ISO 639-2 code.



Up to 31 December 2006, Irish was not included in the working languages of the Community’s institutions. Pursuant to an Agreement made in 1971 between Ireland and the Community, Irish was considered an official Community language, it being understood, however, that only primary legislation was drawn up in that language.

On 1 January 2007, Irish became a full EU official language, with a temporary derogation for a renewable period of five years (see Council Regulation (EC) No 920/2005 of 13 June 2005 (OJ L 156, 18.6.2005, p. 3)) stating that ‘the institutions of the European Union shall not be bound by the obligation to draft all acts in Irish and to publish them in that language in the Official Journal of the European Union’, except for regulations adopted jointly by the European Parliament and the Council. This derogation has been extended for a period of five years (until 31 December 2016) by Council Regulation (EU) No 1257/2010 (OJ L 343, 29.12.2010, p. 5). It was extended again by Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2015/2264 (OJ L 322, 8.12.2015, p. 1), but it is to be gradually reduced in scope and eventually brought to an end by 31 December 2021.


A temporary derogation  from the obligation to draft acts in Maltese and to publish them in the Official Journal of the European Union was adopted by the Council on 1 May 2004. This derogation was to be applied for a period of three years, extendable for a further one year, to all acts with the exception of regulations adopted jointly by the European Parliament and the Council (see Council Regulation (EC) No 930/2004 of 1 May 2004 (OJ L 169, 1.5.2004, p. 1)). The Council has decided to stop this derogation in 2007, after the first period of three years.

Order of languages in text (unilingual texts)

In the text, the order for listing languages will vary according to the linguistic version. In English-language publications, languages should be listed in English alphabetical order: Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish and Swedish.

When an agreement is also written in a non-Union language, the Union languages precede the aforementioned language for protocol reasons.

Texts for the web (intranet/Internet)

The enlargements have increased the number of languages to such an extent that it is no longer convenient to use separate menu tabs for each language version (‘language’ tabs, small flags, etc.) as they would take up too much space on screen.

It is recommended that a drop-down menu be used.

—  This drop-down menu contains the language names, presented in alphabetical order in their source language.
—  The language name should be followed by the ISO code, in parentheses.

This display allows for one menu for all language versions.

The menu drops down as shown below.

български (bg)
español (es)
čeština (cs)
dansk (da)
Deutsch (de)
eesti keel (et)
ελληνικά (el)
English (en)
français (fr)
Gaeilge (ga)
hrvatski (hr)
italiano (it)
latviešu valoda (lv)
lietuvių kalba (lt)
magyar (hu)
Malti (mt)
Nederlands (nl)
polski (pl)
português (pt)
română (ro)
slovenčina (sk)
slovenščina (sl)
suomi (fi)
svenska (sv)




Do not confuse!!!


When using abbreviations for currencies, use the current ISO codes 4217 (see the website of the registration authority).

Except for the euro, which appears first in any list, the currencies of the Member States should be presented in alphabetical order of their codes.

ISO code Currency
EUR (1) euro
BGN lev (pl. leva)
CZK Czech koruna (pl. koruny)
DKK Danish krone (pl. kroner)
HRK kuna (inv.)
HUF forint (inv.)
PLN zloty (pl. zlotys)
RON Romanian leu (pl. lei)
SEK Swedish krona (pl. kronor)

Candidate countries
ALL Albania lek
EUR Montenegro euro
ISK Iceland króna (pl. krónur)
MKD North Macedonia denar (pl. denars)
RSD Serbia Serbian dinar
TRY Turkey Turkish lira (inv.)
(1 The euro replaced the ecu (code = ECU) on 1 January 1999.

Last update: 28.1.2019