We aim to make our content as accessible as possible to users. Nevertheless, we have to strike a reasonable balance between respect for speakers of the EU's many languages and non-EU local languages, and practical considerations such as timeliness, efficiency and the cost of translation, which is funded by EU taxpayers.
Some types of content, such as EU legislation, Council Conclusions or EU Statements are available in all EU languages. Other content may be available in one language only or in a combination of languages, depending on the given target audience(s) and our assessment of how to reach the largest audience in the most efficient and effective manner.
The language policy of the EEAS website is based on the following 3 criteria:
- content published in all 24 official EU languages, e.g. Statements on behalf of the EU, Council Conclusions, the “About us” section
- content published only in English and French, e.g. Statements by the High Representative / Vice-President and by the Spokespersons
- content published in English and any other relevant languages, e.g. Press releases, press statements, speeches and remarks, blog posts by the HR/VP, selected web features
- The webpages of the EEAS Delegations to third countries, Military and Civilian missions and operations and Electoral Observation missions, hosted on the EEAS website, provide information in English and the local language(s) of the respective countries. Local press statements are normally in one EU official language and the local language.
- The EEAS also operates a Russian-language website.
- The language in which users are viewing the website is indicated at the top of each webpage. Clicking on the icon allows users to switch to another language. The language in which a webpage is available is specified.
- New content is continually being added and updated on this website. This means that if a translation is not available, it might simply still be going through the translation process. We publish translations as they become available.
- The EEAS website will progressively take the following approach:
- Straightforward information with a long time span for the general public will be gradually offered in all EU official languages, besides other relevant language(s) depending on the readership.
- The use of machine translation for EU official languages will be considered for informative texts as long as the user is duly informed of the process.
- Short-lived or very specialised information will generally appear in a few languages – or even just one – depending on the audience.
EEAS social media
- The EEAS HQ social media accounts operate primarily in English. To the extent possible, we diversify our content language-wise and depending on the audience, for dissemination by EU Representations, Delegations or other partners.
- EEAS Delegations engage in social media outreach in the relevant local languages.
Public Consultations, Requests for information and access to documents
- Requests for information, managed by the Europe Direct Contact Centre, can be submitted in any EU official language. The EEAS reply is provided in the same language.
- Requests for Access to Documents can also be made in any EU official language. For reasons of efficiency and to ensure rapid response, the EEAS policy is to ask the requestor whether a response in either English or French is acceptable. In case of a negative response, the reply is provided in the language of the requestor.
Public Consultations, in the form on online questionnaires open to EU citizens in order to allow them to participate in the EU policy-making process, are always available in at least English, French and German and often in most EU languages. Responses can be submitted in any official EU language. EEAS stakeholder consultations targeting external audiences are available in the relevant languages.