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EU-27 and candidate countries

7.1. Countries

7.1.1. Designations and abbreviations to use

(See also Annexes A5 and A6)

Member States

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 and the United Kingdom, for which the abbreviations EL and UK are recommended;
the protocol order of the Member States is based on the alphabetical order of their geographical names in the original language(s) (see also Section 7.1.2, ‘Country listing order’).

Short name, source language(s) (geographical name) (1) Official name, source language(s) (protocol name) Short name in English (geographical name) Official name in English (protocol name) Country code (2) Former abbreviation (2)
Belgique/België Royaume de Belgique/
Koninkrijk België
Belgium Kingdom of Belgium BE B
България (*) Република България Bulgaria Republic of Bulgaria BG
Česká republika Česká republika Czech Republic Czech Republic CZ
Danmark Kongeriget Danmark Denmark Kingdom of Denmark DK DK
Deutschland Bundesrepublik Deutschland Germany Federal Republic of Germany DE D
Eesti Eesti Vabariik Estonia Republic of Estonia EE
Éire/Ireland Éire/Ireland Ireland Ireland IE IRL
Ελλάδα (*) Ελληνική Δημοκρατία Greece Hellenic Republic EL EL
España Reino de España Spain Kingdom of Spain ES E
France République française France French Republic FR F
Italia Repubblica italiana Italy Italian Republic IT I
Κύπρος/Kıbrıs (*) Κυπριακή Δημοκρατία Cyprus Republic of Cyprus CY
Latvija Latvijas Republika Latvia Republic of Latvia LV
Lietuva Lietuvos Respublika Lithuania Republic of Lithuania LT
Luxembourg Grand-Duché de Luxembourg Luxembourg Grand Duchy of Luxembourg LU L
Magyarország Magyar Köztársaság Hungary Republic of Hungary HU
Malta Repubblika Ta’ Malta Malta Republic of Malta MT
Nederland Koninkrijk der Nederlanden Netherlands Kingdom of the Netherlands NL NL
Österreich Republik Österreich Austria Republic of Austria AT A
Polska Rzeczpospolita Polska Poland Republic of Poland PL
Portugal República Portuguesa Portugal Portuguese Republic PT P
România România Romania Romania RO
Slovenija Republika Slovenija Slovenia Republic of Slovenia SI
Slovensko Slovenská republika Slovakia Slovak Republic SK
Suomi/Finland Suomen tasavalta/
Republiken Finland
Finland Republic of Finland FI FIN
Sverige Konungariket Sverige Sweden Kingdom of Sweden SE S
United Kingdom United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland United Kingdom United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland UK UK
Latin transliteration: България = Bulgaria; Ελλάδα = Elláda; Κύπρος = Kýpros.
The short name in the source language(s) is used to fix the protocol order and is used in multilingual documents (see Section 7.1.2).
The abbreviation to use = ISO code, except for Greece and the United Kingdom, for which EL and UK are recommended (instead of the ISO codes GR and GB). The former abbreviations (generally taken from the international code for automobiles) were used until the end of 2002.


Do not use ‘Republic of Ireland’ nor ‘Irish Republic’.

Use ‘the Netherlands’ not Holland, which is only part of the Netherlands (the provinces of North and South Holland); a capital T is not necessary on ‘the’. In tables ‘Netherlands’ will suffice.

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).


Non-member countries

For non-member countries, it is also advisable to use the two-character ISO code (ISO 3166 alpha-2).

For the format of presentation (short name, official title, list of ISO codes), see Annexes A5 and A6.

For the recommended order, see Section 7.1.2(a).

EU-27 and candidate countries

Candidate countries

Short name, source language(s) (geographical name) Short name in English (geographical name)  Official name in English (protocol name) Country code
Hrvatska Croatia Republic of Croatia HR
поранешна југословенска Република Македонија (*) former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia MK (1)
Türkiye Turkey
Republic of Turkey TR
Latin transliteration: поранешна југословенска Република Македонија = poranešna jugoslovenska Republika Makedonija.
The ISO code (MK) is accepted, subject to addition of the following note: ‘Provisional code which does not prejudge in any way the definitive nomenclature for this country, which will be agreed following the conclusion of negotiations currently taking place at the United Nations.’

Official title or short name?

The long form (official title) is used when the State is targeted as a legal entity:

This Decision is addressed to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The French Republic is authorised to ...
If the recurrence of the name of a State in the text leads to a preference for using the short form, it can be introduced with the phrase ‘hereinafter referred to as ...’.

The short form (short name) is used when the State is referred to geographically or economically:

Workers residing in France
Exports from Greece ...
For certain States, the long form and the short form are identical:
Czech Republic
Last updated: 21.9.2007
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