Tutorial:Country codes and protocol order

From Statistics Explained

This page describes the rules for the abbreviations, codes and protocol order to use for countries.

These rules were taken from the Interinstitutional style guide and should be applied to all publications, namely Statistics Explained articles, including Statistics in focus.

EU and euro area aggregates

Code English French German Comment
EU European Union Union européenne Europäische Union data refers to the EU composition of the reference period
EU-28 European Union (28 countries) Union européenne (28 pays) Europäische Union (28 Länder) data refers to the EU composition with 28 Member States (as from 1.7.2013)
EA euro area zone euro Euroraum data refers to the euro area composition of the reference period
EA-17 euro area (17 countries) zone euro (17 pays) Euroraum (17 Länder) data refers to the euro area composition of 2011

Other country aggregates should be used with care. Outdated EU and EA aggregates (such as EU-27, EU-25 or EA-16) should only be used if data for the latest joining countries is not available. Aggregates referring to 'new' member states (e.g. countries having joined in 2004 and/or 2007) must not be used.

As Croatia joined the EU on 1.7.2013, EU-27 needs to be replaced by EU-28. For a transition period, both EU-27 and EU-28 can be used in the same table/graph.

Codes, names and protocol order of European Union (EU) Member States

Code Country language English French German
BE Belgique/België Belgium Belgique Belgien
BG Bulgarija Bulgaria Bulgarie Bulgarien
CZ Česká republika Czech Republic République tchèque Tschechische Republik
DK Danmark Denmark Danemark Dänemark
DE Deutschland Germany Allemagne Deutschland
EE Eesti Estonia Estonie Estland
IE Éire/Ireland Ireland Irlande Irland
EL Elláda Greece Grèce Griechenland
ES España Spain Espagne Spanien
FR France France France Frankreich
HR Hrvatska Croatia Croatie Kroatien
IT Italia Italy Italie Italien
CY Kýpros Cyprus Chypre Zypern
LV Latvija Latvia Lettonie Lettland
LT Lietuva Lithuania Lituanie Litauen
LU Luxembourg Luxembourg Luxembourg Luxemburg
HU Magyarország Hungary Hongrie Ungarn
MT Malta Malta Malte Malta
NL Nederland Netherlands Pays-Bas Niederlande
AT Österreich Austria Autriche Österreich
PL Polska Poland Pologne Polen
PT Portugal Portugal Portugal Portugal
RO România Romania Roumanie Rumänien
SI Slovenija Slovenia Slovénie Slowenien
SK Slovensko Slovakia Slovaquie Slowakei
FI Suomi/Finland Finland Finlande Finnland
SE Sverige Sweden Suède Schweden
UK United Kingdom United Kingdom Royaume-Uni Vereinigtes Königreich
The two-letter ISO code is used (ISO 3166 alpha-2) except for Greece and the United Kingdom, for which the abbreviations EL and UK have to be used.
For more information consult the Interinstitutional style guide.

Codes and names of EFTA countries

Code Country language English French German
IS Ísland Iceland Islande Island
LI Liechtenstein Liechtenstein Liechtenstein Liechtenstein
NO Norge Norway Norvège Norwegen
CH Schweiz/Suisse/Svizzera Switzerland Suisse Schweiz


The two-letter ISO code is used (ISO 3166 alpha-2).

Codes and names of candidate countries

This list does not contain Iceland, since Iceland is usually already mentioned under the EFTA countries. If EFTA countries are not included, Iceland should be included in the candidate country list (between Montenegro and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia).

Code Country language English French German
ME Crna Gora Montenegro Monténégro Montenegro
MK Poranešna jugoslovenska Republika Makedonija The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia L’ancienne République yougoslave de Macédoine Die ehemalige jugoslawische Republik Mazedonien
AL Shqipëria Albania Albanie Albanien
RS Србија/Srbija Serbia Serbie Serbien
TR Türkiye Turkey Turquie Türkei

The two-letter ISO code is used (ISO 3166 alpha-2).

The definitive nomenclature for the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia will be agreed following current negotiations at UN level. 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 on this subject at the United Nations. In tables, due to space limitations, FYR of Macedonia is frequently used (DE: EJR Mazedonien, FR: ARY de Macédoine).

Codes and names of potential candidates

Code Country language English
BA Bosna i Hercegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina
XK Kosovo*

Kosovo should be accompanied by the following footnote: *This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.

Please note also that, as Kosovo is not recognised by the EU as a country, it is recommended to use the term potential candidates rather than 'potential candidate countries'

Protocol order of countries

Tables must always respect the protocol order of countries. Graphs may be sorted by value or by protocol order. Lists in text, however, should not follow protocol order, for reasons of user-friendliness: they should be in the alphabetical order of the language of the text (the same rule is also applied in tutorials and glossary pages, for instance in the many language versions of Glossary:European Union (EU)).

The following protocol order is to be applied:

  1. EU and EA aggregates;
  2. EU Member States in alphabetical order of their official name (see list above);
  3. EFTA countries in alphabetical order of their official name (IS, LI, NO, CH);
  4. (other) candidate countries in alphabetical order of their official name (see list above);
  5. other countries, including potential candidates, in alphabetical order of the country code.

In country tables, all EU countries should be present; other countries (EFTA, candidate, potential candidate), however, should only be added if data are available.

See also

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