Terms and style of Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union

Government Communications Department 15.7.2019 11.48
News item

Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union started on 1 July. The Presidency website is being produced in five languages. This means the Translation and Language Division of the Prime Minister’s Office will be kept busy all year, because we will be translating material into several languages for around 140 meetings being organised in Finland during the Presidency.

The official name of the Presidency is ‘Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union’. The contracted form ‘EU Presidency’ is often used in Finland and elsewhere, but the Council of the European Union advises against using it because it is misleading: there is no presidency of the European Union, only the presidency of the Council.

“We recognise it’s much easier to use ‘EU Presidency’ than the official long form ‘Presidency of the Council of the European Union’. But we’re hoping that all government officials will actively promote the Presidency of the Council and avoid using the misleading ‘EU Presidency’ form at least in official contexts and in written texts,” said Niina Elomaa, coordinator of the Presidency translation team.  

“Because of the way our language works, in Finnish we do talk about ‘EU-puheenjohtajuus’, though. Otherwise we’d have to use rephrasing to get the message across,” Elomaa said.  

The Translation and Language Division has published guidelines on how to translate ‘Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union’ in five languages, giving examples of how to use it, including advice on shorter forms also for the purpose of social media.

Presidency style guides for English, French and German

To ensure clear and consistent communications throughout Government during Finland’s Presidency, the Translation and Language Division has published style guides for those who write or translate presidency-related texts. We have produced style guides for English, French and German.

The English style guide gives advice on how to communicate clearly and concisely in English and offers writing tips for speeches, letters, emails and social media. The French and German style guides focus mainly on web texts, with some advice on how to write other types of texts as well. They also give examples of how gender is expressed in French and German and which websites to check for EU-related terminology.

More information

EU2019 Finland’s Presidency language versions (fi-en-sv-de-fr)
EU2019 Presidency Style Guide for Texts in English
EU2019 Presidency Style Guide for Texts in French
EU2019 Presidency Style Guide for Texts in German
Website of Finland’s Presidency in five languages
EU terms in English to Finnish, General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union, 2019