Controlled vocabularies - EU Vocabularies

Controlled vocabularies

Controlled vocabularies

Controlled vocabularies

Controlled vocabularies provide a consistent way to describe data. They are standardized and organized arrangements of words and phrases presented as alphabetical lists of terms or as thesauri and taxonomies with a hierarchical structure of broader and narrower terms.



Alignments are common in database interoperability projects and tasks however, from the perspective of the semantic web we are referring to ontology alignments when a variable degree of correspondence can be established between concepts that belong to different controlled vocabularies.

ATTO tables

ATTO is an internal application of the Publications Office for managing translations. The acronym comes from the French term ‘Atelier des Tables de Traductions de l’Office des publications’ (Workbench for translation tables of the Publications Office).

Authority tables

In order to harmonise and standardise the codes and the associated labels used in the Publications Office and on interinstitutional level in the context of the data exchange between the institutions involved in the legal decision-making process, multiple have been created.


A taxonomy is a set of controlled vocabulary terms organised into a hierarchical structure. Each term in a taxonomy is in one or more parent/child relationship to other terms in the taxonomy.


A thesaurus is a controlled and structured vocabulary where concepts are represented by labels. In the context of the EU Vocabularies, a thesaurus is a multilingual equivalent of the previous basic definition, where the same concept in each of the supported languages is represented by a single preferred label. Potentially, one or several alternative labels can also be linked to each language version of a concept.