A European average temperature with monthly resolution is constructed based on the E-OBS daily data set with near real-time updates for monitoring. Taken together, the European average temperature and the associated gridded daily maps of surface temperature from the E-OBS data set provide a detailed record of European climate variability and change since 1950. Both are based on validated station data provided by the European National Meteorological and Hydrological Services. A quantitative analysis of the uncertainty sources to the European average temperature indicates that the uncertainties due to urbanization, statistical interpolation, and the potential inhomogeneities in the input records to E-OBS dominate the total uncertainty estimate. In the aggregation of the interpolation uncertainty from the daily to the monthly level and then to a European averaged value, the effective sample size and the effective spatial degrees of freedom are estimated to account for spatial and temporal coherency in the uncertainty estimates. The European average temperature shows that 7 years of the top 10 warmest years are from the period starting as recent as the year 2000 and a clear upward trend in annual average temperatures over the last few decades is visible. The most recent year in the top 10 coldest years is 1987. It also shows that warming in Europe is accelerating compared to the warming over the global land masses and to a lesser extent compared to the Northern Hemisphere land masses over the period 1980–2010.