Fabian Demicoli

Digital Agenda: “Dot.eu” internet domain name helps small businesses gain Single Market visibility

 ".eu" has become the 9th biggest top-level domain (TLD) on the Internet, the 5th most popular country code top-level domain worldwide and ranks in 4th place in Europe. Having a ".eu" domain is especially beneficial to small and medium-sized companies as it raises their profile on European markets by providing them with a pan-European identity on the Internet. Registrations for a ".eu" domain have grown every year since its introduction and now reach almost 3.5 million, making it the ninth most popular top-level domain in the world.

 

A ".eu" web presence is instantly recognised by potential customers that may otherwise be suspicious of a company with a country domain name they do not recognise. Examples of SMEs taking up a ".eu" domain include:

many small local companies in the Italian region of Tuscany

a Lithuanian company installing swimming pools

a British events marketing company

a Dutch children's clothing shop.

".eu" is not only easy to register, but also easy to manage in case of problems, as it operates in any of the 23 official languages of the EU.

The largest take-up for ".eu" is in Germany (31% of total ".eu" domains), The Netherlands (13%), the United Kingdom (10%), France (9%) and Poland (6%). More recently, the use of ".eu" has been growing faster in the Czech Republic, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia.

Background

".eu" first opened on 7 December 2005 to holders of prior rights including trade mark holders and public bodies. Since early April 2006, registration has been open to all EU residents and organisations established in the EU. Management of the ".eu" registry (the database holding all .eu registrations) is entrusted to EURid, an independent non-profit-making organisation. By its first anniversary, 2.5 million ".eu" domain names had been registered, another 300,000 domain names were added in 2007. In 2009, registration reached the three million mark.

Live tracking of ".eu" statistics is available at:
http://www.eurid.eu/en/about/facts-figures/statistics

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