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.EU domain celebrates its 10th birthday

4th April 2016

On the 7th of April 2016, the top-level domain (TLD) .eu will turn ten years old.

The extension was originally wanted by the European Union to represent the European online identity as opposed to using a more generic TLD like .com or .co.uk.

During the past decade, over 3,900,000 .eu domain names have been registered, out of which over 30% by SMEs.

During the week of the 4th of April, EURid, the registry manager of the .eu TLD upon appointment by the European Commission, will organise a series of events in Brussels and around Europe to celebrate this important milestone in the life of .eu. Co-hosted by EIF and EURid, this dinner on Wednesday 6th April at the European Parliament is meant to reach out to the EU circle and exchange views on the future of the domain name industry and the European online extension. It will feature a guest speaker that will provoke and invite the attendees to reflect about the future of the domain environment and the Internet.

Quick .EU domain name facts

  • The .eu TLD was approved by ICANN on 22 March 2005 and put in the Internet root zone on 2 May 2005.
  • The .eu TLD extension was launched on 7 December 2005.
  • However, full registration didn't start until 7 April 2006.
  • .eu is the country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for the European Union.
  • The domain is available for organisations in and residents of EU member states.
  • The TLD is administered by EURid, a consortium originally consisting of the national ccTLD registry operators of Belgium, Sweden, and Italy, joined later by the national registry operator of the Czech Republic.
  • More than 700,000 domains were registered during the first 4 hours of operation.
  • By August 2006, more than 2,000,000 .eu domains had been registered.
  • The .eu domain name is now the fourth-largest ccTLD in Europe, after .de, .uk and .nl.
  • It is often used to emphasise the 'European identity' of a website, as opposed to the website having a strictly national ccTLD or global "dotcom" nature. Alternative (opportunistic) uses include Basque webpages (as the initial letters of Euskadi or the language Euskara) and Romanian, Portuguese, or Galician personal sites, as eu is the equivalent of the English pronoun 'I' in those languages.
  • 12.8% of .eu websites are parking pages with pay-per-click advertisements. ISPs and web hosters will often point unused domains to a parking webpage with PPC advertising.
  • 26% of .eu domain names are redirects for existing national ccTLD or .com websites.

If you're interested in registering a .EU domain name for your European business or organisation, please contact Cosmic and we will be more than happy to assist.