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IP/11/447

Brussels, 7th April 2011

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

7th April 2011 marks the fifth birthday of the ".eu" ("Dot.eu") internet domain name. ".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.

Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda said "I am particularly pleased to see that ".eu" is ever more popular among small and medium-sized enterprises that wish to gain better visibility in Europe's Single Market. Having a ".eu" web presence gives individuals and companies a European identity and is instantly recognised by potential customers across all borders."

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. It also allows the use of special letters such as "é", "ö", "ç" or "č" as well as non-Latin scripts such as the Cyrillic "ю", "ф", "ж", "й" or the Greek "ε", "ω", "μ", "φ" (the so-called internationalised domain names or IDNs) to the left of the ".eu" web-address.

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 (IP/05/1510). Since early April 2006, registration has been open to all EU residents and organisations established in the EU (IP/06/476). 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 (IP/07/483), another 300,000 domain names were added in 2007 (IP/08/530). In 2009, registration reached the three million mark (see IP/09/48).

Live tracking of ".eu" statistics is available at:

http://www.eurid.eu/en/about/facts-figures/statistics

Digital Agenda website:

http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/digital-agenda/index_en.htm

Neelie Kroes' website: http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/kroes/

Follow Neelie Kroes on Twitter:

http://twitter.com/neeliekroeseu

Annex

World‘s top ten Top Level Domains as of 31 December 2010

TLD

Registrations

Available since

.com

91 705 085

1985

.de

14 060 153

1989

.net

13 615 928

1985

.org

9 091 204

1985

.uk

9 005 676

1985

.info

7 549 220

1985

.cn

4 349 524

1990

.nl

4 204 088

1986

.eu

3 332 253

2006

.ru

3 129 638

1994

Source for registration statistics: EURid’s quarterly progress report, 4th quarter 2010


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