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Top-level domain .eu
introduction April 28, 2005
category country-specific
Registry EURid
Award limited
number 3.74 million (as of September 2017)

.eu is the country code top-level domain (ccTLD) of the European Union . It has existed since April 28, 2005 and is managed by the Belgian company EURid .


With Regulation No. 733/2002 of April 22, 2002, the European Parliament and the European Council decided to introduce a top-level domain for the European Union, which the European Commission also approved in 2003 . This should be managed by a registry that has yet to be set up and should not replace the country-specific endings of the member states .

After the technical infrastructure had been set up, .eu was introduced on December 7, 2005. First of all, owners of a registered trademark were given the opportunity to apply for this as a domain (“ Sunrise Period ”). The open registration phase began on February 7, 2006, during which natural persons , local authorities and registered companies could also submit their claims. The award procedure was criticized because not all rights holders were able to secure their domains in time. In 2007 a court declared the consideration of special characters to be permissible; In 2009 the case was referred to the European Court of Justice .

In December 2009, EURid officially introduced support for special characters in domains. Most of the pre-orders came from Germany , followed by the Czech Republic and France . The largest registrar in Europe with 20 percent of all registered domains was Starnberg-based united-domains AG .

In October 2013, EURid announced that it would also allow citizens and companies from Norway to use the top-level domain in the future. The European Free Trade Agreement should make this possible, but the registry is still waiting for a corresponding instruction from the EU Commission . On January 8, 2014, EURid finally opened the registration for companies and private individuals from Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

At the end of 2013, the EU's first contract with EURid expired . The European Commission re- tendered the administration of .eu in June 2013 and invited interested registrars to apply. EURid was again awarded the contract for another five years.


To register a .eu domain, you need a place of residence or a branch in a member state of the European Union, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein. Approval was also discussed for people from Switzerland in the course of the introduction, but this was not implemented. These can only register .eu domains with the help of a trustee.

The assignment of a domain is completely automated and usually only takes a few minutes. In total, a .eu domain can be between two and 63 characters long, with the use of German umlauts and other special characters without any problems.


In December 2006, .eu was in third place in an international comparison of all ccTLDs behind .de and .uk with 2.4 million registered domains . In mid-2007 it had dropped to 5th place. At the beginning of 2010, 3.2 million .eu domains were registered - still fifth in an international comparison. In August 2012, .eu was in ninth place of all top-level domains. At the end of 2012 there were a total of 3.7 million .eu domains (5.4 percent more than a year earlier). According to official information, the proportion of domains that were renewed and thus registered for more than a year was over 80 percent and thus comparatively high. Since then, the number of registered .eu domains has barely increased, and in 2015 even fell to 3.8 million for the first time. In mid-2016, it fell out of the top ten places behind .ru (Russia) and .br (Brazil) in an international comparison.

In February 2012, a study provided information on the extent to which .eu domains are actively used by automobile manufacturers . After evaluating the 70 best-known companies , it turned out that although 70 percent had registered a .eu domain, only six percent of the providers examined provided their own content under this. Over 60 percent do not actively use their .eu domain and only use it, for example, to redirect to other websites . In 27 percent of the cases, the automaker did not even own the corresponding .eu domain.


For data protection reasons (see GDPR ), EURid publishes the complete data set for legal persons or other forms of organization, consisting of name, organization, language, postal address, telephone number, fax number and email address in the Whois lookup on its website only for such registrants which are legal persons and similar organizations. Registrants who are natural persons only publish their language and email address. If the registrant is a private person, the published contact information is limited to the e-mail address.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. About us. Retrieved March 14, 2017 .
  2. Delegation Record for .EU. IANA , accessed September 13, 2012 .
  3. Florian Hitzelberger: Sunrise period runs smoothly! In: domain-right. December 15, 2005, accessed September 13, 2012 .
  4. Florian Hitzelberger: EURid wins dispute over Sunrise addresses. In: domain-right. July 20, 2007, accessed August 10, 2016 .
  5. ^ Daniel Dingeldey: Sunrise domains put to the test. In: domain-right. March 20, 2009, accessed August 10, 2016 .
  6. Monika Ermert: “.eu” domain goes international. In: heise online . December 10, 2009, accessed September 13, 2012 .
  7. Introduction of the .eü domains. In: united-domains blog. December 11, 2009, accessed September 13, 2012 .
  8. Florian Hitzelberger: EURid opens .eu for Norway. In: domain-right. October 11, 2013. Retrieved October 17, 2013 .
  9. Dominik Schleidgen: .EU is expanding its limits. In: InterNetX Blog. January 8, 2014, accessed January 8, 2014 .
  10. Florian Hitzelberger: Management of .eu is now advertised. In: domain-right. June 11, 2013, accessed June 12, 2013 .
  11. Florian Hitzelberger: EURid will remain .eu registry for another 5 years. In: domain-right. April 22, 2014, accessed August 10, 2016 .
  12. .eu domain. united-domains , accessed on February 10, 2014 ("Features" tab).
  13. Properties of a .eu domain. united-domains. Retrieved September 13, 2012 .
  14. ^ The Domain Report. (PDF) VeriSign , August 2007, archived from the original on December 21, 2008 ; accessed on August 10, 2016 .
  15. First Quarter 2010. (PDF) EURid , archived from the original on May 30, 2013 ; accessed on February 3, 2016 .
  16. Florian Hitzelberger: Progress report for .eu presented. In: domain-right. April 8, 2013, accessed April 8, 2013 .
  17. Fourth Quarter 2012. (PDF) EURid, March 12, 2013, archived from the original on May 9, 2013 ; accessed on April 8, 2013 (English, 3.3 MB in size).
  18. .eu 2015 Annual report now available. In: eurid.eu. EURid, May 3, 2016, accessed August 10, 2016 .
  19. Statistics - international comparison of domain numbers. Denic, July 2016, accessed August 10, 2016 .
  20. Automotive brands neglect .eu domains. In: united-domains blog. February 13, 2013, accessed February 22, 2013 .
  21. Whois Policy for Domain Names - Section 2.4 "Information published in the WHOIS database" ( Memento of March 23, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) EURid website, accessed on March 6, 2016.
  22. EURid: WHOIS policy for domains. Retrieved March 28, 2018 .