The .eu top-level domain represents the "online digital brand" of the European Union. It was originally created in 2002 and 2004, the registration started on 7 April 2006. At the end of March 2017, the .eu top-level domain was the 7th largest country code in the world with over 3.7 million registrations. The .eu top-level domain provides a unique European domain for organisations and individuals resident in EU Member States as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
Since the entry into force of the .eu regulations, many things have changed in the market of domain names, which is now much more dynamic and competitive, but also within the European Union itself. Therefore the existing rules on .eu need to be evaluated to assess whether they are still fit-for-purpose.
The public consultation is open from 12 May until 8 August 2017. Business representatives, those working in the public sector, academia and all those with an interest are invited to provide input and help determine the future of .eu domain name.
Every domain name has a suffix that indicates which top level domain it belongs to. There are country code top-level domains (like .it, .de) and generic top-level domains (like .com, .org, .shop).
Domain names, like the one of the European Commission - ec.europa.eu - are used to identify “addresses” on the internet in a way which is easy-to-remember. Domain names are used for instance in URLs to identify web pages (like http://www.ec.europa.eu), but also in email addresses (like firstname.lastname@example.org).
The aim behind setting up the .eu top-level domain was to help the EU businesses, public authorities, education establishments, and individuals to acquire higher visibility and a European identity in the virtual environment of the Internet. The .eu provides a clearly identified link with the EU, the associated legal framework, and the single European marketplace. As such, the .eu top-level domain is a key building block for e-commerce in Europe and for strengthening the Digital Single Market, as well as contributing to a truly European online identity.