European citizens, businesses and organizations can register .eu website names using characters from all 23 official languages of the European Union. This means that registrants, for example, can use Greek or Cyrillic names as well.
"Internationalized Domain Names under .eu, our European Top Level Domain, are a big step towards a truly global and at the same time local internet. Many internet users will come from countries where most languages are not based on the 'a to z' Latin script and they will naturally want to use their own scripts," said Viviane Reding, the EU's Information Society Commissioner. "The launch of international domain names under .eu will respond even better to the needs of a multilingual and multicultural Europe."
Internationalised Domain Names (IDN) are internet domain names that contain other characters in addition to the 26 characters of the Latin alphabet "a" to "z", digits "0" to "9" and "-". Until today, those registering domain names under .eu could only use this limited set of characters but now a whole range of different characters used in the various official languages of the EU can be registered.
The Commission decided that the European top level domain .eu should offer characters from all official EU languages. IDNs are a way to allow this. EU citizens, businesses and organizations will be able to register domain names in non-Latin scripts, which is essential for languages such as Greek and Bulgarian. Also, Spanish and Basque French, Portuguese and Catalan speakers are also affected.
Multilingualism has been a very important aspect of .eu since registrations opened in 2006. The legal framework foresees for example that registration of .eu domain names and communication of decisions concerning registration should be possible in all official languages of the Community. It also provides for the registration of domain names in all the alphabetic characters of the official languages. (EC)