Who should register a .eu domain?

On paper, the .eu domain is the best option for businesses focusing on Europe (no surprise there). For example a webshop that ships within the European Union or a business offering services within EU.

I don't think amateur/"hobby webmaster" sites have the same need for a .eu domain. Maybe in some cases but information is often not limited to a specific region of this size. A .com/.net/.info will be just as good and a country-level domain is often more relevant. Also remember that the European Union does not equal Europe.

Who can register a .eu domain?

The rules are quite simple and if you fall in one of the following three categories you can register .eu domain names.

  • Undertakings having their registered office, central administration or principal place of business within the European Community.
  • Organisations established within the European Community without prejudice to the application of national law.
  • Natural persons resident within the European Community.

Why is the registration process flawed?

The registration process was set up so that each registrar should have equal opportunities to secure .eu domains for their customers. Unfortunately, the requirements for the .eu registrar status are not very strict and some registrars have apparently been able to set up hundreds of "shadow registrars" and thereby multiplying their chances of getting the best domains a few hundred times. Which is good for them and brought in more cash for EURid (the .eu registry required a deposit of 10000 euros from each registrar) but unfair to all the honest domain registrars and registrants.

More details can be found in the critical articles Eu Won't Believe It by Nadeem Azam and The .EU Landrush fiasco. New facts emerge. by Bob Parsons.

Prices

A .eu domain is significantly more expensive than that the usuals TLDs. .eu domains can be registered for somewhere around $15 and up.

More information can be found on the EURid website and in the .eu whois database.