Help Print this page 

Summaries of EU Legislation

Title and reference
The .eu top-level domain

Summaries of EU legislation: direct access to the main summaries page.
Multilingual display

The ‘.eu’ top-level domain


Regulation (EC) No 733/2002 on the implementation of the .eu top-level domain



It establishes how the ‘.eu’ internet address suffix, known as the top-level domain (TLD) is implemented. In particular, the regulation provides for a registry to be set up and establishes the general policy framework for the functioning of this registry.


The ‘.eu’ top-level internet domain gives the EU its own internet identity. It aims to boost the visibility of the EU on the internet, increase users' choice of domain names and promote the development of electronic commerce within the internal market.

The creation of the ‘.eu’ TLD is one of the objectives set out in the eEurope 2002 action plan in order to accelerate electronic commerce and promote the use of the internet.

The ‘.eu’ domain is additional to those which already exist within the EU, it does not replace them. It gives users the option of having a pan-European internet identity (mainly website or e-mail addresses).


The implementation of the ‘.eu’ TLD addresses several objectives:

  • to promote the use of internet networks and increase users' choice by providing an alternative to existing country code top-level domains (e.g.‘.fr’ for France or ‘.it’ for Italy) or global generic top-level domains (e.g. ‘.com’, ‘.net’);
  • to improve the interoperability of trans-European servers by ensuring the availability of .eu name servers in the EU;
  • to increase the visibility of the EU internal market on the world network and promote the image of the EU on global information networks.


The registry is run by an NGO under a contract with the European Commission.

It has the following tasks:

  • register domain names in the .eu TLD, through accredited .eu registrars, for companies, organisations or individuals established or resident in the EU;
  • adopt the registration policy for the .eu TLD in consultation with the Commission and other interested parties, in accordance with public policy rules;
  • impose fees directly related to the costs incurred;
  • implement the out-of-court conflict settlements policy to resolve any disputes over domain names or registry decisions;
  • adopt and implement procedures for the accreditation of .eu registrars;
  • ensure the integrity of the databases of domain names.

Policy framework

The Commission is responsible for adopting the public policy rules concerning the implementation and functions of the .eu TLD and the public policy principles on registration. These rules include in particular:

  • an out-of-court conflict settlement policy;
  • public policy on speculative and abusive registration of domain names;
  • a policy on possible revocation of domain names;
  • issues of language and geographical concepts;
  • treatment of intellectual property and other rights.

Reservation of rights

The EU retains all rights relating to the ‘.eu’ TLD including, in particular, intellectual property rights and other rights to the registry databases.


The Commission must submit a report to the European Parliament and the Council on the implementation, effectiveness and functioning of the .eu TLD every two years.


It applies from 30 April 2002.


For more information, see ‘.eu top-level domain’ on the European Commission’s website.


Regulation (EC) No 733/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 April 2002 on the implementation of the .eu Top Level Domain (OJ L 113, 30.4.2002, pp. 1–5)

Subsequent amendments to Regulation (EC) No 733/2002 have been incorporated into the basic text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.


Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the implementation, functioning and effectiveness of the .eu Top-Level Domain (COM(2015) 680 final of 18.12.2015)

Commission Regulation (EC) No 874/2004 of 28 April 2004 laying down public policy rules concerning the implementation and functions of the .eu Top Level Domain and the principles governing registration (OJ L 162, 30.4.2004, pp. 40–50). See consolidated version.

last update 07.04.2016