EURid, the .EU domain name Registry, recently announced that from 19 October 2019 internationally-based EU citizens will be able to register a .EU domain name.

Prior to this rule change, in order to be eligible to register a .EU domain name, the registrant needed to meet the "General Eligibility Criteria” whereby it must be: (i) an undertaking having its registered office, central administration, or principal place of business within the European Union, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein; or (ii) an organisation established within the European Union, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein, without prejudice to the application of national law; or (iii) a natural person resident within the European Union, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein."

The new Regulation will allow EU citizens resident in non-EU countries to register a .EU domain name. This in turn means that an individual or entity will be able to register a .EU domain name, on the basis that they meet the following criteria:

  • an EU citizen, independent of their place of residence;
  • a natural person who is not an EU citizen and who is a resident of a Member State;
  • an undertaking that is established in the EU; or
  • an organisation that is established in the EU, without prejudice to the application of national law.

The .EU domain name extension was launched in 2006 and, at the end of Quarter 2, 2019, there were 3,623,691 .EU domain name registrations. Taking into consideration the number of EU citizens living outside the EU, this regulation change will open up the possibility for millions of new .EU domain names to be registered. In addition, EURid is hoping "to provide these individuals, living far from their native lands, with a personal online platform through which they can share their lives with families and friends back home."

Marc Van Wesemael, EURid's CEO, was quoted as saying:

"We are excited to be able to extend the registration criteria to EU citizens around the world. The .eu domain is now closer to your ambitions, achievements and dreams. It is the bridge connecting you to your friends and family – even if you live outside the EU. It will always show your roots, your outlook, and your cultural values.”