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Europe's .eu a soaring success in cyberspace

(BRUSSELS) - The .eu online domain name is enjoying a runaway success in cyberspace with over 2.5 million registered users during its first year, the European Commission said.

Booming demand for .eu Internet addresses has made them the third most popular in Europe and the seventh most widely used in the world, according to the European Union's executive arm.

"After just one year .eu has become a well-established part of Europe's cyberspace," EU Information Society and Media Commissioner Viviane Reding enthused.

As of April 7 last year, individuals in the European Union have been able to register to use the .eu online identity tag although businesses and public bodies got a head-start in the preceding months.

Since then, the greatest number of .eu registrations have come from Germany with 31 percent of the total, followed by Britain with 17 percent and The Netherlands with 12 percent.

The .eu tag is not intended to replace the national identifiers used by the EU's member states such as Britain's .uk, France's .fr or Germany's .de, or indeed wider identifiers such as .com or .org.

Despite .eu's success, national identifiers continue to remain popular, with registrations still growing although not as fast as for the Europe-wide addresses.

The Commission said the Internet label was also having success with well-known brands, citing the examples of Air France, Versace, Dexia, Illy, Milka and even Greenpeace which have set up .eu sites.

Even non-EU companies such as Lexus and Sony had opted for .eu sites for their advertising campaigns in Europe, the Commission noted.

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