.eu IDNs at the second level

In December 2015, there were 45,744 .eu IDNs, a net decrease of more than 6,700 since December 2014. The number of IDNs peaked at 67 000 in 2010, and there is a slightly downward trendline from 2009 to 2015.

Analysis of the .eu IDN zone (captured in April 2016) reveals that of a total of 46,000 .eu IDNs at the second level, 43,000 are Latin script, 2,000 are Greek script and 14,000 are Cyrillic script.

The majority of IDNs under .eu are in Latin script (93%, an increase of 2% since 2014). This reflects the widespread use of Latin script in many European languages, with accents and diacritics forming the IDN element of the Latin script domains. Some European languages, such as German, Swedish, French, Czech and Polish, use many diacritics. Others (such as English and Dutch) use relatively few. Two EU languages – Bulgarian and Greek – rely on non-Latin scripts (Cyrillic and Greek, respectively).

eu-idns-by-script

Aware that mixed-script IDNs pose challenges for users, EURid since 2009 has been exploring with ICANN the possibility of introducing the equivalents to .eu in both Greek and Cyrillic script. These would give .eu registrants the opportunity to register domain names in an entirely Greek script or Cyrillic script environment, thus affording them a truly multilingual experience, and avoiding the well-documented difficulties of mixed-script (or hybrid) IDNs. So far, the Cyrillic script application has passed ICANN’s evaluations, and the Greek script application has stalled. The Cyrillic string was approved and launched in 2016.