Registrations of .eu domain names in the United Kingdom have almost halved, declining 46.7% to 162,287 in the year to the end of June and 13.9% for the quarter as fears British registrants will be ineligible to hold their domains if Britain leaving the European Union comes to be.
Assuming Brexit happens, British .eu registrants will shortly thereafter lose their domain names unless the registrant has citizenship of a European Union country or for a business has an office in a EU country. Despite the collapse, the UK remains the sixth largest country of registrant origin.
But it’s not all doom and gloom as Britain’s neighbours across the Irish Sea have seen registrations jump 18% in the quarter according to EURid’s Q2 2019 Progress Report [pdf], possibly as UK .eu registrants move their contact to an Irish address, followed by Portugal (up 16.1%) and Norway (10.8%).
The second quarter is traditionally a strong quarter for renewals for .eu as the top-level domain was launched in April 2006 and is also the month when the majority of .eu domain names were registered. The renewal rate for Q2 shows, EURid notes, that the original registrants continue to rely on their .eu domain names.
The total number of .eu and .ею domain names registered at the end of Q2 2019 was 3,623,691, down from 3,790,450, a drop of 166,759. Of these there were 3.603 million .eu registrations while a year ago there were 3.790 million.
When taking into account over 35,000 abusive domain names suspended in the second half of 2018 and the drop in UK registrations, it could easily be argued .eu and .ею registrations have risen by 30,000 to 40,000.
The renewal rate in the second quarter of 2019 was 82.3% (82% in Q2 2018 and up 4% from the first quarter of 2019) while new registrations were down to 164,906 (171,843 in Q2 2018). Internationalised domain names under .eu were down to 35,836 (38,286).
There were a number of other initiatives that EURis have highlighted in their quarterly report including the launch of the 2019 .eu Web Awards, the strengthening of efforts to fight online fraud in cooperation with EUIPO and the contribution to environmental initiatives.
The quarter also saw EURid and the European Commission Service Concession Contract extended until 12 October 2022, a contribution to the Monchique reforestation in Portugal and the Uganda Borehole projects to offset its CO2 emissions while ICANN announced the completion of the string evaluation for the IDN ccTLD “ευ” (xn--qxa6a) or .eu in Greek.