Cyrillic .eu celebrates its fourth anniversary
The launch of the much anticipated .ею, .eu top-level domain in Cyrillic, took place on June 1, 2016 and we are now celebrating its fourth anniversary with nearly 2 000 registrations of domain names in the Cyrillic script under .ею
As this is an important milestone in .eu history as well as in ongoing support for online multilingualism, we spoke with Anelia Dimova, expert in Information Society Policy, Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications (MTITC) of the Republic of Bulgaria, to reminisce about how it all started.
- How was the idea of “.ею” born?
Taking into consideration the technical development оf Cyrillic domain names, Bulgaria became the first country to request registration of its national domain extension in Cyrillic from ICANN in June 2008.
When Bulgaria became a member of the European Union in 2007, Bulgarian language became one of the official languages of the Union. It was thus natural to expand the Bulgarian policy for the acceptance of the Cyrillic alphabet on the Internet with regard to the European .eu domain as well.
Given the legislative nature of .eu, the European Commission and EURid, the .eu registry, were the competent bodies to submit the request of having the .ею delegated to ICANN.
In December 2008, the Bulgarian State Agency for Information Technologies and Communications conducted a survey on its website to determine Bulgarian citizen and company interest in the .eu domain name to be written in Cyrillic. Based on the answers, the .eю proposal was drafted.
On 1 June 2016, .eю became a reality facilitating access to the digital single market, supporting multilingualism on the Internet and allowing Europeans to display their European identity online.
- Why is “.ею” important to Bulgaria?
We Bulgarians have always based our efforts to keep our language and identity alive on the Cyrillic alphabet.
Cyrillic domain names present a number of advantages to their owners. Easier access to the Internet in the native language, and more frequent search results on the Internet are just some of these benefits. The .eю domain name can help local businesses show that their work and roots are at once Bulgarian and European.
On a European and global level, .eю has an additionally important role in supporting online multilingualism, enabling communities to create and share content in their native language and facilitate the use of the Internet by local communities. This, in turn, increases access to diverse linguistic and cultural content and provides new opportunities for socio-economic development.