Registrations for the .eu top-level domain have passed the three million mark, according to registry firm Eurid, making it the fourth most popular European country code level domain.
Launched to great fanfare by the European Commission-appointed Eurid in December 2005, over 70,000 firms applied in the first hour.
But the registry has since been criticised for its overly bureaucratic registration scheme, and for allowing domain name speculators to exploit weaknesses in the application process.
Despite taking almost nine months to record the last 200,000 registrations, .eu was praised today by Viviane Reding, EU commissioner for Information Society and Media.
"This achievement, just a few months before its third anniversary, indicates how .eu has clearly won public favour. A growing number of internet users are embracing the opportunity to express their European character online," Reding said in a statement.
"In particular, I am glad to see that an increasing number of small and medium-sized companies have adopted .eu as an integral part of their corporate identity, and I am looking forward to seeing more companies taking advantage of .eu in the future."
Germany leads the way with the highest proportion of .eu registrations at 30 per cent, followed by the Netherlands at 14 per cent and the UK at 12 per cent.
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