UniCredit Group was one of seven companies from across Europe whose work was saluted on June 3 at an event at the European Parliament.
The event commemorated the second anniversary of the .eu Internet domain and included discussions between UniCredit and MEPs about the opportunities and challenges of trading as a European company.
UniCredit Group was invited to be part of a network of companies using the .eu domain that will be called upon to provide feedback and advice to EURid in the coming months. EURid is the European registry for .eu and manages the .eu top-level Internet domain under contract to the European Commission.
In support of the .eu domain, Ms Donata Gottardi MEP attended the event. She praised UniCredit, saying "UniCredit is a good example of a business based in Europe that has realised the benefits of a .eu domain. Choosing .eu offers one common European identity for 490 million Europeans in 27 different countries."
Mr Marc Beckers, Head of Group Identity and Communications for UniCredit, who was also a featured speaker at the event, said "UniCredit is honoured to have been chosen to participate in the second anniversary celebration. The .eu domain has given us a real edge in our business. Our growth plans depend on success across Europe, and choosing the .eu domain is one way we can demonstrate to our clients that we are doing business in multiple markets."
UniCredit Group is the first truly European bank, with roots in 23 European countries. Choosing the .eu domain made perfect sense: when .eu was created, the company immediately recognised its value. "The .eu domain has become a defining emblem of UniCredit's identity", Beckers said. "It expresses our European spirit and speaks to our business presence throughout the EU."
Since 2006 the bank has used it as a top-level domain for the Group website , and it is gradually being applied to communications and marketing materials, including making it the unique e-mail domain for all UniCredit employees. As the company is in the process of re-aligning its 420 brands under the UniCredit Group master brand, the domain name has helped it form a common identity, both internally and externally.
At the event, which was held in the private salons of the Members Dining Room at the European Parliament, Mr Antti Ilmari Peltomäki, Deputy Director General, DG Information and Society, spoke about his vision for Europe. "The .eu domain provides many benefits to businesses and individuals throughout Europe," he said. "It gives a true pan-European identity."
The .eu domain has contributed to increasing business in the single European market. Since its creation two years ago, more than 2.7 million domains (companies, organisations and individuals) have been registered. It now ranks fourth among European Internet addresses and ninth worldwide.
In terms of the total number of registered domain names per country, .eu has been most popular in Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, France and Italy, while the biggest growth has been seen in North eastern parts of Europe.