Reading about the changes on the web, I’m really surprised how many articles have got this one wrong. Mostly it seems to stem from an inability to distinguish that different policies have applied, and will apply, between UK and Ireland, and the rest of Europe. (Google has a helpful list of which countries it considers to be in Europe. To add to the confusion, some places on the list are in South America or the Antartic.)
Anyway, here’s a couple of charts that hopefully explain what’s changing.
Policy before September 14th 2010
Policy after September 14th 2010
The change happening to Europe (excluding UK and Ireland) happened in the UK in May 2008. Chaos was predicted, but failed to materialise. I wrote about it before the change and made some observations after it was implemented. I think the comments I made then still stand.