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The “.eu” top-level domain

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The “.eu” top-level domain

The “.eu” top-level internet domain gives Europe its own Internet identity. It aims to boost the visibility of the European Union (EU) on the Internet, increase users’ choice of domain names and promote the development of electronic commerce within the internal market.

ACT

Regulation (EC) No 733/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 April 2002 on the implementation of the .eu Top Level Domain.

SUMMARY

This Regulation aims to establish the conditions of implementation of the “.eu” top-level domain (TLD), and in particular to provide for the designation of a Registry and establish the general policy framework within which the Registry will function.

The creation of the “.eu” TLD is one of the objectives set out in the eEurope 2002 action plan in order to accelerate electronic commerce and promote the use of the Internet.

The “.eu” domain will be additional to, not replace, those which already exist within the EU (e.g. “.fr” for France or “.it” for Italy) and will give users the option of having a pan-European Internet identity (mainly website or e-mail addresses).

Objectives

The implementation of the “.eu” TLD meets the following objectives:

  • to promote the use of Internet networks and increase users’ choice by providing a complementary registration domain to existing country code top-level domains (ccTLDs) or global registration in the generic top-level domains;
  • to improve the interoperability of trans-European servers by ensuring the availability of .eu name servers in the EU;
  • to increase the visibility of the European internal market on the world network and promote the image of the European Union on global information networks.

Characteristics of the Registry

The European Commission is responsible for designating the Registry after publishing a call for expressions of interest in the Official Journal.

The Registry is to be a non-profit organisation, formed in accordance with the law of a Member State and established within the EU.

Obligations of the Registry

The Registry has the following tasks:

  • to register domain names in the .eu TLD through any accredited .eu Registrar requested by any company, organisation or natural person established or resident in the EU;
  • to adopt the registration policy for the .eu TLD in consultation with the Commission and other interested parties, in accordance with public policy rules;
  • to impose fees directly related to costs incurred;
  • to implement the extra-judicial settlement-of-conflicts policy in order to resolve promptly disputes between domain name holders regarding rights relating to names, as well as disputes relating to individual decisions by the Registry;
  • to adopt and implement procedures for the accreditation of .eu registrars;
  • to ensure the integrity of the databases of domain names.

Policy framework

The European Commission is responsible for adopting the public policy rules concerning the implementation and functions of the .eu TLD and the public policy principles on registration. These rules include in particular:

  • an extra-judicial settlement-of-conflicts policy;
  • public policy on speculative and abusive registration of domain names;
  • a policy on possible revocation of domain names;
  • issues of language and geographical concepts;
  • treatment of intellectual property and other rights.

Reservation of rights

The EU retains all rights relating to the “.eu” TLD including, in particular, intellectual property rights and other rights to the Registry databases.

Implementation report

The Commission will have to submit a report to the European Parliament and the Council on the implementation, effectiveness and functioning of the .eu TLD one year after the adoption of the Regulation and thereafter every two years.

References

Act

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 733/2002

30.4.2002

-

OJ L 113, 30.4.2002

Amending act(s)

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 1137/2008

11.12.2008

-

OJ L 311, 21.11.2008

RELATED ACTS

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 6 July 2007 – Report on the implementation, functioning and effectiveness of the “.eu” TLD [COM(2007) 385 final]. Two years after its launch, the “.eu” top-level domain (TLD) is an undeniable success. The report indicates that “.eu” domain names are being actively used and that they are meeting real demand among European citizens, industry and other organisations. According to EURid, more than 2.8 million .eu domains have been set up on the Internet, making “.eu” Europe’s fourth most popular TLD and the ninth most popular worldwide, after such major top-level names as “.com”, “.net” and “.info”. The challenge now is to further improve the service given to customers by, for instance, adopting a code of conduct for registrars.

Commission Regulation (EC) No 874/2004 of 28 April 2004 laying down public policy rules concerning the implementation and functions of the .eu Top Level Domain and the principles governing registration [Official Journal L 162 of 30.4.2004]. This Regulation sets out a number of elements needed to implement Regulation (EC) No 733/2002, including the contents of applications for registration, rules for accrediting registrars, procedures for languages and reserved geographical names and the speculative and abusive registration of domain names.

It also establishes a phased registration procedure and an alternative extrajudicial conflict settlement.

Applications for registration must be sent to registrars accredited by the EURid Registry designated by the Commission to manage “.eu” domain names (see below). Registrations will be made on a first come, first served basis (Article 14).

See also

Last updated: 11.05.2011

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