EURID will manage .eu top-level domain

The European Commission confirmed Thursday the appointment of a Belgian-led consortium called EURID to manage the .eu top-level domain (TLD).

The .eu TLD will be up and running by the end of the year, a Commission spokesman said. It will sit alongside generic domains like .com and .info and country codes like .fr and .uk in the Internet address space.

EURID emerged as the front runner to operate the domain in March.

Erkki Liikanen, European commissioner responsible for Enterprise and Information Society, said that once the registry is fully operational, businesses, organizations and citizens in the European Union will be able to register their domain names within the .eu TLD.

“I believe that the creation of the .eu Top Level Domain will give European citizens and businesses the possibility to acquire a European identity on the Internet,” he said.

The Commission will now conclude a contract with EURID and then appropriate steps will be taken with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) for the inclusion of .eu in the global Internet Domain Name System.

At the same time, the Commission, in consultation with the Member States and the Registry, will establish public policy rules to deal with issues like speculative and abusive registrations of domain names, intellectual property and other rights, issues of language and geographical concepts and the extra-judicial settlement of conflicts.

Depending on the rate of progress on these issues, .eu is expected to be operational towards the end of the year.

Some further steps have to be taken before .eu domain names may start being registered. The Commission said it will contact ICANN, so that the .eu TLD is included in the root zone file.

EURID will have to accredit registrars, who will manage the registration of domain names for the benefit of end users under competitive market rules, the Commission said.

The Commission together with authorities from the 15 member states of the Union and EURID will establish public policy rules with regard to speculative and abusive registrations, intellectual property and other rights, issues of language and geographical concepts. It is envisaged that registrations will take place in a phased manner to ensure appropriate registration opportunities for the holders of prior rights.

The Commission said EURID will be based in Brussels.