The European Parliament adopted a draft law Thursday, designed to introduce a .eu top-level domain for the European Union.

The political approval from the European Parliament comes after lengthy internal debate on the issue of a domain name for the European Union. The European Commission, which initiated the idea, welcomed the Parliament’s support. The Council of Ministers is expected to give its support “very soon,” the Commission said in a statement.

Once the Council of Ministers has signed up to the initiative, the Commission will be able to begin the procedure of choosing a private-sector, non-profit organization to operate the .eu registry, which will administer the registration of all .eu domain names.

Erkki Liikanen, commissioner for the Enterprise and Information Society, said that while this new law will provide the basis for the new domain name, “some other measures of public interest still need to be agreed, such as a policy for the extrajudicial settlement of disputes.”

Liikanen said with the support of member states, the .eu domain name “could be available by the end of the year.”

The European Commission is the executive body of the European Union. It can be reached at +-32-2-299-11-11 orhttp://europa.eu.int/

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