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Subject: New Internet domain name “.eu”



Wellington, 10 April 2006
File: 11.1


Subject: New Internet domain name “.eu”

As of Friday 7 April, anyone with a residence in the European Union may apply to register a name under the .eu Top Level Domain, on a first-come, first-served basis. Nationality of an EU Member State is not a prerequisite.

Friday also saw the close of the “sunrise” period, during which 320,000 .eu domain applications were filed by trademark holders, public bodies and holders of other prior rights such as unregistered trade marks, business identifiers or copyrights.

The Commission’s aim is for .eu to become a powerful domain name on equal footing with .com.” Over one million .eu domains were registered on the first day.

Announcing the launch of the new Domain, Information Society and Media Commissioner Viviane Reding said, “Today, Europe’s competitive knowledge society becomes very visible to the world on the internet.

“Europe and its citizens can now project their own web identity, protected by EU rules.”

The EU institutions’ entire web site (Europe’s largest single site), and all officials’ e-mail addresses, will be switched over to .eu on 9 May, Europe Day. Old and new addresses will continue to work side-by-side for at least one year, after which only “.eu” names will be used.

The preparation of the Commission for .eu is led by Vice President Siim Kallas who is sponsoring the move towards an eCommission.

Commission’s .eu web pages:

Frequently Asked Questions follow:
Frequently Asked Questions:

What is .eu?

“.eu” is simply a new Top Level Domain (TLD). It will not replace the existing national country code TLDs in the EU, but will complement them and give users the option of having a pan-European internet identity for their ‘internet presence’ – generally web sites and e-mail addresses.

Any individual resident in the EU or any organization or company established in the EU will be able to register a name under the .eu TLD. European law and the jurisdiction of European courts will apply.

The creation of .eu was decided at the Lisbon Council in 2000 to stress the importance that Europe gives to the Information Society and to electronic commerce to enhance Europe’s competitiveness.

What is a Top Level Domain anyway?

A domain name is used in the Internet to identify particular web pages and e-mail addresses. Every domain name has a suffix that indicates the Top Level Domain (TLD) to which it belongs. The TLD is the part of an internet domain name which can be found to the right of the last point or the “@” symbol.

For example, ".int" is currently the TLD in:

TLDs are also obviously an important part of e-mail addresses. For example:

".int," is one of the so-called “generic” TLDs and is reserved for use by international organisations. The other generic TLDs include .com, .net, .info, .org, etc.

There are also many country code top level domains (ccTLDs) such as .uk, .de, and .fr. Each TLD is associated with a particular registry which registers the names associated with the TLD.

Why create .eu?

The purpose of this Top Level Domain is to give European citizens and industry a safer place in cyberspace.

For citizens, it will provide a place in cyberspace, in which their rights as consumers and individuals are protected by European rules, standards, and courts.

For companies, it will enhance their internet visibility within and beyond the EU single market, advertise their pan-European outlook and provide greater certainty as to the law. Firms wishing to take advantage of the single market have until now been obliged to either to base their internet presence in one country or to create web sites in each of the EU countries in which they operate. This should foster electronic commerce and boost economic competitiveness and growth.
What exactly has the EU done to create the .eu TLD?
The milestones of the .eu project were:
- a public consultation by the Commission and two communications to the Council and the European Parliament in 2000,
- a European Parliament and Council Regulation in 2002,
- a call for expressions of interest and the official selection of the Registry (2002 & 2003),
- a Commission Regulation on the Public Policy Rules and the signature of the agreement between the Commission and the selected Registry in 2004, and
- the delegation of the .eu TLD from ICANN to EURid, the adoption of the registration policy in consultation with stakeholders (including rules for the sunrise and the alternative dispute resolution) and the launch of the Sunrise period in 2005.
What’s the legal basis for the .eu TLD?
- EC Regulation 733/2002 (22 April 2002), established that the new TLD should be managed and operated by a private, non-profit organization known as the .eu Registry. EURid, a consortium of Belgian, Italian and Swedish organizations, was chosen to be the .eu Registry in May 2003, following a call for expressions of interest.
- EC Regulation 874/2004 (28 April 2004), lays down public policy rules on 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.
- On 21 March 2005 the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which manages the worldwide domain name system, formally recognized EURid as the body appointed by the European Union the European Union to run the .eu TLD for the next five years. The .eu TLD was put in the internet root on 2 May 2005.
How can I register a .eu domain name?
All applications to register a Domain name must be made through one of the appointed registrars. These are commercial companies accredited by the Registry that compete with each other. There are more than 1000 registrars all over the world.
A list of registrars may be found on the website of EURid:

How much will it cost?
This is a matter for the Registry (EurID), but also for the registrars in Member States. The EURid website already lists hundreds of registrars who compete with each other to register names. Customers can therefore shop around to find the best deal on price, quality, and services offered. The .eu Regulation stipulates that the Registry will be a non-profit organization and that any fees that the Registry charges the registrars must relate to costs incurred. For further information concerning the cost of domain name registration visit EURid on
Registering domain names under .eu should not be very expensive. The Registry will make a basic €10 charge to cover administration costs. The fees charged by Registrars vary according to the services they offer. The total fees charged (by Registrar and Registry) may be as low as €12 in some cases, but considerably more in others.
Registrations made during sunrise period (the first 4 months) were somewhat more expensive than this, since the cost of verifying supporting documents for trademarks and other prior rights had to be passed on to applicants.
Consumers are advised to check carefully the offers of the registrars, since their prices and services may differ substantially. We are in any event confident that applicants should be able to find the registrar that best meets their needs and budget.

Who can register a .eu domain name?
Anybody who lives in the European Union plus companies, organisations, businesses that are established in the EU (e.g. have a branch office in a Member State). Nationality of an EU Member State is not a prerequisite.

Why is it necessary to have an establishment or a residence within the EU to have a domain name under .eu?
The condition to have an establishment or a residence within a given territory is a customary prerequisite for a number of ccTLDs (for instance in Canada, Japan or Norway). The reason why the European Union has decided to include this prerequisite is to improve the legal security of this domain name. By ensuring that holders of a domain name have a well-established link with the territory of the European Union, we intend to ensure that users of the .eu TLD are subject to our legal standards of protection.

How do you pronounce “.eu”?
That’s the choice of the speaker and depends on the language: dot-eu in English, point-eu en français, Punkt-EU auf Deutsch, punto-eu in italiano, and so on.

Who runs .eu?
While the European Commission, together with the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers, has created the legal framework for “.eu” by means of EU legislation, the .eu top level domain is managed and operated by a private, not-for-profit Registry, EURid. It was created by the three national registries of Belgium, Italy and Sweden and selected by the Commission following an open call for expressions of interest.
Applications to register domain names must be made not to EURid itself, but to one of its accredited registrars. A list of all registrars and the languages in which registration is offered, can be found on:
During the registration process registrars ask end users for various contact and technical information keep records of the contact information and submit the technical information to a central directory known as the Registry.
The registry then inserts this information into a centralized database and enables it to be placed in Internet zone files so that domain names can be found around the world via the World Wide Web and E-mail. End users are also required to enter a registration contract with the registrar, which sets forth the terms under which registrations are accepted and maintained.

Has the Commission done anything to prevent abusive registrations?
Yes. It is precisely to prevent such registrations that the sunrise period was established.
Prior to the start of the registrations under .eu, there was a "sunrise period" which allowed holders of certain rights (e.g. trademarks, geographical indications, copyright) to apply to register the corresponding .eu domain name before the registration of domain names was opened to the wide public without restrictions.
During the sunrise period, applicants had 40 days to provide proof of the prior right to a name – otherwise such names were released and made available for others to register on a first-come-first served basis from 07 April 2006.
A streamlined Alternative Dispute Resolution procedure was established to help deal with any dispute or competing claims to a domain name between particular applicants or with the Registry.

What is the role of the EU Institutions now that the .eu TLD has been launched?
The European Union has entrusted EURid to take care of the management of the .eu TLD until October 2009 at least. During that time, the Commission will merely supervise the work of the Registry to ensure that it complies with the legal framework that has been created for it; however we will not take any active part in the operations of the Registry.

How does the Commission react to claims that “bogus” registrars have been registering .eu domain names?
The Commission cannot instruct the Registry EURid to ban any of its accredited Registrars on the basis of suspicions as to their probable behaviour or motivations. In a case where there is evidence that a registrar has acted in a way that is contrary to the .eu Regulations, appropriate measures will be taken.

When is the Commission changing to .eu?
All Community Institutions will be changing over to the .eu Top Level Domain with effect from 9 May 2006. It is not just the Commission.
This choice of date is symbolic – as it is the “Europe Day”, which commemorates the declaration of Robert Schuman, which led to the formation of the European Coal and Steel Community.
From 9 May 2006, the Institutions web addresses which presently end in “” (the international Top Level Domain) will simply become “.eu”.
For example Europa will change to and Commission Email addresses with the format will become
Old and new addresses will continue to work side-by-side for at least one year.
The Commission’s move towards .eu is led by Vice President Siim Kallas, who is sponsoring the general move towards an eCommission.

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