Whither .eu?
Date: Friday March 09 2001, @05:49AM
Topic: .eu and Europe too

A recent story in the EE Times by Peter Clark, Europe eyes .eu domain, provides a good occasion to catch up on developments regarding this proposed "ccTLD". There seem to be three parallel processes moving forward at different speeds.

First, there's the ICANN process. ICANN has approved .eu in principle, but not, it seems, in practice.

The ICANN Board adopted a Resolution on Sept. 25, 2000 that would permit the ISO (International Organization for Standardization, Geneva) code EU to be delegated to the European Community. It says:

IANA staff is advised that alpha-2 codes not on the ISO 3166-1 list are delegable as ccTLDs only in cases where the ISO 3166 Maintenance Agency, on its exceptional reservation list, has issued a reservation of the code that covers any application of ISO 3166-1 that needs a coded representation in the name of the country, territory, or area involved;
However, in its very next resolution, Resolution 00.75, the Board appeared to suggest that it was holding .eu hostage to a more general agreement with the ccTLDs:
in view of the state of ongoing discussions directed toward reaching stable and appropriate agreements between ICANN and the ccTLD organizations, delegation of additional ccTLDs should be finalized only upon achievement of stable and appropriate agreements between ICANN and the ccTLD organization, in a form approved by the Board.
In so doing, ICANN gave the EU an incentive to pressure its member governments to accept some form of ICANN ccTLD proposals-in which ccTLDs pay ICANN and agree to follow some or all of its regulations.

Second, there's the ISO process. The ISO 3166 Maintenance Agency webpage trumpets the recommendation to "IANA" and ICANN that the only two-letter TLDs should be those that are ISO 3166 country codes. But the authoritative list of country codes (dated 2/26/01) still doesn't include .eu. Instead, .eu remains in the purgatory of the ISO's "reserve list," (no link because that list isn't published on the ISO's web site).

Third, but not least, there's a ferment of activity at the EU level itself. (You might ask on what authority the EU Commission is pushing to create a .eu ccTLD, and to set up a registry for it. Interestingly, the EU bases its authority on Article 156, which while it refers to 'Trans European Networks' probably didn't have this in mind at all.) The EU is setting up a registry, and, as the EE Times story notes, marketing it like crazy.

I wonder how long it will be before the EU seeks to control (I mean, of course, "harmonize") the various EU Member States' ccTLDs?

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Re: Whither .eu?
by alexander on Saturday March 10 2001, @04:08AM (#397)
User #22 Info | http://www.icannchannel.de
According to the ISO 3166 Maintenance Agency, their recommendation applies only to future code assignments, not to .eu. Note that also "uk" is not on the ISO 3166-1 list, but on the list of reserved codes.

I don't think the European Commission has to put pressure on any ccTLD in order to get their TLD recognized. If you look at the slow development, it seems likely that some kind of ccTLD agreement is ready before .eu is about to go live. Currently, the Commission proposal is being scrutinized by the European Council (= member-states) and European Parliament. According to the Commission, the earliest time for adoption is April/May, the latest is June. (Of course there is also the possibility that it is not adopted.)

And there are still many open questions: Will there be geographical subdomains? Will there be generic subdomains? Will there be a code of conduct? How will IP interests be treated? How will individual users get their domain name? Who sets the policy?
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