European Parliament gives '.eu' the go-ahead

European Union

The European Parliament has approved the creation of the '.eu' top-level domain. The European Commission had previously published its Common Position on February 19, which was adopted by the European Council with a view to adopting a regulation which, when passed, will have direct effect throughout the European Union.

The commission's proposal would appoint a registry to operate, on a non-profit basis, the new domain and administer a database of all registrations. The domain names would be sold by various accredited registrars, but not by the registry itself.

According to the proposal, those eligible for '.eu' domain names would be any individual resident or any organization having its registered office, central administration or principal place of business within the European Union. The proposal does not address whether there should be any system of verification at the point of registration.

The commission also has responsibility for establishing a dispute resolution policy which the registry will have to follow. The policy should "take into consideration the recommendations of the World Intellectual Property Organization" (WIPO). Interestingly, no mention is made of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the body which dictates the dispute resolution rules followed by WIPO.

The new domain is expected to begin operation later this year.

Jon Fell, Masons, London

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