At the end of March, the European Commission, without consulting the .eu registry EURid, decided that following the decision of the United Kingdom to leave the European Union that the more than 318,000 .eu domain name registrants would not be able to renew their domain names. And nor would businesses based in the UK or British residents be able to register them once Britain left the European Union renew them.
However 4 weeks later the European Commission has had an about face and is somewhat changing the eligibility rules “to simplify the existing legal framework on the .eu top-level-domain and enable European/European Economic Area (EU/EEA) citizens to register for a .eu domain also outside of the EU, regardless of their country of residence.”
Currently to register a .eu domain name the registrant must be “solely connected to residency in the EU/EEA [European Union/European Economic Area] countries.” The announcement of the change goes on to note that “additionally, the revision proposes a better governance of the .eu top-level-domain by creating a Multistakeholder Council to advise the Commission on the management of the domain name and the implementation of the new rules.”
The changes are somewhat confusing and are apparently based on a consultation the European Commission held for 4 weeks to 8 June 2017. It makes one wonder if a section at the Commission made a decision on .eu domain names without knowing of this consultation, nor consulting with the registry, who has to deal with the angry registrants losing their domain names, nor with those who ran the consultation titled “Modernisation of the regulations establishing a .eu top level domain”.
To distance themselves from the confusion that seems to reign at the Commission, EURid have said in a statement that they, “as the .eu registry manager, participated in the consultation, but were not involved in the drafting process of the new Regulation.”
No matter the confusing way of getting there, it seems the European Commission has arrived at a point with an improved .eu registration policy.