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.EU Domain Proposed

by David McGuire

European companies have long clamored for a Europe- specific Internet domain, and next week the European Commission will officially propose the addition of a .eu domain to the legacy root server.

With backing from its member states, the European Union will propose the .eu domain at its regular meeting next week, and soon after will make an official request to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to authorize the addition of the domain to the root, Gerard de Graaf, First Secretary to the European Union's US delegation told Newsbytes today.

"Ideally we would hope for a positive answer by the (upcoming ICANN meeting scheduled for March in Cairo)," de Graaf said.

While every one of the European Union's member countries has its own country-code top level domain (ccTLD), there is no domain for the European Union as a single body, a vexing situation for European business, de Graaf contends.

"It is a single market and the businesses here want to be seen and be recognized as European countries," he said. "Hopefully the ICANN decision-making process can produce a rapid result."

But it is unclear whether the European Commission's proposed timeline is feasible. Debate surrounding the introduction of new TLDs to the legacy root always causes acrimonious debate from the many camps within the domain name arena.

While ICANN officials have already indicated that they intend to broach the topic of new TLDs at the Cairo meeting, the body has not made any indication that it is ready to move on the issue.

ICANN is the not-for-profit company charged by the US Department of Commerce with managing the Internet domain name system.

ICANN representatives were not immediately available for comment on this story.


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