|Author (Person)||Chapman, Peter|
|Series Title||European Voice|
|Series Details||Vol 7, No.15, 12.4.01, p3|
PLANS to set up a new '.eu' Internet domain are in doubt after member states split over the need for extra powers to control who can use it.
European Commission telecoms chief Erkki Liikanen says '.eu' would show off the Union credentials of anyone on the web from companies to universities, which currently mostly use national domains or the stateless '.com' or '.org'.
But experts say Spain and France could put a bug in the system by calling for a ban on the use of the new domain by regional and municipal organisations because they fear it would be open to abuse.
The ban would also stop companies signing-up for a '.eu' Internet site such as basque.eu or provence.eu and risk confusing web surfers who may mistake them for official bodies.
Opposing them are other member states, particularly Germany, that actually favour granting the '.eu' name to local authorities, many of whom have already expressed an interest in using it.
To make matters worse for Liikanen, a majority of governments say they would like to set up a regulatory committee that would exercise a greater level of control over the domain than the Commission wants to see.
Liikanen aides say this would impose far greater restrictions than any of the registries which manage national domains such as '.de' or '.uk'.
They admit the wrangling could jeopardise hopes that '.eu' can be rubber-stamped this summer in a fast-track procedure avoiding the usual need for two readings of the proposals by the European Parliament.
"This is not a catastrophe but we have a problem coming up," said one official.
Hopes of an early deal are already in doubt thanks to delays in the Parliament's scrutiny of the plan. MEPs only this week started to examine amendments to the proposal tabled by British Socialist Arlene McCarthy.
Plans to set up a new '.eu' Internet domain are in doubt after Member States split over the need for extra powers to control who can use it.
|Subject Categories||Business and Industry|