Regulation (EU) 2019/517 on the implementation and functioning of the .eu top level domain name

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Series Details L 91
Publication Date 29/03/2019
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Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 March 2019 amending and repealing Regulation (EC) No 733/2002 and repealing Regulation (EC) No 874/2004.

Further information:

In April 2018 the European Commission proposed new measures to simplify the existing legal framework on the .eu top-level-domain and enable European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA) citizens to register for a .eu domain outside of the EU, regardless of their country of residence. These measures improve the potential of .eu top-level-domain as a trusted and innovative namespace for the Digital Single Market by adding more flexibility and adapting the current rules to the fast-changing domain name market.

The proposal responds to a greater ambition for the use of .eu top-level domain and ensures that the benefits linked to it can reach as many Union citizens as possible in the near future. By creating a principles-based, future-proof regulatory framework that does not require legislative revision to implement domain name industry’s novelties, the proposal will foster innovation in the .eu ecosystem, both at the level of the registry and in the downstream markets of registrars and registrants.


The .eu top-level domain (TLD) is the domain name of the EU and its citizens. The existence of a specific domain name for the EU under a very clear and identifiable common label is an important and valuable building block for the European online identity. In line with the objectives of the Digital Single Market strategy, the .eu TLD enables European businesses and citizens to participate in e-commerce and increases their participation in the online single market.

The .eu TLD was set up by Regulation (EC) No 733/2002 and is further governed by the rules provided in Regulation (EC) No 874/2004 laying down public policy rules concerning the implementation and functions of the .eu TLD and the principles governing registration.

The .eu is a well-established TLD and continues to function well. It is nevertheless governed by an outdated and rigid legal framework, in the sense of (i) obsolete or rigid provisions that cannot easily be updated, and in the sense of (ii) not providing for an optimum governance structure in terms of oversight and accountability in line with the Commission’s stated approach to internet governance, so that (iii) increasing difficulties can be foreseen for the .eu TLD in a time of rapidly changing markets.

The problem currently is not dramatic, it is observed in the functioning and management of the .eu TLD and therefore at the moment it affects primarily the actors that are involved in these functions. Nevertheless, if precautionary action is not taken, the problem is likely to become large enough to affect end users, in terms of the sustainability of the .eu extension and the attractiveness of the .eu compared to other competitive domain names.

Related Link(s)
Commentary and Analysis
European Parliament: EPRS Briefing, October 2018: Implementation and functioning of the '.eu' top level domain name [Initial Appraisal of a European Commission Impact Assessment]

EUR-Lex: COM(2018)231: Proposal for a Regulation on the implementation and functioning of the .eu top level domain name
EUR-Lex: SWD(2018)120: Impact assessment accompanying COM(2018)231
EUR-Lex: SWD(2018)121: Executive summary of the impact assessment accompanying COM(2018)231
EUR-Lex: SWD(2018)122: REFIT review of Regulation EC 733/2002 establishing the .eu top-level domain (TLD) and Regulation EC 874/2004 laying down public policy rules concerning the implementation and functions of the .eu TLD

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