Report on the Delegation of the .ευ (“eu”) domain representing the European Union in Greek script to EURid vzw/asbl

22 August 2019

This report is a summary of the materials reviewed as part of the process for the delegation of the .ευ (“eu”) top-level domain. It includes details regarding the proposed delegation, evaluation of the documentation pertinent to the request, and actions undertaken in connection with processing the delegation.

Factual Information

Country

The “EU” two-letter code is exceptionally reserved by the ISO 3166 Maintenance Agency to cover representation of the European Union in any application.

String

The domain under consideration for delegation at the DNS root level is “ευ”. This is represented in ASCII-compatible encoding according to the IDNA specification as “xn--qxa6a”. The individual Unicode code points that comprise this string are U+03B5 U+03C5.

In the Greek language, the string has a transliteration equivalent to “eu” in English. The string is expressed using the Greek script.

Chronology of events

On 22 April 2002, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union adopted Regulation 733/2002 on the implementation of the .EU top-level domain, which entered into force upon publication in the Official Journal of the European Communities on 30 April 2002.

On 21 May 2003, the European Commission, in consultation with its Member States, designated the European Registry for Internet Domains vzw/asbl (EURid) as the appropriate manager of the .EU top level domain.

On 27 June 2003, EURid was registered as a non-profit association in Belgium. It was founded by the managers of the .BE (Belgium), .IT (Italy), and .SE (Sweden) top-level domain managers. Later, the managers of the .CZ (Czechia) and .SI (Slovenia) top-level domains became members, as did the European Chapter of the Internet Society and Business Europe.

On 28 April 2004, European Commission Regulation 874/2004 laid out the public policy rules concerning the implementation and functions of the .EU top-level domain and the principles governing registration.

In May 2005, management of the .EU top-level domain was delegated to EURid.

In 2009, EURid launched internationalized domain names (IDNs) at the second level of the .EU domain, after extensive consultation with its community.

On 5 May 2010, an application was made to the ICANN ccTLD IDN Fast Track Process to have the strings “ευ” and “ею” recognized as representing the European Union in Greek and Cyrillic scripts, respectively.

In 2012, the Cyrillic string succeeded in passing the DNS Stability Panel evaluation, but the DNS Stability Panel found that the Greek string presented an “unacceptably high risk of user confusion” and was therefore rejected by the Panel.

On 14 May 2013, the European Commission published a call for expressions of interest in the Official Journal of the European Union, inviting applications from organizations wishing to be selected as the manager of the .EU top-level domain and “possible .EU variants in other scripts”. The call was closed on 20 June 2013 and only one application was received. The application was submitted by EURid and an evaluation found that it met the minimum requirements of the selection criteria.

In April 2014, the European Commission entered into a new contract with EURid to continue managing the .EU top-level domain and its variants in other scripts.

In September 2014, following a request for re-evaluation, the IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process’ Extended Process Similarity Review Panel found that the Greek string in upper case “should still be considered confusingly similar to the following ISO 3166-1 entries: EV and EY.”

On 12 February 2016, management of the .ею top-level domain representing the European Union in Cyrillic script was delegated to EURid.

On 29 March 2019, ICANN announced the release of the updated IDN ccTLD Fast Track Final Implementation Plan (FIP), including changes proposed by ICANN’s Country Code Supporting Organization and Security and Stability Advisory Committee in response to the ICANN Board of Directors' request for guidance on the implementation of the Extended Process Similarity Review Panel. In accordance with the updated FIP, EURid proposed risk mitigation measures which it will implement on or before the launch of the .ευ top-level domain.

In April 2019, it was announced that the Service Concession Contract between EURid and the European Commission had been extended until 12 October 2022.

On 5 June 2019, ICANN announced the successful string evaluation completion of the proposed IDN ccTLD string in Greek and, on 18 July 2019, EURid initiated a request for delegation of the .ευ top-level domain.

Proposed Manager and Contacts

The proposed manager is EURid vzw/asbl, a non-profit association created in 2003. It is based in Belgium.

The proposed administrative contact is Marc Van Wesemael, General Manager of EURid. The administrative contact is understood to be based in Belgium.

The proposed technical contact is Peter Janssen, Technical Manager of EURid.

Evaluation of the Request

String Eligibility

The top-level domain is eligible for delegation, as the string has been deemed an appropriate representation of the European Union in Greek through the ICANN Fast Track String Selection process, and the European Union is qualified under section 2.1 of the Final Implementation Plan for [the] IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process.

Public Interest

Support was provided by the following:

EURid’s member organizations represent a broad range of significantly interested parties in the Europe Union. They currently include:

The application is consistent with known applicable laws and regulations in the European Union and Belgium. The proposed manager undertakes responsibilities to operate the domain in a fair and equitable manner.

Based In Country

The proposed manager is constituted in Belgium, a member state of the European Union. The headquarters of the European Union is located in Belgium. The proposed administrative contact is understood to be resident in Belgium. The registry is to be operated in Belgium.

Stability

The application does not involve a transfer of domain operations from an existing domain registry, and therefore stability aspects relating to registry transfer are not relevant.

The application is not known to be contested.

Competency

The application has provided information on the technical and operational infrastructure and expertise that will be used to operate the proposed new domain.

Proposed policies for management of the domain have also been tendered.

Evaluation Procedure

PTI is tasked with coordinating the Domain Name System root zone as part of a set of functions governed by a contract with ICANN. This includes accepting and evaluating requests for delegation and transfer of top-level domains.

A subset of top-level domains are designated for the significantly interested parties in countries to operate in a way that best suits their local needs. These are known as country-code top-level domains (ccTLDs), and are assigned to responsible managers that meet a number of public-interest criteria for eligibility. These criteria largely relate to the level of support the manager has from its local Internet community, its capacity to ensure stable operation of the domain, and its applicability under any relevant local laws.

Through the IANA Services performed by PTI, requests are received for delegating new ccTLDs, and transferring or revoking existing ccTLDs. An investigation is performed on the circumstances pertinent to those requests, and, the requests are implemented where they are found to meet the criteria.

Purpose of evaluations

The evaluation of eligibility for ccTLDs, and of evaluating responsible managers charged with operating them, is guided by a number of principles. The objective of the assessment is that the action enhances the secure and stable operation of the Internet's unique identifier systems.

In considering requests to delegate or transfer ccTLDs, input is sought regarding the proposed new manager, as well as from persons and organizations that may be significantly affected by the change, particularly those within the nation or territory to which the ccTLD is designated. The assessment is focused on the capacity for the proposed manager to meet the following criteria:

Method of evaluation

To assess these criteria, information is requested from the applicant regarding the proposed manager and method of operation. In summary, a request template is sought specifying the exact details of the delegation being sought in the root zone. In addition, various documentation is sought describing: the views of the local internet community on the application; the competencies and skills of the manager to operate the domain; the legal authenticity, status and character of the proposed manager; and the nature of government support for the proposal.

After receiving this documentation and input, it is analyzed in relation to existing root zone management procedures, seeking input from parties both related to as well as independent of the proposed manager should the information provided in the original application be deficient. The applicant is given the opportunity to cure any deficiencies before a final assessment is made.

Once all the documentation has been received, various technical checks are performed on the proposed manager's DNS infrastructure to ensure name servers are properly configured and are able to respond to queries correctly. Should any anomalies be detected, PTI will work with the applicant to address the issues.

Assuming all issues are resolved, an assessment is compiled providing all relevant details regarding the proposed manager and its suitability to operate the relevant top-level domain.