Report on the Delegation of the ею (“eu”) domain representing the European Union in Cyrillic script to EURid vzw/asbl
18 January 2016
This report is being provided under the contract for performance of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) function between the United States Government and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Under that contract, ICANN performs the “IANA functions”, which include receiving delegation and redelegation requests concerning TLDs, investigating the circumstances pertinent to those requests, making its recommendations, and reporting actions undertaken in connection with processing such requests.
The “EU” ISO 3166-1 code from which the application’s eligibility derives, is designated for use to represent the European Union.
The domain under consideration for delegation at the DNS root level is “ею”. This is represented in ASCII-compatible encoding according to the IDNA specification as “xn--e1a4c”. The individual Unicode code points that comprise this string are U+0435 U +044E.
In Bulgarian language, the string has a transliteration equivalent to “eu” in English. The string is expressed using the Cyrillic script.
Chronology of events
In August of 1999 the two-letter code “EU” was set forth on the ISO 3166-1 list maintained by the ISO 3166 Maintenance Agency (ISO 3166/MA) as the approved alpha-2 code for the European Union.
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 the Member States, designated the European Registry for Internet Domains (EURid vzw/asbl) as the appropriate registry operator for the .EU top level domain. EURid vzw/asbl was registered as a non-profit association in Belgium on 27 June 2003.
The .EU top-level domain was delegated to EURid vzw/asbl in April 2005.
On 5 May 2010 an application was made to the “IDN Fast Track” process to have the strings “ευ” and “ею” recognized as representing the European Union in Greek and Cyrillic scripts, respectively.
On 9 January 2012, a review by the IDN Fast Track DNS Stability Panel found that "the Cyrillic script applied-for string ... presents none of the threats to the stability or security of the DNS identified in Module 4 of the Fast Track implementation plan, and presents an acceptably low risk of user confusion". The request for the “ею” string to represent the European Union was subsequently approved.
On 14 May 2013, the European Commissions published a call for expressions of interest (2013/C 134/06) in the Official Journal of the European Union, inviting applications from organizations wishing to be selected as the .EU registry.
The call was closed on 20 June 2013. Only one application was received, from EURid vzw/asbl. An evaluation found that EURid’s application met the minimum requirements of the selection criteria.
In April 2014, a decision was made by the European Commission to enter into a contract with EURid vzw/asbl to continue managing the .EU top-level domain.
On 8 November 2015, EURid vzw/asbl commenced a request to ICANN for delegation of “ею” as a top-level domain.
Proposed Sponsoring Organisation and Contacts
The proposed sponsoring organization is EURid vzw/asbl, a nonprofit association created in 2003. It is based in Belgium.
The proposed administrative contact is Marc Van Wesemael, General Manager, EURid vzw/asbl. The administrative contact is understood to be based in Belgium.
The proposed technical contact is Peter Janssen, Technical Manager, EURid vzw/asbl.
Evaluation of the Request
The top-level domain is eligible for delegation under ICANN policy, as the string has been deemed an appropriate representation of the European Union through the ICANN Fast Track String Selection process, and the European Union is presently listed in the ISO 3166-1 standard. p>
Explicit government support for the application was provided in a letter signed by the Megan Richards, Directorate-General for Communications, Networks, Content and Technology, the European Commission.
Support was also provided by Ivaylo Moskovski, Minister of Transport, Information Technologies, and Communications, Republic of Bulgaria.
The application is consistent with known applicable local laws in the European Union. The proposed sponsoring organization undertakes to operate the domain in a fair and equitable manner.
Based in country
The proposed sponsoring organization is constituted in Belgium, a member country 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.
The application does not involve a transfer of domain operations from an existing domain registry, and therefore stability aspects relating to registry transfer have not been evaluated.
The application is not known to be contested.
The application has provided information on the technical and operational infrastructure and expertise that will be used to operate the proposed new domain. The proposed operator is the current manager of .EU country-code top-level domain for the European Union.
Proposed policies for management of the domain have also been tendered.
ICANN is tasked with coordinating the Domain Name System root zone as part of a set of functions governed by a contract with the U.S. Government. This includes accepting and evaluating requests for delegation and redelegation of top-level domains.
A subset of top-level domains are designated for the local Internet communities 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 by ICANN to responsible trustees (known as “Sponsoring Organisations”) that meet a number of public-interest criteria for eligibility. These criteria largely relate to the level of support the trustee has from its local Internet community, its capacity to ensure stable operation of the domain, and its applicability under any relevant local laws.
Through ICANN’s IANA department, requests are received for delegating new ccTLDs, and redelegating or revoking existing ccTLDs. An investigation is performed on the circumstances pertinent to those requests, and, when appropriate, the requests are implemented and a recommendation for delegation or redelegation is made to the U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).
Purpose of evaluations
The evaluation of eligibility for ccTLDs, and of evaluating responsible trustees 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 redelegate ccTLDs, input is sought regarding the proposed new Sponsoring Organisation, as well as from persons and organisations that may be significantly affected by the change, particularly those within the nation or territory to which the ccTLD is designated.
The assessment is focussed on the capacity for the proposed sponsoring organisation to meet the following criteria:
- The domain should be operated within the country, including having its sponsoring organisation and administrative contact based in the country.
- The domain should be operated in a way that is fair and equitable to all groups in the local Internet community.
- Significantly interested parties in the domain should agree that the prospective trustee is the appropriate party to be responsible for the domain, with the desires of the national government taken very seriously.
- The domain must be operated competently, both technically and operationally. Management of the domain should adhere to relevant technical standards and community best practices.
- Risks to the stability of the Internet addressing system must be adequately considered and addressed, particularly with regard to how existing identifiers will continue to function.
Method of evaluation
To assess these criteria, information is requested from the applicant regarding the proposed sponsoring organisation 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 trustee to operate the domain; the legal authenticity, status and character of the proposed trustee; and the nature of government support fort he proposal. The view of any current trustee is obtained, and in the event of a redelegation, the transfer plan from the previous sponsoring organisation to the new sponsoring organisation is also assessed with a view to ensuring ongoing stable operation of the domain.
After receiving this documentation and input, it is analysed in relation to existing root zone management procedures, seeking input from parties both related to as well as independent of the proposed sponsoring organisation 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 sponsoring organisation’s DNS infrastructure to ensure name servers are properly configured and are able to respond to queries correctly. Should any anomalies be detected, ICANN staff 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 sponsoring organisation and its suitability to operate the relevant top-level domain.