Anno III - Numero 39
La storia insegna, ma non ha scolari.
Antonio Gramsci

giovedì 29 marzo 2018

European Commission Wants to Kill Off Thousands of EU Domains due to Brexit

After the Brexit vote I posited that there could be an impact on EU registrants based in the United Kingdom

di Michele Neylon 

Over the past year the UK government has been engaged in negotiations with the EU to navigate the application of Article 50 and the UK’s exit from the European Union. While there has been a lot of focus on issues like the customs union and the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, the eventual departure of the UK from the EU will have a tangible impact on the European digital economy.


In the case of the .eu ccTLD the situation was unclear. Under the current policies an individual or organisation needs to have an address in the EU and a couple of neighbouring countries to qualify for registration:

(i)an undertaking having its registered office, central administration or principal place of business within the European Union, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, or
(ii) an organisation established within the European Union, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein without prejudice to the application of national law, or
(iii) a natural person resident within the European Union, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein.


While the UK leaving the EU could be seen as having a clear impact on future registrations of .eu domain names one would have expected the European Commission to not want to disrupt existing domain names and their registrants. When other domain spaces have updated their policies they’ve usually offered some form of “grandfathering” for existing registrations to minimise the negative impact.

However it appears that the European Commission isn’t going to take that approach. In an announcement earlier this week they’ve made it very clear that they have no intention of allowing existing registrants to keep their EU domain names if they are in the UK.

The document does give a very slight glimmer of hope, but it’s only a tiny one. It is hypothetically possible for the UK and EU to reach some form of agreement that would allow for the continued use of .eu domains by UK registrants, but it’s looking highly unlikely.

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