David Goldstein - .EU Rule Changes Mean EU Citizens Anywhere Can Register Domains From October


    The .eu top-level domain is going through some changes these days. Losing tens of thousands of registrations from British registrants over Brexit fears, as British registrants will mostly lose eligibility to .eu domain names, hasn’t been overly helpful, with the figure in excess of 130,000 over the last 12 months, but upcoming changes to eligibility rules could see a boost to registrations. Come October, European Union citizens, no matter where they are in the world, will be eligible to register domain names in both TLDs.

    The changes are being introduced following an agreement between the European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission on the new rules for .eu. The new rules came into force in April, but will apply from 13 October 2022, except for article 20 that introduces the eligibility to European Union citizens residing in non-EU countries, which should start applying as of six months after entering into force, that is, from 19 October 2019. Eligibility was previously limited to citizens living in countries within the EU and European Economic Area. It may also offer some comfort to some citizens of the EU/EEA who have registered .eu domain names and reside in the UK if Brexit, assuming it happens, is drawn out long enough.

    Another change is from 13 October 2022 there will be a legal flexibility for the .eu domain to adapt to rapid market changes and allow modernisation of its governance structure. A new body, bringing together stakeholders from different backgrounds, will advise the Commission on the management of .eu.

    In addition, EURid announced at the end of March the Service Concession Contract between themselves and the European Commission that allows them to operate the .eu registry has been extended until 12 October 2022 to be in line with the new .eu Regulation enforcement.

    The new regulation is available in English and German.