David Goldstein - European Commission Does Abrupt U-Turn On UK’s .EU Registrants


    The European Commission, seemingly without consultation with the .eu registry EURid, has first announced that the 318,000 British .eu registrants will not be able to register or renew their domain names when Britain leaves the European Union and then 4 weeks later changed eligibility rules meaning in effect nothing will change.

    The changes would have had British .eu registrants frantically looking for new domain names and even renewing their domains for as long as possible to put off what would have been for many businesses a disaster. Businesses in particular will have invested much time and money in building a brand around their website, and they were facing it all turning to dust.

    But a change in eligibility rules sees the European Commission, who sets the rules and regulations for .eu, simplifying “the existing legal framework on the .eu top-level-domain and [enabling] European/European Economic Area (EU/EEA) citizens to register for a .eu domain outside of the EU, regardless of their country of residence.”

    Currently to register a .eu domain name the registrant must be “solely connected to residency in the EU/EEA [European Union/European Economic Area] countries.” The announcement of the change goes on to note that “additionally, the revision proposes a better governance of the .eu top-level-domain by creating a Multistakeholder Council to advise the Commission on the management of the domain name and the implementation of the new rules.”

    The changes seem to have come about in a rather confusing way. The new rules are apparently based on a consultation the European Commission held for 4 weeks to 8 June 2017. But it seems they weren’t liaising with those who made the original decision on .eu eligibility for Brits. Nor were they consulting with the registry, who would have had to deal with angry registrants worried about losing their domain names.

    To distance themselves from the confusion that seemed to reign at the Commission, EURid have said in a statement that they, “as the .eu registry manager, participated in the consultation, but were not involved in the drafting process of the new Regulation.”