EU renews market to manage the .eu extension

A tender has been opened to find the future manager of the .eu domain name extension. Does the current operator EURid still have a chance?

Who will be responsible for .eu? The European domain extension is indeed looking for a new owner instead of EURid. The European Commission is in the process of extending the contract for a period of 5 years. The lucky winner will monitor 3.6 million domains as of October 2022. The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Networks, Content and Communication Technologies is handling this case. Its director, Pearse O’Donohue, invited DNS players, including registry operators, to apply.

The Brussels executive will be very careful to ensure that the procedure is properly followed. Other tenders launched in recent years have been affected by corruption allegations and legal challenges, particularly with respect to the .co (Colombia), .in (India) and .au (Australia) extensions. The EU therefore wants to avoid controversy and insists that applicants should only be non-profit organizations based in Europe. These criteria should prevent companies like Afilias and Neustar (involved in the Colombian renewal case) from applying.

Do the criteria favor EURid?

De facto, other actors are excluded for registration operators unless they set up non-profit subsidiaries in Europe to serve this market. Another key element of the .eu contract will be multilingualism. It could then put English-speaking players like the English Nominet or Centralnic and Minds + Machines at a disadvantage. Among other things, “the contractor must ensure that its internal governance adheres to the principles of effectiveness, efficiency, responsibility, transparency and responsiveness,” says the tender.

With all these requirements one can imagine that the current .eu TLD owner EURid will leave the favorites in order to take over his own successor. Nothing is less certain, however, the relationship between the EU and EURid has been put to the test, particularly during the Brexit period when the Commission requested that the .eu domain names associated with UK owners be removed as soon as possible. official UK release. The registration has lost millions of domains and its reputation has suffered. EURid cannot even rely on the financial aspect to seduce the Commission. The annual .eu revenue of 12.6 million euros is a drop in the ocean in the EU budget. The extension is seen as a showcase. “The aim of the .eu TLD is to strengthen the Union’s identity and promote the Union’s values ​​online, such as multilingualism, respect for privacy and user security. Respect for human rights as well as the Union’s specific priorities in the digital field ”, it says in the call.