After the Brexit vote, I wrote that there could be an impact on EU registrants based in the UK.
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:
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 not to 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. Here's the full text of the notice they issued.
As you can see it's highly legalistic and makes lots of references to various bits of legislation and treaties, but the bottom line is summed up in this:
But what about businesses and individuals in Northern Ireland? Under the Irish constitution they're considered in many realms to be entitled to the same rights and entitlements as Irish citizens and residents:
Does this mean that businesses and individuals north of the border will lose their .eu domain names, or is there a chance of some form of derogation for them?
How can registrars and their clients lodge their concerns with the EU about this move?
Is EURid in a position to do anything?
At the moment there are more questions than answers, but what is sure is that the options are not looking anyway positive.
According to the most recent EURid quarterly report registrants in the UK account a significant chunk of the .eu registration base and weigh in as the 4th largest country for .eu registrations behind Germany, Netherlands and France:
Wiping out this number of registrations will have a negative impact on the .eu ccTLD as a whole, as well as a negative impact on many European based businesses serving the registrants of the 300 thousand plus names.
Is this unavoidable?
For now, as I mentioned above, there are more questions than answers.
Disclosure: my company is a .eu accredited registrar and I previously served two terms on the .EU Registrar Advisory Board.
Written by Michele Neylon, MD of Blacknight Solutions
www.circleid.com | 3/29/18
Liechtenstein is a principality governed under a constitutional monarchy. It has a form of mixed constitution in which political power is shared by the monarch and a democratically elected parliament. There is a multi-party system and a form of representative democracy in which the prime minister and head of government is responsible to parliament. However the Prince of Liechenstein is head of state and exercises considerable political powers. The executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the Diet. The party system is dominated by the conservative Progressive Citizens' Party and the conservative Fatherland Union. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. On 15 August 2002, in his National Day Address, Prince Hans-Adam II announced that after months of intensive negotiations, a compromise in the debate on constitutional reform had been reached. On 13 September, Prime Minister Otmar Hasler confirmed to Parliament that his government was drafting a bill for Parliament based on the compromise reached between the Prince and the Citizens' Forum. The draft bill, which would increase the executive powers of the monarch, went before Parliament for a first reading in November. Once approved by Parliament, the bill was then presented to voters in a referendum, and approved by 64% of those voting in 16 March 2003.