The .eu top-level domain
Regulation (EU) 2019/517 on the implementation and functioning of the .eu top-level domain name
The regulation updates rules about the .eu country code top level domain (ccTLD) and variants in other scripts, as part of the EU’s new digital single market strategy. It aims to reinforce the EU’s online identity and encourage cross-border online activities.
It recognises that with the rapid evolution of the TLD market (which includes domain name extensions such as .com and .org) and the volatility of the digital landscape requiring a long-term flexible and sustainable regulatory environment.
Every registration managed currently by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), responsible for coordinating the delegation of codes representing country code top-level domain (ccTLD) to Registries. The relevant principles adopted by the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) are taken into account.
Promoting and safeguarding EU values
The purpose of the .eu domain, as a clear and easily recognisable label, should be to contribute to strengthening the EU’s brand and promote online its values, such as multilingualism, respect for user privacy and security and for human rights, as well as specific online priorities.
Eligibility for domain name registration
A .eu domain may be requested by:
EU citizens, wherever they live;
non-EU citizens living in an EU country;
businesses established in the EU; and
other organisations established in the EU, if permitted under applicable national law.
Rules on revoking domain name registration
The Registry* may revoke a domain name on its own initiative, on the following grounds:
there are outstanding unpaid debts owed to the Registry;
the domain name holder is ineligible;
the breach by the domain name holder of the requirements for registration requests:
a domain name deemed defamatory, racist or contrary to public policy or public security should be blocked subject to a court decision;
a domain name that is identical or confusingly similar to a name for which a right is established by EU or national law and which has been registered without rights or in the absence of a legitimate interest in the name should, in principle, be revoked, and where appropriate, transferred to the legitimate holder;
where such a domain name has been used in bad faith, it should always be revoked.
The designated Registry is a non-profit organisation able to impose fees for costs incurred, and will:
promote the .eu TLD in the EU and worldwide;
comply with the rules, policies and procedures in this regulation and its contract with the European Commission, and particularly EU data protection law;
organise, administer and manage the .eu TLD in the general interest and assure high quality, transparency, security, stability, predictability, reliability, accessibility, efficiency, non-discrimination, a level playing field and consumer protection;
ensure that abusive domain name registrations are quickly identified;
cooperate with competent authorities and other public bodies responsible for cybersecurity and information security, such as national computer emergency response teams.
The Registry is responsible for setting up and managing a WHOIS database facility providing accurate and up-to-date registration information about the domain names including information about an administrative point of contact and domain name holders.
.eu Multi-Stakeholder Advisory Group
This group is responsible for advising the Commission on:
implementation of this regulation;
strategic issues related to the management, organisation and administration of the .eu TLD, including cyber-protection and data protection;
good practices on combating abusive domain name registration.
The Advisory Group is composed of representatives of EU-based stakeholders and a representative of stakeholders from outside the EU, chaired by a representative of the Commission or a person designated by the Commission.
Evaluation and review
By 13 October 2027, and every 3 years, the Commission evaluates the effectiveness and functioning of the .eu TLD. By June 2020 at the latest, it should determine whether to cooperate with the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and other EU agencies to combat speculative and abusive registration of domain names, and how to simplify administrative procedures, in particular for small- and medium-sized enterprises.
The regulation repeals Regulations (EC) No 733/2002 and (EC) No 874/2004 from 12 October 2022.
It applies from 13 October 2022. The revised domain name eligibility criteria apply from 19 October 2019.
Registry: the body entrusted with the organisation, administration and management of the .eu TLD, including maintaining databases and the associated public query services, domain name registration, the operation of the Registry of domain names, the operation of the Registry’s TLD name servers.
WHOIS database: the collection of data containing information on the technical and administrative aspects of .eu TLD registrations.
Regulation (EU) 2019/517 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 March 2019 on the implementation and functioning of the .eu top-level domain name and amending and repealing Regulation (EC) No 733/2002 and repealing Commission Regulation (EC) No 874/2004 (OJ L 91, 29.3.2019, pp. 25-35)
Commission Regulation (EC) No 874/2004 of 28 April 2004 laying down public policy rules concerning the implementation and functions of the .eu Top Level Domain and the principles governing registration (OJ L 162, 30.4.2004, pp. 40-50)
Successive amendments to Regulation (EC) No 874/2004 have been incorporated into the original document. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.
Regulation (EC) No 733/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 April 2002 on the implementation of the .eu Top Level Domain (OJ L 113, 30.4.2002, pp. 1-5)