EC proposes .EU domain registration flexibility for UK residents

The European Commission's announcement that UK residents would lose their .EU domain names after Brexit came as a surprise to all. But newly proposed measure from the EC would allow for greater registration flexibility, providing .EU registrants in the UK with a solution that won't leave them out in the cold.

by Daniel - 03.07.2018

Brexit's impact on UK-owned .EU domain names

The .EU extension imposes an EU residency requirement as part of its eligibility requirements. This isn't unusual; many other ccTLDs, .FR (France) and .HU (Hungary) to name just two, impose a similar requirement.

On March 28th, the European Commission (EC) announced that, post-Brexit, individuals and organisations established in the United Kingdom but not within the European Union will no longer be eligible to register or renew a .EU domain. Moreover, accredited .EU domain registrars “will not be entitled to process any request for the registration of or for renewing registrations of .EU domain names” by parties outside the .EU.

No concessions were made for registrants currently holding a valid .EU domain, amount of time registrants have to transfer their sites once Brexit goes into effect, or how registrants can appeal any decisions made which disallow them from registering or renewing .EU domain names.

EURid, the .EU domain registry, was not consulted in this decision (for reasons that are still unclear). But, following the EC’s announcement, EURid published its own statement, hopeful that a “transitional arrangement” could be arrived at but offering little by way of how that might occur.

EuroDNS also published a statement, clarifying how we will help UK-based registrants. Link at the bottom of page.

Revised .EU regulations good news for UK registrants - with a catch

On April 27th, one month from its initial announcement, the EC released a statement, indicating that it was looking into “new measures to simplify the existing legal framework on the .EU top-level-domain and enable European/European Economic Area (EU/EEA) citizens to register for a .EU domain also outside of the EU, regardless of their country of residence.”

More specifically, these new measures are intended to: (1) adapt current rules to allow for more flexibility in registration; and (2) set up a Multistakeholder Council to improve governance of the .EU ccTLD and implement changes to existing rules. EURid, once again, released a follow up statement, making it clear that they “participated in the consultation, but were not involved in the drafting process of the new Regulation.”

So it seems that after all the chaos and confusion of its March 28th announcement, the EC is working towards a solutions that would allow UK-based registrants to register and/or renew their .EU domain names. That is, if the UK maintains its EEA membership or reaches an acceptable compromise with the EC. At this point, it's anyone's guess but we’ll keep you posted on the future of .EU registration for UK residents as we learn more from the EC and EURid.

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