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
(Text with EEA relevance)
THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,
Having regard to the Treaty establishing the
European Community, and in particular Article 156 thereof,
Having regard to the proposal from the Commission(1),
Having regard to the opinion of the Economic and Social
Following consultation of the Committee of the Regions,
Acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 251
of the Treaty(3),
(1) The creation of the.eu Top Level Domain (TLD) is included as
one of the targets to accelerate electronic commerce in the
e-Europe initiative as endorsed by the European Council at its
meeting in Lisbon on 23 and 24 March 2000.
(2) The communication from the Commission to the Council and the
European Parliament on the organisation and management of the
Internet refers to the creation of the.eu TLD and the Council
resolution of 3 October 2000 on the organisation and management
of the Internet(4) charges the Commission to encourage the
coordination of policies in relation to the management of the
(3) TLDs are an integral part of the Internet infrastructure.
They are an essential element of the global interoperability of
the World Wide Web ("WWW" or "the Web"). The
connection and presence permitted by the allocation of domain
names and the related addresses allow users to locate computers
and websites on the Web. TLDs are also an integral part of every
Internet e-mail address.
(4) The.eu TLD should promote the use of, and access to, the
Internet networks and the virtual market place based on the
Internet, in accordance with Article 154(2) of the Treaty, by
providing a complementary registration domain to existing
country code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs) or global registration
in the generic Top Level Domains, and should in consequence
increase choice and competition.
(5) The.eu TLD should improve the interoperability of
trans-European networks, in accordance with Articles 154 and 155
of the Treaty, by ensuring the availability of.eu name servers
in the Community. This will affect the topology and technical
infrastructure of the Internet in Europe which will benefit from
an additional set of name servers in the Community.
(6) Through the.eu TLD, the Internal market should acquire
higher visibility in the virtual market place based on the
Internet. The.eu TLD should provide a clearly identified link
with the Community, the associated legal framework, and the
European market place. It should enable undertakings,
organisations and natural persons within the Community to
register in a specific domain which will make this link obvious.
As such, the.eu TLD will not only be a key building block for
electronic commerce in Europe but will also support the
objectives of Article 14 of the Treaty.
(7) The.eu TLD can accelerate the benefits of the information
society in Europe as a whole, play a role in the integration of
future Member States into the European Union, and help combat
the risk of digital divide with neighbouring countries. It is
therefore to be expected that this Regulation will be extended
to the European Economic Area and that amendments may be sought
to the existing arrangements between the European Union and
European third countries, with a view to accommodating the
requirements of the.eu TLD so that entities in those countries
may participate in it.
(8) This Regulation is without prejudice to Community law in the
field of personal data protection. This Regulation should be
implemented in compliance with the principles relating to
privacy and the protection of personal data.
(9) Internet management has generally been based on the
principles of non-interference, self-management and
self-regulation. To the extent possible and without prejudice to
Community law, these principles should also apply to the.eu
ccTLD. The implementation of the.eu TLD may take into
consideration best practices in this regard and could be
supported by voluntary guidelines or codes of conduct where
(10) The establishment of the.eu TLD should contribute to the
promotion of the European Union image on the global information
networks and bring an added value to the Internet naming system
in addition to the national ccTLDs.
(11) The objective of this Regulation is to establish the
conditions of implementation of the.eu TLD, to provide for the
designation of a Registry and establish the general policy
framework within which the Registry will function. National
ccTLDs are not covered by this Regulation.
(12) The Registry is the entity charged with the organisation,
administration and management of the.eu TLD, including
maintenance of the corresponding databases and the associated
public query services, the accreditation of Registrars, the
registration of domain names applied for by accredited
Registrars, the operation of the TLD name servers and the
dissemination of TLD zone files. Public query services
associated with the TLD are referred to as "Who is"
queries. "Who is"-type databases should be in
conformity with Community law on data protection and privacy.
Access to these databases provides information on a domain name
holder and is an essential tool in boosting user confidence.
(13) After publishing a call for expressions of interest in the
Official Journal of the European Communities, the Commission
should, on the basis of an open, transparent and
non-discriminatory selection procedure, designate a Registry.
The Commission should enter into a contract with the selected
Registry which should specify the conditions applying to the
Registry for the organisation, administration and management of
the.eu TLD and which should be limited in time and renewable.
(14) The Commission, acting on behalf of the Community, has
requested the delegation of the EU code for the purpose of
creating an Internet ccTLD. On 25 September 2000, the Internet
Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) issued a
resolution providing that "alpha-2 codes are delegable as
ccTLDs only in cases where the ISO 3166 Maintenance Agency, on
its exceptional reservation list, has issued a reservation of
the code that covers any application of ISO 3166-1 that needs a
coded representation in the name of the country, territory or
area involved". Such conditions are met by the EU code
which is therefore "delegable" to the Community.
(15) ICANN is at present responsible for coordinating the
delegation of codes representing ccTLD to Registries. The
Council resolution of 3 October 2000 encourages the
implementation of the principles applied to ccTLD Registries
adopted by the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC). The
Registry should enter into a contract with ICANN respecting the
(16) The adoption of a public policy addressing speculative and
abusive registration of domain names should provide that holders
of prior rights recognised or established by national and/or
Community law and public bodies will benefit from a specific
period of time (a "sunrise period") during which the
registration of their domain names is exclusively reserved to
such holders of prior rights recognised or established by
national and/or Community law and public bodies.
(17) Domain names should not be revoked arbitrarily. A
revocation may, however, be obtained in particular should a
domain name be manifestly contrary to public order. The
revocation policy should nevertheless provide for a timely and
(18) Rules should be adopted on the question of bona vacantia to
address the status of domain names the registration of which is
not renewed or which, for example because of succession law, are
left without holder.
(19) The new.eu TLD registry should not be empowered to create
second-level domains using alpha-2 codes representing countries.
(20) Within the framework established by this Regulation, the
public policy rules concerning the implementation and functions
of the.eu TLD and the public policy principles on registration,
various options including the "first come, first
served" method should be considered when registration
policy is formulated.
(21) When reference is made to interested parties, provision
should be made for consultation encompassing, in particular,
public authorities, undertakings, organisations and natural
persons. The Registry could establish an advisory body to
organise such consultation.
(22) The measures necessary for the implementation of this
Regulation, including criteria for the selection procedure of
the Registry, the designation of the Registry, as well as the
adoption of public policy rules, should be adopted in accordance
with Council Decision 1999/468/EC of 28 June 1999 laying down
the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred
on the Commission(5).
(23) Since the objective of the proposed action, namely to
implement the.eu TLD, cannot be sufficiently achieved by the
Member States and can therefore, by reason of the scale and
effects of the action, be better achieved at Community level,
the Community may adopt measures, in accordance with the
principle of subsidiarity as set out in Article 5 of the Treaty.
In accordance with the principle of proportionality as set out
in that Article, this Regulation does not go beyond what is
necessary in order to achieve that objective,
HAVE ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:
Objective and scope
1. The objective of this Regulation is to implement the.eu
country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) within the Community. The
Regulation sets out the conditions for such implementation,
including the designation of a Registry, and establishes the
general policy framework within which the Registry will
2. This Regulation shall apply without prejudice to arrangements
in Member States regarding national ccTLDs.
For the purposes of this Regulation:
(a) "Registry" means the entity entrusted with the
organisation, administration and management of the.eu TLD
including maintenance of the corresponding databases and the
associated public query services, registration of domain names,
operation of the Registry of domain names, operation of the
Registry TLD name servers and dissemination of TLD zone files;
(b) "Registrar" means a person or entity that, via
contract with the Registry, provides domain name registration
services to registrants.
Characteristics of the Registry
1. The Commission shall:
(a) establish, in accordance with the procedure referred to in
Article 6(3), the criteria and the procedure for the designation
of the Registry;
(b) designate, in accordance with the procedure referred to in
Article 6(2), the Registry after publishing a call for
expressions of interest in the Official Journal of the European
Communities and after the procedure for such call has been
(c) enter into, in accordance with the procedure referred to in
Article 6(2), a contract which shall specify the conditions
according to which the Commission supervises the organisation,
administration and management of the.eu TLD by the Registry. The
contract between the Commission and the Registry shall be
limited in time and renewable.
The Registry may not accept registrations until the registration
policy is in place.
2. The Registry shall be a non-profit organisation, formed in
accordance with the law of a Member State and having its
registered office, central administration and principal place of
business within the Community.
3. Having obtained the prior consent of the Commission, the
Registry shall enter into the appropriate contract providing for
the delegation of the.eu ccTLD code. To this effect the relevant
principles adopted by the Governmental Advisory Committee shall
be taken into account.
4. The.eu TLD Registry shall not act itself as Registrar.
Obligations of the Registry
1. The Registry shall observe the rules, policies and procedures
laid down in this Regulation and the contracts referred to in
Article 3. The Registry shall observe transparent and
2. The Registry shall:
(a) organise, administer and manage the.eu TLD in the general
interest and on the basis of principles of quality, efficiency,
reliability and accessibility;
(b) register domain names in the.eu TLD through any
accredited.eu Registrar requested by any:
(i) undertaking having its registered office, central
administration or principal place of business within the
(ii) organisation established within the Community without
prejudice to the application of national law, or
(iii) natural person resident within the Community;
(c) impose fees directly related to costs incurred;
(d) implement the extra-judicial settlement of conflicts policy
based on recovery of costs and a procedure to resolve promptly
disputes between domain name holders regarding rights relating
to names including intellectual property rights as well as
disputes in relation to individual decisions by the Registry.
This policy shall be adopted in accordance with Article 5(1) and
take into consideration the recommendations of the World
Intellectual Property Organisation. The policy shall provide
adequate procedural guaranties for the parties concerned, and
shall apply without prejudice to any court proceeding;
(e) adopt procedures for, and carry out, accreditation of.eu
Registrars and ensure effective and fair conditions of
competition among.eu Registrars;
(f) ensure the integrity of the databases of domain names.
1. After consulting the Registry and following the procedure
referred to in Article 6(3), the Commission shall adopt public
policy rules concerning the implementation and functions of
the.eu TLD and the public policy principles on registration.
Public policy shall include:
(a) an extra-judicial settlement of conflicts policy;
(b) public policy on speculative and abusive registration of
domain names including the possibility of registrations of
domain names in a phased manner to ensure appropriate temporary
opportunities for the holders of prior rights recognised or
established by national and/or Community law and for public
bodies to register their names;
(c) policy on possible revocation of domain names, including the
question of bona vacantia,
(d) issues of language and geographical concepts;
(e) treatment of intellectual property and other rights.
2. Within three months of the entry into force of this
Regulation, Member States may notify to the Commission and to
the other Member States a limited list of broadly-recognised
names with regard to geographical and/or geopolitical concepts
which affect their political or territorial organisation that
(a) not be registered, or
(b) be registered only under a second level domain according to
the public policy rules.
The Commission shall notify to the Registry without delay the
list of notified names to which such criteria apply. The
Commission shall publish the list at the same time as it
notifies the Registry.
Where a Member State or the Commission within 30 days of
publication raises an objection to an item included in a
notified list, the Commission shall take measures, in accordance
with the procedure referred to in Article 6(3), to remedy the
3. Before starting registration operations, the Registry shall
adopt the initial registration policy for the.eu TLD in
consultation with the Commission and other interested parties.
The Registry shall implement in the registration policy the
public policy rules adopted pursuant to paragraph 1 taking into
account the exception lists referred to in paragraph 2.
4. The Commission shall periodically inform the Committee
referred to in Article 6 on the activities referred to in
paragraph 3 of this Article.
1. The Commission shall be assisted by the Communications
Committee established by Article 22(1) of Directive 2002/21/EC
of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 March 2002 on
a common regulatory framework for electronic communications
networks and services (Framework Directive)(6). Until the
Communications Committee is established pursuant to Decision
1999/468/EC, the Commission shall be assisted by the Committee
established by Article 9 of Council Directive 90/387/EEC of 28
June 1990 on the establishment of the internal market for
telecommunication services through the implementation of open
2. Where reference is made to this paragraph, Articles 3 and 7
of Decision 1999/468/EC shall apply, having regard to the
provisions of Article 8 thereof.
3. Where reference is made to this paragraph, Articles 5 and 7
of Decision 1999/468/EC shall apply, having regard to the
provisions of Article 8 thereof.
The period laid down in Article 5(6) of Decision 1999/468/EC
shall be set at three months.
4. The Committee shall adopt its rules of procedure.
Reservation of rights
The Community shall retain all rights relating to the.eu TLD
including, in particular, intellectual property rights and other
rights to the Registry databases required to ensure the
implementation of this Regulation and the right to re-designate
The Commission shall submit a report to the European Parliament
and the Council on the implementation, effectiveness and
functioning of the.eu TLD one year after the adoption of this
Regulation and thereafter every two years.
Entry into force
This Regulation shall enter into force on the day of its
publication in the Official Journal of the European Communities.
This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly
applicable in all Member States.
Done at Luxembourg, 22 April 2002.
For the European Parliament
For the Council
M. Arias Caņete
(1) OJ C 96 E, 27.3.2001, p. 333.
(2) OJ C 155, 29.5.2001, p. 10.
(3) Opinion of the European Parliament of 4 July 2001 (OJ C 65
E, 14.3.2002, p. 147), Council Common Position of 6 November
2001 (OJ C 45 E, 19.2.2002, p. 53) and Decision of the European
Parliament of 28 February 2002 (not yet published in the
Official Journal). Council Decision of 25 March 2002.
(4) OJ C 293, 14.10.2000, p. 3.
(5) OJ L 184, 17.7.1999, p. 23.
(6) OJ L 108, 24.4.2002, p. 33.
(7) OJ L 192, 24.7.1990, p. 1. Directive as last amended by
Directive 97/51/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council
(OJ L 295, 29.10.1997, p. 23).