IDNs for .eu
Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs) are domain names that may contain non-ASCII characters. These characters include letters with accents and characters in non-Latin languages such as Greek, for example.
The public policy rules for .eu (EC regulation 874-2004) states, "The Registry shall perform the registration of domain names in all the alphabetic characters of the official languages when adequate international standards become available."
The implementation of IDNs under .eu will support all characters of all the 23 official EU languages.
EURid is working in close contact with the European Commission regarding the introduction of IDNs to the .eu TLD. The European Commission is looking into an amendment of the legal framework to adapt it where necessary.
A timeline for the launch of IDNs will be made available on this page in a timely manner.
IDN preparations to date
To prepare for the introduction of IDNs, EURid formed an IDNs Advisory Board in June 2007. Individuals chosen for the board are active members of the Internet community who had a background in intellectual property rights and/or trademarks along with strong expertise in the area of IDNs.
At the end of September 2007, the Advisory Board completed its work and presented several options on how EURid might introduce IDNs. The board also formulated a recommendation regarding the scripts to be implemented.
Apart from the IDNs Advisory Board, EURid launched two additional consultations in the form of surveys:
•A survey of CENTR members
CENTR is the Council of European National Top Level Domain Registries, a not-for profit association of Internet country code top-level domain registries such as .uk for United Kingdom and .fr for France. The survey, which ran between 22 November 2007 and 29 January 2008, was answered by 18 registries. The results of the survey don’t indicate a particular trend in favour of Sunrise or Landrush introduction of IDNS as those who favoured one solution or another were motivated by internal considerations, some of which linked with the local Internet communities and with their organisational profile. It is worth noting that all registry representatives surveyed pointed out that, thus far, their volumes of registrations of IDNs are very limited.
•A public consultation
A survey on IDNs ran on the EURid public website between 14 January 2008 and 19 February 2008. The survey was available in 20 languages and a total of 430 stakeholders participated in the survey. While most of the respondents would like to have IDNs implemented under .eu as soon as possible, there was no clear strong preference regarding the approach to introducing IDNs. Sunrise and Landrush were supported more or less by the same percentage of respondents. See a summary of the results here (in English).