Press release: The European Commission chooses EURid to manage .eu domain names Brussels - Pisa - Stockholm, May 22nd 2003. Today, the Commission announced that it has chosen the EURid consortium to run the .eu TLD. EURid is a not for profit organisation that is built around the Belgian, Italian and Swedish registries. This decision is the latest step in the process of creating a new European Top Level Domain extension. EURid responded to the Call for Expression of Interest that was launched by the European Commission in August last year. A panel of independent experts then evaluated the bids and indicated EURid as the best choice to run the .eu registry. The three registries have very complementary competences : The Belgian registry (DNS BE) has gone through a successful liberalisation at the end of 2000, an experience that is similar to the creation of a new registry. DNS BE will make available its automated registry system that is considered as one of the most advanced in the market. The Italian registry (IIT-CNR), as a division of a well-known research institute, has developed tools for securing electronic transactions. Their security systems and the related know how, in combination with their experience of running a large registry will be a key factor in the success of the .eu registry. The Swedish registry (NIC-SE) has been involved in the creation of Internet standards and has a long standing tradition of interactive consultation with the local and international Internet Community. This experience will be crucial in the start up phase of .eu. Recently, .se has made the step to an open and unrestricted registry. While promoting virtual offices where competences are spread over different locations, EURid's head office will be located in Brussels and will house the main development and operational teams, as well as the support organisation focused on the central region. Other regional offices overlooking the northern and southern regions will be established in Sweden and Italy. EURid will work exclusively through a network of registrars to promote competition. The registrars will have a completely automated registration system at their disposal to register .eu domain names for their customers, with minimal or no human intervention from the registry. Although the .eu TLD is a relative latecomer to the market, EURid estimates that a potential of 1 million domain names after 1 year is still possible. Next steps. In the coming weeks, negotiations will take place between the European Commission and EURid to finalise the agreement and to establish the public policy for the .eu registry. Once the administrative part is finalised, including the delegation from ICANN, EURid estimates that .eu can go life within the next 6 months. It is clear that a lot of issues still need to be resolved and that some will depend on the definition of the public policy and on further negotiations with the European Commission. We will hold a press conference as soon as we have more details from these discussions with the Commission.