BRUSSELS (01/28/2000) - The European Commission will propose the creation of .eu as a top domain name during its regular weekly meeting next week, a Commission spokesman said today.
The move reflects concerns that the European Union is losing out on the Internet, and that the creation of such a domain would send a political signal of the EU's commitment.
"We will lose out on the Internet if we do not introduce the .eu domain rapidly," a senior Commission official who asked not to be identified said.
The Commission proposal will be followed by six weeks of consultations with interested parties after which the domain name will be submitted to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICAAN), the organization which registers global domain names, said Per Haugaard, the spokesman for Information Society Commissioner Erkki Liikanen.
The Commission hopes that the domain name will appeal to companies because "it will be easier for European firms to identify their products as European" which is also a marketing advantage, he said.
Haugaard said the Commission will have to examine whether the formal registration of the .eu domain name requires approval by both the European Parliament and Council of Ministers, a process which could take up to two years.
The .eu domain name will not replace existing EU country domain names, but will be offered as an alternative.