The European Union is once again flexing its muscles in the domain name system debate, resurrecting its call for a new top- level domain (TLD) to signify EU-related web sites. Following a meeting on Monday of the European Community Panel of Participants (EC-POP), EU officials have once again called for the adoption of a .eu TLD. The meeting was held to discuss progress in the development of what it terms internet governance, which effectively means the progress of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
To that end, the European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, has asked the International Standards Organization (ISO) if the two letter code could be used as a TLD. The code has already been reserved for the euro currency and the bond market, according to the EC. The exact use of it would be designated by the EC after a period of public consultation.
It should perhaps be noted that the two-letter country-code TLDs are just that – codes to designate countries, such as .uk, .de and .au. The EU is a collection of 15 states, not a country. Also, even if the EU did get authority to use .eu from the ISO, it is ultimately up to the US Department of Commerce, and probably eventually ICANN, to decide which TLDs get added to the root.
As the plan stands at the moment, Commerce retains the authority until it feels ICANN is stable enough to take over the management of the DNS. Apparently, the EU popped a similar question regarding the delegation of .eu to Commerce back in 1997, only to be turned down.