Internet Governance Forum: Commission welcomes landmark step towards a truly global internet
At the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Sharm El Sheikh (
"The online world should be a reflection of the multicultural and multilingual world offline. The internet should therefore not just be English, but also Arabic, Bulgarian, Greek, Farsi, Hindi, and Chinese. I am delighted with ICANN's steps to further open domain names to different alphabets. The Commission has called for this for several years," said EU Commissioner Reding. "In
ICANN's decision will allow internet users to register and use entire internet domain names (like europa.eu) with characters which are not in the English alphabet (a-z and 0-9). Internet domain names in non-Latin alphabets (like Arabic, Chinese or Cyrillic) are already being used in the second level of internet addresses ("europa" in europa.eu) but fully internationalised names have so far been impossible. ICANN's announcement that they will start to take applications for country-code Top Level Domains (like .bg, or .eu) in local language scripts will potentially allow millions more internet users around the world to get on-line in their own language.
In June 2009, the European Commission changed its internet domain name rules so that the characters of all 23 official EU languages can be used ( IP/09/1044). >From 10 December 2009, it will be possible to register names using characters like "à", "±", "ä", "ψ" or "д" under ".eu". EU citizens and businesses will be able to register domain names in non-Latin scripts, which is essential for languages such as Greek and Bulgarian. Also, Spanish and Basque speakers can register names with "ñ" while French, Portuguese and Catalan speakers can use "ç". The EU will also introduce internationalised domain names on our own Top Level Domain – dot.eu – as soon as possible. .eu already has more than 3 million domain names registered in the more common Latin-based script ( IP/09/536)
EU calls for prolongation of Internet Governance Forum
The Internet Governance Forum was born out of the 2003-2005 World Summit on the Information Society, providing a single global multi-stakeholder platform where governments, the private sector and civil society can come together to discuss major issues related to internet governance. It was set up as a neutral, non-binding and non-duplicative process. The first IGF was held in
Its original five-year time frame will expire with the 5 th meeting in