Confederation of European Computer User Associations

Confédération Européenne des Associations d'Utilisateurs des Technologies de I'Information
Directorate-General Information Society
Communications Services: Policy and Regulatory Framework
Brussels, 15.07. 2002
DG INFSO, Rde-Buss-user120702



Sébastien Bachollet -- CIGREF
Amaïa Betelu -- INTA
Marie-Laure Bonnafous -- UNICE
Loïc Damilaville -- ISOC
Laurence Djolakian -- MPA
Catherine Gabay -- MEDEF
Paul Kane -- ICB plc
Alain Moscowitz -- CECUA
Philip Sheppard -- AIM
Ewan Sutherland -- INTUG
Excused: Tony Holmes -- ISP, ETSI

MM Georges Papapavlou, Christopher Wilkinson, Richard Delmas (Chair)


Following an initial meeting in June 2002, DG INFSO convened on 12 July in Brussels a first meeting with representatives from business and user associations involved in the ICANN process. There is a lack of European synergies in the matter, considering, for example, US industry and services' constant involvement.

Documents from associations are available at:

The main themes discussed were the ICANN reform (ERC, Board Structure, Nominating Committee, At large Committee, funding) and a few other items were covered: ccTLDs/gTLDs, WHOIS and privacy, IDN and cultural diversity, setting up of a European business-user platform.

Several participants reported on the successful DNS Summit held in Paris on 4 July. Follow up actions are envisaged like regular meetings after every ICANN Conference and an annual DNS Summit.

Philip Sheppard, AIM, presented the positions of the Names Council (NC) which he chairs. The NC is concerned about loss of geographical diversity, representation and outreach in the reform process. Specifically it calls for three representatives of the constituencies on the new GNSO council, and not two as the ERC currently suggests. Two representatives would likely mean one rep for the USA and one for the rest of the world. The NC also wanted the new supporting organisations to vote for half or more of the Board and for the Nominating Committee to vote for half or less.

Speaking on behalf of the Business Constituency (BC) Philip reminded the meeting that the BC through its association members represents around 25,000 businesses, 70% of which are SMEs. A proposal for a new constituency for SMEs seems to be duplicative.

Amaïa Betelu, INTA, and Laurence Djolakian, MPA, stressed the IPR issues which are of growing importance in the DNS. Efficient systems of control should be put in place by ICANN, in conformity with national and international laws. Work will be done within the IP constituency, in liaison with others and with WIPO and experts groups.

Paul Kane, CENTR and IBI, exposed the various positions prevailing in the US. The new extension for the ICANN MoU and the IANA contract are being drafted. For USG, in order to improve the policy-making of ICANN, the balance between the role of the Board and of the constituencies will be crucial. From a ccTLD point of view there should be a functional and financial separation with the gTLD activities. IANA functions have to be clarified and separated. CcTLDs are working through specific issues (such as redelegation, etc) and it was considered preferable to call the new Supporting Organisation "ccSO" and not "ccNSO" to avoid confusion in political circles"

Sébastien Bachollet, CIGREF, is in favour of users' involvement at the Board and at the level of the ICANN Staff. The CEO should not be a member of the Board.

According to Loïc Damilaville, ISOC, there should be better co-ordination at local and regional level. Users should be represented at the Board level and within the various constituencies. An European DNS Internet Observatory would be useful for users.

Alain Moscowitz, CECUA, presented the document "CECUA Agenda for Internet Governance". The scope of users' issues is broad and each items has to be documented with inputs from associations. Ipv6 deployment could be added to the list.

Marie-Laure Bonnafous, UNICE, declared that UNICE would approved a position paper on WHOIS later this summer. It will stress on accuracy and harmonisation, uniformity, better searchability and an efficient IPR system.

Ewan Sutherland, INTUG, commented the ITU framework and agenda related to DNS, ENUM, access, etc. He recalled the importance of current activities in the field of standards and noted the absence of the mobile industry in ICANN.

The participants were of the view that governments should be play a stronger role within ICANN. This might be achieved with the "liaison" system, although this might appear a bit complex to manage within the GAC itself.

The group agreed on the following 4 main issues for future actions:

1. To increase European business-user influence in the decision process of ICANN at various levels, including Board, Staff, GAC and NOMCOM.

2. To provide regular "users" inputs to the current Reform process through appropriate channels, in particular the At Large Advisory Committee. European Commission and European Parliament have to be informed in order to support adequately.

3. Importance of the WHOIS issues, accurate data bases and of privacy related aspects for the future of DNS.

4. To consider the setting up of an European Internet Observatory and of a business-user platform. Proposals will be developed for the autumn, from associations and from Tony Holmes. Possible partnerships with US, Asia and world-wide will be further explored.

Further actions

  • A report of the business-user group will be made during the IIG meeting of Member States representatives on 23 July in Brussels. The European Internet Foundation (EIF) of the European Parliament will be informed in due course, when MEPs will be back from their visit in the US.
  • New positions as regards ICANN Reform will be sent to Commission services when available. They will be forwarded to ICANN circles as necessary.
  • Proposals for a European Business-User Forum are welcome. It would be optimal to have only one platform in Europe, with possible partnership world-wide.
  • The next meeting of the Business/User Group will be organised in Brussels on Friday 20 September from 11.00 a.m. till 16.00 p.m.

Richard Delmas