Board meeting highlights
Please consult the highlights from our latest Board of Directors meetings below.
At its first meeting of 2022, on 4 February 2022, the Board asked the Strategic Committee to update the criteria for accepting new members at its next meeting in March 2022. The Board also asked the EURid management to follow up on the DNS4EU project funded by the European Commission.
The Board nominated Mrs. Hoferichter and Mrs. Haas as independent members of the Strategic Committee. In accordance with the internal rules, these nominations will be discussed at the Strategic Committee in March 2022, which has the prerogative of appointing them officially.
The Board discussed the transition of the tasks of the External Relations manager.
EURid CEO informed the Board about the new German law on contract renewals, based on a EU Directive. He briefly mentioned that this new German law may have impact on EURid’s business and budget and suggested discussing it at one of the next meetings after a proper legal assessment.
In the context of the approval process of the 2022 budget, the Board was informed about the request of the EC to support certain Internet governance initiatives as in the past years which were discussed during the Financial Committee meeting.
The Board accepted the recommendations from the Financial Committee and approved the proposed 2022 budget.
The Board discussed the outcome of the CENTR survey on verification of registrant data against the actions that EURid has enforced to this respect.
The possible outcome of the EC Call for Tender together with an assessment of the applicants that were made public were extensively tackled during the meeting.
EURi management participated in the meeting to explain the usual updates provided to the Board about the work of the various departments. The Board raised some questions regarding the awareness campaigns, the cooperation with EUIPO, the EURid Action Plan to address the recommendations contained in the EC 775/2021 report to the Parliament, as well as the DNS and Internet governance related trainings that EURid holds in several EU universities.
Several managers stressed the forthcoming challenges for the .eu registry, as for any other registry, to comply with the increased requirements coming from new regulations that are currently discussed at EU level.
The main topic on the Board agenda was the update on the status of the EC call for tender for the .eu registry.
The Board discussed the findings of a staff survey about working from home and a possible plan for returning to the office-working mode.
The Board acknowledges the challenges of implementing state-of-the art technology to efficiently check the identity of the domain name holder in case of sound evidence of malicious intent, and suggests EURid further investigate available, technical solutions to this respect.
With reference to the Contractual Compliance yearly audit, the Board stressed the importance of drawing the attention of the auditors to make recommendations that are in line with industry peer best practices and proportionate to the size of the company.
The Board approved their statement for publication with the annual accounts.
The main topics on the Board agenda were the update of some internal rules as well as the feedback that the Board was requested to provide on the draft response to the EC Call for Tender.
The Directors were asked to sign the Declaration of absence of Conflict of Interest. The Board asked EURid Legal to update the Conflict of Interest policy and declaration by the following year.
The Board discussed the Know Your Customer project and the importance of its further deployment in light of the call for tender.
Some of the recommendations contained in the EC report to the Parliament and the Council on the cooperation between EURid and EUIPO were also assessed against industry best practices.
The Board endorsed the budget for 2021 for approval at the next General Assembly.
Additionally, the Board requested the management to investigate various options for a domain name generation tool that might help end users, and SMEs in particular, in their search for the best domain name for their online presence.
The meeting focused on the draft budget for 2021. Together with management, the Board assessed the various factors, mainly external, that could affect the deployment of the 2021 Operating Plan and Budget, including the evolution of the pandemic, the withdrawal of domain names of GB/GI registrants, as well as the outcome of the EC call for tender for the selection of the .eu registry. Considering all the external factors that will be challenging the company in 2021, the Board found the proposed actions well-balanced and the draft budget well-prepared to achieve the key objectives that are to succeed the EC call and have a positive growth.
Significant part of the meeting was dedicated to the EC call for tender. The Board believes that the company has all the necessary values and strengths to make it. The long and outstanding track-record of achievements, customer-support and certifications over the past decade signals the ability of the company to cope with the changes that have occurred at the DNS industry and EU regulations level. The multistakeholder and multicultural Board confirmed its readiness to support the management throughout the process.
The Board discussed the SMART 2019/0085 study of the EC on evaluation of practices for combating speculative and abusive domain name registrations, especially the section about the collaboration between EUIPO and EURid. The Board encouraged EURid to continue the excellent collaboration with EUIPO, including the implementation of some of the recommendations made by the study. At the same time, the Board believes that other recommendations should be carefully evaluated as they might place the .eu registry in a competitive disadvantage against industry peers.
The Board discussed the most recent registrations data and acknowledged that the implementation of the EC request to scrutinize all COVID-related domain names has affected the new create figures. While supporting the Trust strategy in full, the Board underlined that well-intentioned should not suffer of those checks and that false positive should be avoided as far as possible.
The Board discussed the Directive on Security of Network and Information Systems (the NIS directive) and its impact on the workload of the organisation. The Board is confident that EURid is compliant with the requirements of the Directive because proper investments were done in the past to assure a stable and robust infrastructure. The soundness of the EURId technical infrastructure was confirmed earlier this year when EURid experienced one of the more severe DDOS attacks without major impact. The Board asked management to continue their efforts in this area in collaboration with the overseeing authorities.
The Board reviewed the yearly Contractual Compliance audit that is part of EURid’s Service Concession Contract obligations. The Board thanked the management for the tremendous work and congratulated the management on the high level of compliance. The Board is confident that the new recommendations can be implemented in a timely manner as it happened with all the recommendations from the previous audits (E&Y for 2016-17 and Deloitte for 2018).
Lastly, the Board reviewed the financial results and was happy to see that they are in line with the plan, notwithstanding of the unprecedented market situation.
The results of the Evaluation of the Board that took place earlier this year were presented to the attendees. This is the second Board review after the one in 2017. Overall, the Board evaluation was extremely positive with a score of 94% (compared to 78% in 2017). Recommendations will be addressed soon.
EURid staff explained the chronological timeline of the DDOS attacks experienced by EURid in Q2 2020 and the perseverance of the attackers. It was stressed out that none of the DNS infrastructure was down during the attack, No essential services were unavailable throughout the attack either. The mitigation measures in place functioned satisfactorily.
As per advice by the Strategic Committee, the newly appointed Board agreed to form a work group to investigate and subsequently clarify the criteria for accepting new membership applications.
This Board meeting was the last one for Mr Cimoli and the chair, Prof. Verbaeten. They were both thanked for their constructive and valuable contributions over the years. A special praise was tributed to Prof. Verbaeten who has been with EURid from the beginning for his leadership that has contributed to the success of EURid and has led us to what EURid is today.
The Board meeting was attended by all members.