Report from the Chair to the General Assembly of the Association

Dear Members,

I would like to share some considerations about the status of the Association.

First of all, the numbers: as you can see on our web site we have 79 members and 5 observers. These numbers are by far the highest across RALOs.

Besides the numbers, we should note that among our members we have people that are very active in the ICANN community, and also people in leadership positions, including ICANN Board and PTI Board.

So we can say that our Association, thanks to our members, is playing an important role in the ICANN community, and in particular for the At-Large. But we must ask ourselves one question: what does our Association for favouring and supporting the participation of our members? In short, are we providing an added value to the sum of individualities of our members?

My personal answer is no. I would love to be proven wrong, but there is not much that we add, as organization, to the achievement of our members, with the possible exception of the simple fact that we provide a “home” for them that they may not find in other parts of the ICANN community.

The follow up question is whether we should provide more – or whether what we do is just what is expected from us. Corollary question is whether our members had expectations that were not fulfilled by joining our association. In other words, is there something that we should do, or at least do better, in order to provide an added value?

Once we have an answer to the questions above, we will be better placed to figure out the implications for our current way to operate. For instance, what role and purpose has the web site? What should be the content of it, in order to make it an useful tool rather that being just a repository – and not even timely updated – for information about our Association? Actually, do we really need to have a web site or will this be a wasted effort? Also our internal mailing list does not seem to be very active. With the requirement of having all EURALO Individual Members subscribed to the public EURALO discuss list do we still need a list for our members? I personally believe we still do, but would like to hear the opinion of the members. And there are even more questions that we should ask ourselves – but first of all we must understand the role that we have as an association for individual members.

I believe that time is ripe for a change. Since the early days in which our founding members started this initiative much has changed. For instance, the need for having individual members to provide additional resources for achieving the At-Large goals has been recognised. A working party has been tasked to formulate recommendations to formalise participation of individual users and to mobilise more resources from the user community worldwide. The UIM-WP – see – has produced these recommendations, approved by ALAC in March 2021. We are still struggling to having them implemented, but besides formal implementation I believe that this is the time for rethinking our structure – so our 2022 General Assembly is happening at the right moment.

I will send in a separate message a reminder of the requirements for RALO Individual Members – this is the formal title that is given to individual users – but can anticipate that there is nothing that would sound “strange”. All requirements are what could be reasonably expected. However, it is good to have a wide discussion so that there is a full understanding of the new rules.


Message from the Chair

Dear Members,

In the past years we have seen a huge growth in the membership, as of today we have 78 members and 5 observers – see

However, while a lot of our members are active in the ICANN community, there is little added value that our association brings. Initially, the idea was to use our communication tools (blog, email, etc.) to share information and discuss ideas – time has shown that the communication and discussion happens using different vehicles, like for instance the Discussion for At-Large Europe mailing list.

In the meantime, the Unaffiliated Individual Members Working Party (UIM-WP) has provided recommendations, approved by ALAC, to make more efficient use of the limited resources and to better mobilise the individual members that we have in each RALO. Some of the recommendations include:

  • formalise the application process giving an active role to At-Large Staff
  • define minimum requirements for RALO Individual Members
  • define obligations for RALO Individual Members

The rules of our association are by and large aligned with these recommendations, but we need to discuss the situation and formally do some changes. I am planning to use F2F time at ICANN75 to trim the details and call for a General Meeting of the Association as part of the EURALO 2022 Days, scheduled for 8-10 November 2022.

I will circulate a bullet point list of the items to be addressed to comply with the ALAC approved recommendations and we can discuss different options, as the recommendations leave margins for implementations by different RALOs.

I am also publishing this message in our blog.

Best regards,


Annual General Meeting 2019

EuroDIG – The Hague – 19 June 2019

The meeting opened at 12:45 local time – 10:45 UTC.

The Chair invited the attendees to introduce themselves. There were also several observers. No remote attendees.

The Chair briefly summarised the status of the Association, addressing the following points:

  • in the last elections of the board we had only three candidates for five seats – Roberto, Dina, and Fotjon were elected;
  • the Association now counts 50 members and 6 observers, with one applicant in the approval process.

No question or comments were made

The Chair presented a few proposals for the next year, that are:

  • to have more flexible procedures, less decisions by the Board and more interaction with the membership;
  • improve outreach, using all opportunities to present the Association to potentially new members interested in participating to the ICANN processes – events at which outreach can be successful include IGF (global, regional and national) – need for presentation materials, including flyers.

Olivier, EURALO Chair, took the floor. He said that his mandate will end at the ICANN meeting in Montreal. He then focused on funding part and mentioned that we are not always optimising the use of CROP, and some time we miss opportunities. One way to improve is to share CROP information on all mailing lists and make sure that the EURALO event calendar is always up-to-date.

Matthias stated that we should provide better information on how to subscribe to mailing lists and proposes to have this accessible on our web site.

A discussion took place on Universal Acceptance. It was clarified that the issue is not only related to IDN, although those represent the most visible example. It was argued that Internet Users, and therefore also our Association, can play a fundamental role detecting and reporting the cases in which valid addresses are not accepted by some operators. This is something that our members could commit doing.

Olivier reports that EURALO has 36 ALSes, but added that more important than the total numbers is the number of active members.

The Chair summarised the discussion and added the following:

  • we definitively need to redesign the web site, but this requires resources;
  • people interested in Universal Acceptance should subscribe to the ALAC IDN WG, that under the chairmanship of Satish Babu is currently extending its scope to cover multilingualism and UA;
  • we need more volunteers for different tasks in our association, for instance as website management, maybe a call for volunteers should be made.

The Chair closed the meeting at 14:00 local time – 12:00 UTC – mentioning the upcoming meeting in Marrakesh and the possibility to meet some of our members there.

Association’s Board meeting, January 2019

EURALO Individual Users’ association held an online Board meeting on 24 January 2019. The Chair opened the call at 18:05 UTC. Present: Roberto Gaetano (RG), Chair; Jean-Jacques Subrenat (JJS), Vice-Chair. Excused: Fotjon Kosta (FK), Secretary; Olawale Bakare (WB), Member. Absent: Dina Solveig Jalkanen (DSJ), Member.
As the draft agenda did not require any decsion to be taken by the Board through a vote, quorum was not required.
AGENDA: the draft agenda circulated by email by the Secretary was adopted, as follows.
– Chair will circulate a reminder of actions and events in 2018, which Board members will be requested to comment or complete.
– Chair & Vice-Chair remarked that items under this heading are inter-related: priorities, participation in events, outreach, skills roster of our membership, development of our association. RG and JJS would like to bring the following to the attention of the Board:
Outreach can be carried out not only by Board members, but by Members and Associate members who are able and willing to take an active part in the life of our association.
– In general terms, it is time for our membership to take a more active part in the development of our association.
– It has also become necessary to involve our membership, along with our Board, in maintaining a constant level of engagement, rather than proceeding in waves as has often been the case. It is only through constant engagement that continuity can be ensured.
– In preparation for our next Annual General Meeting (AGM), Chair will send an email to our membership, asking who is willing to commit to activities related to ICANN, ALAC, EURALO, or of more general interest (Internet issues). Chair’s message will comprise a matrix, allowing membership to note down their areas of expertise, and the events or meetings they attend. Such a matrix can also be refined with, and communicated to the Chair of the EURALO Capacities Working Group, Yrjö Länsipuro.
Development of our association:
   – Website: there is still a need to update the contents, and perhaps to improve the website.
   – The preferred solution is to set up a team of at least 2 individuals, say 1 Board member and 1 from our Membership (full or associate Member). Suggestions are welcome.
– Within our parent body, EURALO, a short list of ‘Hot Topics’ enables us to concentrate on significant issues. Vice-Chair remarked that we should identify one topic on which our association could contribute to the policy work of both EURALO and ALAC; he suggested that we contribute to EURALO’s upcoming work on ‘’Current & future Internet governance challenges: some notes for the global Internet user’’, the draft of which will be prepared by Jean-Jacques Subrenat, .
– Secretary is requested to launch a Doodle poll for a meeting in the last week of February 2019.
– No item.
Chair brought the meeting to a close at 18:45 UTC.

Dina Solveig Jalkanen, new Board member

The Board of your Association is pleased to welcome its fifth member, Dina Solveig Jalkanen, whose candidacy and election were recorded in the report of the Board meeting held on 3 September 2018.

Dina is involved in many aspects of the Internet: accessibility, digital rights, security vulnerabilities, and more. Her experience in ICANN includes volunteer work in NCUC (Non-Commercial Users Constituency) and NPOC (Not-for-Profit Operational Concerns Constituency). She is currently the representative of Electronic Frontier Finland in NPOC.

Dina’s bio can be viewed here on ICANNwiki.


2018 Multistakeholder Ethos Award Honors Stéphane Van Gelder

PANAMA CITY – 25 June 2018 – The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is honored to announce the recipient of the 2018 Multistakeholder Ethos Award. This year, the community selection panel posthumously recognized a long-time member of the ICANN community: Stéphane Van Gelder. The award was presented today at ICANN62 in Panama City to Stéphane Van Gelder’s wife Julie Talfournier Van Gelder.

Please find the complete article here.

Obituary: Stéphane van Gelder, 1967-2018

Stéphane van Gelder died on 26 March 2018 in a hospital, after a road accident three days earlier.

A founding member of our Association, Stéphane will be remembered as an example of multi-stakeholder engagement in Internet matters. With a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Sussex University in the United Kingdom, Stéphane started his professional life not as an Internet specialist but as as a journalist, reporting on motor sports for the French newspapers Moto Journal and L’Equipe, and later for Eurosport, the TV channel, where he provided live commentary for Grand Prix MotoGP.

Stéphane entered the domain name business in the late 1990s with TLD Fastrack Ltd. In 1999 he founded Indom, a registrar in France, which later became part of GroupNBT based in the United Kingdom. Also in the UK, he was the Chairman of Milathan, ”a provider of domain name and Internet intelligence’’. With his primary residence in France and professional involvement on both sides of the Channel, Stéphane was perfectly at ease in both countries, their languages and cultures. He was also involved with French registry Starting Dot before it was acquired by Afilias in 2016. From 2010 to 2014 he served the Internet community as a member of the Board of Afnic, the non-profit organization created in 1998  and which manages the French TLD suffixes on the Internet. He was also a member of the Board of ISOC-France, the French Chapter of the Internet Society.

Over the past decade, Stéphane held various volunteer positions in ICANN. In 2008 he was elected Treasurer of ICANN’s Registrar Stakeholder Group, and as that group’s European representative on the GNSO Council. In 2009 he was elected as Vice Chair of the GNSO, then elected Chair in 2010 and again in 2011. During his tenure, a number of tasks were carried forward. The GNSO operating procedures were renovated. Along with ALAC, ccNSO and NRO, the GNSO set up tne DNS Security and Stability Analysis Working Group. The GNSO also helped set up the IRTP (domain name Recovery & Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy). It contributed to the UDRP (Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy). And in 2012, GNSO was involved in the completion of the New gTLD Programme Applicant Guidebook. Stéphane will likewise be remembered for his service as Chair of ICANN’s Nominating Committee (NomCom) in 2016, for which he received well-deserved praise.

Since Stéphane’s tragic death, many people have underlined his competence, his social skills, his achievements in the domain name industry and in the Internet community. Among many other testimonies, the Chair of the Board of Directors of ICANN has dwelt on Stéphane’s meritorious achievements as Chair of the GNSO and later as Chair of the NomCom. The domain name industry website CircleID published an obituary notice. Stéphane will also be remembered by motorcycle enthusiasts as a dynamic and pleasant companion.

On behalf of its Members and Associate Members, the Board of the EURALO Individuals’ Association presents heartfelt condolences to Stéphane van Gelder’s family, friends, ICANN colleagues and business associates.

EuroDIG planning meeting

The EuroDIG planning meeting has been held in Tbilisi earlier this month.
Our member Raphaël Beauregard-Lacroix has timely produced these summary notes that I am posting now, apologising for the delay.
Please be aware that the bullet point notes do not cover the whole session but only the part that Raphaël has attended remotely, but you can find a recording of the morning here and the afternoon here.

  • Youth Participation: it is not about separating young and old, but empowering young people and helping them build their confidence so that they can intervene and participate during EuroDIG
  • Start ups participation: it is difficult to engage them, so there will be more efforts on that side for this year. This observation can be extended to private sector in general.
  • High level speakers: there must be some high level speakers to attract a certain type of crowd, and they will usually not participate in a standard panel or workshop. They will have their own 10 min with all attention, but we still limit the number of that kind of speeches.
  • Side events: not much opportunity to hold pre or side-events because of the lack of room in Georgia this year.
  • Hot topic session on Day 0: Saving some space in the programme for new developments of IG that we cannot foresee as of now (precedent of Snowden revelations and sudden rise of surveillance as a topic)
  • Flash sessions: no recording, no microphone. Short in time, “punchy”. There are currently more proposals for flash sessions than slots, but it usually sorts itself out since many do not want their topic to be a flash session.
  • Keynote: there will be a head of state, but as of now no one is confirmed. Maria Gabriel from the EC is almost confirmed.
  • GDPR: Was meant to be covered in an educational session first. There were discussions as to what kind of format GDPR should be presented as. No consensus during the meeting, besides the fact that it should not be (only) an educational session. The EuroDIG secretariat will make a decision on that matter.
  • Schedule organisation: lots of discussion on how to organise the schedule and format the sessions, with workshops, plenaries, keynotes, and open mic. The point being to maintain the interactivity and maybe come up with new formats, such as a debate or “targeted” open mic.
  • Blockchain session(s): EurodDIG secretariat will reach out to a blockchain expert, possibly outside the “circles” of EuroDIG, in order to act as a focal point to help the secretariat organise and manage the session(s) on blockchain.
  • Eurodig principles: several principles, same as previous years. Note that max 5 speakers per plenaries, and they do not recommend speakers in workshops. They use the term “key participants” for workshops rather than speakers.
  • Wiki and session logistics: It was decided that the wiki would serve as a “kitchen” in order to help the org teams for each session organise, while there would be some form of front page, that would feature the highlights of EuroDIG and help private sector and NGO participants justify their participation. The wiki is usually not edited early enough for that, and it is not possible to “force” people and organising teams to edit it. The EuroDIG secretariat also emphasised the difficulty of being very strict with deadlines. One participant was very adamant that the secretariat should be more strict with deadlines. Another participant stressed that having the wiki page for plenary sessions empty up to 1 month before looks bad upon the conference.
  • Venue: Rooms Hotel has been confirmed.
  • Final agenda: will be circulated by the secretariat in the coming weeks, after which organising teams can start to set up the sessions in more details. As a reminder, it is open to everyone to join the organising team of any session, and default emails are provided by the secretariat for that matter (which redirect to the session’s focal point’s email)