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)


Board of the Association

Please find below a copy of the message that the outgoing Chair has sent to the membership after the election of the Board of our association.

Dear Association Colleague, this is to inform you that the elected members of the new Board held an online consultation, which ended on 4 November evening. A unanimous decision appointed:

  • Chair: Roberto Gaetano
  • Vice Chair: Jean-Jacques Subrenat
  • Secretary: Fotjon Kosta
  • Board member: Olawale Bakare

This decision will come into effect on 5 November 2017 at 00:01 UTC.

Please find more details about the Board of our association in this page.

Association Board

Dear Colleague,

at its monthly meeting on 21 August 2017, the Board of your Association completed its discussion on the duties and composition of the Board. Here are the elements of that discussion, and the ensuing proposal to our membership.

1) Your Association was set up almost 2 years ago, and since then it has worked with a Board of 3 members (Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, these designations having replaced the earlier ones of President, Vice President and Secretary).

2) It has become apparent that our Association, and the individual users’ community in Europe, would be better served by several improvements: a revised set of objectives for the period 2017-18, further involvement of our community in EURALO and ALAC activities in ICANN, enhanced involvement of our Members in the work of the Association, enlarging our Board, and further improvements to our website.

3) While the above changes or improvements are under way, the enlargement of the Board requires a consultation of our membership and a formal vote, which we propose to carry out online.

4) With this in mind, and before a formal vote is taken, the following proposal is submitted to you:

‘’The Board, currently composed of 3 Members, shall be enlarged to 5: Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, and 2 additional seats.
– A call for candidates shall be issued to Association members in September 2017, with the purpose of populating the 5-member Board. The list of candidates shall be communicated to Association members by email, and be posted on the Association website.
– The current Board shall organise an online vote, with each Association member being requested to designate 2 candidates from the list, for the future 5-member Board.
– The online voting procedure shall be carried out transparently, with an appropriate online voting tool. The method and result of the vote shall be presented once again at our next General Assembly (GA, date, time and venue to be confirmed, in the margins of ICANN-60 in Abu Dhabi).
– The 5 candidates having received the most votes shall constitute the future Board, to be formally voted in during our next General Assembly.
– After confirmation by the GA, the new Board shall then meet (in person, or online); in the course of its first meeting, the new Board shall shall attribute, among its five Members, the positions of Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, and the 2 remaining seats.
– This proposal shall be posted on the Association website without delay, and include a call for candidates to the future Board.”

5) Members’ comments are welcome on this page mentioned, before 15 September 2017.

6) Members of the Association are encouraged to send in their expression of interest to serve on the Board, by email to , before 15 September 2017.

7) A separate email will be forthcoming about the next General Assembly, to be held in the margins of ICANN-60 in Abu Dhabi (28 October – 3 November 2017).

On behalf of the Board, EURALO Individuals Association:
Jean-Jacques Subrenat, Chair.

Our Association Bylaws updated

Dear colleague,
your Board has completed its work on updating the Bylaws of our Association (see below).
As a Member or Observer of this Association, you are kindly requested to comment on the draft Bylaws before 15 September 2017. Your comments can be communicated in 2 ways:
– either in the ‘’comment’’ space below this draft,
– or by responding to the notification email you received.



1. EURALO Individuals Association

Under the name “EURALO Individuals Association” a European not-for-profit association was created according to Swiss Civil Code, Art. 60 to 79. (Its seat and legal address are specified separately in the foundation protocol).

The EURALO Individuals Association was created in December 2012 to offer a home and legal structure for individuals participating regularly in activities of ICANN’s European Regional At-Large Organization (EURALO). This Association allows individuals from all over Europe to work together and have a voting right in EURALO’s annual General Assembly (GA), as stipulated in EURALO’s amended Bylaws from May 2011 in Belgrade.

2. Objectives

The objectives of the Association are:
a) To organize individuals in Europe who are not affiliated to existing At-Large Structures (ALS).
b) To support the general objectives of ICANN’s European At-Large Organization (EURALO) specified in its Bylaws and its MoU with ICANN signed in March 2007 in Lisbon – i.e., inter alia, to promote the open development, multi-stakeholder based evolution and use of the Internet for the benefit of people throughout Europe and the world.
c) To support EURALO in its regular activities (such as monthly calls, working groups, projects and outreach endeavors).
d) To seek and promote exchange and collaboration with non-European individuals engaging in other RALOs and ICANN.

3. Resources

To fulfill its role in the frame of EURALO, the EURALO Individuals Association relies on resources and capacities of EURALO such as its Secretariat, and does not need its own financial resources or administrative facilities.

4. Organisational Structure and Membership

The EURALO Individuals Association’s organizational structure is simple and functional:
• It is open to all interested individuals sharing its goals and objectives outlined above.
• Individuals who are either European nationals or residents in Europe, where Europe is defined according to the ICANN Regions, are eligible to become Members, while individuals who do not satisfy these conditions are eligible to become Observers.
• Members have voting rights. Observers have the same rights and duties, with the exception of voting rights.
• Members of the Association elect a Board for a biannual term (two years, reelection possible).
• The Board, in consultation with Members, approves applications for new membership.
• All Members have a voting right at the Association’s annual General Assembly (GA), in line with the EURALO Bylaws.

The Association’s annual General Assembly (GA) selects its representative who has a voting right at EURALO’s GA.

5. Termination of membership

Membership in EURALO Individuals Association is terminated through withdrawal, exclusion or death.

6. Termination through withdrawal or exclusion

Withdrawal from the EURALO Individuals Association is always possible. Notification of withdrawal shall be sent in writing to the Board.
Members and Observers can be excluded from the EURALO Individuals Association for specific reasons. Decisions for exclusion are taken via a vote called by the Board. The member concerned may appeal to the General Assembly.

7. Organs of the association

The organs of the association are:
a) General Assembly
b) Board
The Board can create further sub-groups or committees as required.

8. The General Assembly

The primary organ of the association is the General Assembly. It meets annually, in conjunction with EURALO’s GA.
Invitations to General Assembly meetings will be sent at least three weeks in advance by writing (normally electronically), the agenda will be included in the posting. Extraordinary meetings of the General Assembly may be held by order of the Board or if ten percent of the members request such a meeting and indicate the issues to be addressed. In such a case, the extraordinary meeting is to be held within three months of receiving the request.

The General Assembly is responsible for:
a) Electing the Board of the Association
b) Electing the voting representative to the EURALO General Assembly
c) Any changes and amendments to the Bylaws
d) Dealing with motions and inquiries.
For changes to the Bylaws, a majority of two thirds of the cast votes is required.
The decision-making process is open unless the General Assembly calls for a secret ballot.

9. Auditors

As the Association does not have its own funds (see section 3 of these Bylaws), no auditors are required.

10. Authority to sign

Members of the Board have authority to sign, with two signatures being required.

11. Liability

Personal liability of the members is excluded.

12. Termination

Terminating the Association requires an extraordinary meeting of the General Assembly that shall be convened for this purpose. Termination requires a majority of three quarters of the cast votes.

13. Seat

The legal seat of the EURALO Individuals Association is in Switzerland, according to association Bylaws.

14. Date of effect

These Bylaws become effective with the written approval of the founding members on November 1, 2017.

15. Legally binding text

The legally binding text for these Bylaws of the EURALO Individuals is in the English language document /version.

Members and observers

Following the membership indication, the Board has allowed applicants to our Association that are neither nationals of, nor resident of, the ICANN Region of Europe to join as observers. The observers will have the same rights and duties as the “regular” members, except that they will not have the right to vote.
We have contacted all applicants that have expressed their wish to join our Association, but did not fulfil the nationality or residency requirement, and asked them whether they would accept to be observers. At the deadline, we had two out of four applicants who have accepted the offer.
With this addition we have today 33 members and 2 observers.