Mark De Mesmaeker, Flemish Member of Parliament from the NV-A, proposed to create a TLD for Flanders (‘Vlaanderen’ in Dutch). The proposal should be ready mid 2009 and the total price tag will be around €100,000. At this moment they are still considering if the extension should be .vla, .vln, .vlaanderen or .fla. A two letter extension like .vl is impossible as these extensions are only available for independent countries recognized by the UN.
Does a small region like Flanders really needs its own TLD?! You must know that Flanders is a region in Belgium, one of the smaller countries in Europe, with a population of only 6,000,000 people. Creating a TLD for such a small target group may be a bit overkill in my opinion.
I heard Catalonia (the northeast part of Spain) is also applying for a TLD so you could compare this to the recent Flemish request but it seems they are focusing on websites that cover websites about the Catalan culture and language as well as Catalonian businesses. Maybe this isn't such a bad idea, maybe the Flemish TLD could focus on the Flemish culture giving the extension some extra meaning, more than ‘this website has something to do with Flanders’?
At this moment I have not yet heard of a counterpart in Wallonia (the other major region in Belgium) so in my opinion this only adds another discrepancy making it less intuitive for people to find the website they are looking for. Could this request have - the current political situation - a somewhat political meaning more than an answer on a real need in the Flemish internet sphere?
Based on an article in De Standaard, a Belgian newspaper.
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