Afnic, the .fr registry, will adopt new policies next week enabling organizations from outside of France to register domain names for the first time.
Under the rule change, entities in European Union countries, as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, will qualify for .fr names.
The new policy (pdf), which comes into effect December 6, also applies to .re, the ccTLD for the French terrirtory Réunion, which Afnic also manages.
The registry is also discontinuing a handful of second-level domains which were previously available for third-level registration by the public.
Existing domains in .com.fr, ..tm.fr, .asso.fr, .asso.re, and .com.re will continue to function, but Afnic will no longer accept new registrations in these extensions.
Elsewhere in Europe, the Norwegian registry Norid liberalized its registration policies this morning, raising its ownership cap from 20 to 100 domain names per registrant.
Evidently anticipating a possible increase in cybersquatting disputes as a result, Norid has said it has also instituted a loser pays model for its dispute resolution process.