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 and the total price tag would be around €100,000. Discussion over the exact letters is still ongoing: .vla, .vln, .vlaanderen or .fla? A two-letter extension like .vl is improbable as these extensions are only available for countries recognized by the UN.
Does a small region like Flanders really need its own top-level domain? Flanders is a region in Belgium, one of the smaller European countries, with a population of around 6 million. Creating a TLD for such a small group may be overkill.
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’?
I have yet to hear of a counterpart in Wallonia (its sister region) so this request only adds another discrepancy making it less intuitive for people to find the correct website.
Based on an article (in Dutch) in De Standaard, a Belgian newspaper.