Réseaux IP Européens (RIPE, French for "European IP Networks") is a forum open to all parties interested in wide area IP networks. The objective of RIPE is to ensure the administrative and technical coordination necessary to enable the operation of the Internet.
RIPE is not a standardisation organisation like the IETF and does not deal with domain names like ICANN.
RIPE is not a legal entity and has no formal membership. This means that anybody who is interested in the work of RIPE can participate through mailing lists and by attending meetings.
RIPE activities are performed on a voluntary basis and decisions are formed by consensus.
Work is carried out within a variety of working groups. Each has one or more mailing lists where relevant topics and questions are discussed.
What's the difference between RIPE and the RIPE NCC?
Although similar in name, the RIPE NCC and RIPE are separate entities. The RIPE NCC provides administrative support to RIPE, such as the facilitation of RIPE Meetings and providing administrative support to RIPE Working Groups.
The RIPE NCC was established in 1992 by the RIPE community to serve as an administrative body.
The RIPE community refers collectively to any individual or organisation, whether members of the RIPE NCC or not, that has an interest in the way the Internet is managed, structured or governed.