Brussels, 29 February 2008
In a new round of infringement proceedings for Telecoms Rules, the European Commission has closed two cases against Latvia and Poland. The Commission has decided to also suspend its previous decision to refer a case to the European Court of Justice.
"A European emergency number 112 that works across the EU is crucial for ensuring the safety of our citizens. Caller location information is particularly important for citizens who travel and are caught in an emergency. I am pleased that caller location information for mobile calls is now available in Latvia and that the issue is being tackled with urgency by the authorities in Poland. This enables the Commission to suspend the case,” said Viviane Reding, the EU Telecoms Commissioner.
As a result of decisions of the European Commission adopted today, the case against Latvia concerning lack of availability of caller location information in relation to mobile 112 calls could be closed since the availability of caller location information for emergency services is now ensured in respect of both fixed and mobile 112 calls.
Moreover, the Polish authorities have recently informed the Commission that an interim solution has now been put in place to ensure the provision of caller location information to emergency services in the case of mobile 112 calls. The Commission welcomes this development and, pending verification of the practical operation of this solution, has suspended its decision to refer Poland to the European Court of Justice.
There are five Member States in which caller location information for 112 calls from mobile phones is not yet available. These are Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Romania and Slovakia. In addition, the 112 number is not yet fully available in Bulgaria (see IP/07/1530).
The recent Eurobarometer survey published by the Commission on 11 February (see IP/08/198) found that people travelling abroad are generally less likely to be able to provide the exact location of the emergency when they call 112 (only 53% could give the exact location compared to more than 80% in their home country).
As a comprehensive directory inquiry service has become available at the beginning of the year in Poland and will be published in the first half of 2008, the Commission has consequently decided to close the case against Poland. This case was referred to the European Court of Justice in October 2006.
A detailed overview of the state of infringement proceedings is available on the implementation and enforcement website of DG Information Society and Media: http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/policy/ecomm/implementation_enforcement/infringement/