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Telecoms: European Commission calls on Lithuania to provide caller location for 112 emergency calls

European Commission - IP/09/1010   25/06/2009

Other available languages: FR DE NL IT SV FI CS LT

IP/09/1010

Brussels, 25 June 2009

Telecoms: European Commission calls on Lithuania to provide caller location for 112 emergency calls

The location of people calling the single European emergency number 112 from their mobile phones in Lithuania is still not always available to emergency services, despite the European Court of Justice deciding, in its judgement last September that Lithuania is required under EU telecoms rules to make this happen. The European Commission therefore decided today to send a letter of formal notice to Lithuania calling on it to comply with the judgement by ensuring that caller location information is available to emergency services for all mobile calls to 112. Lithuania could be fined if the case proceeds to the European Court of Justice again. Caller location allows emergency services to pinpoint the location of 112 callers even if the caller cannot, making it much easier to respond to emergencies.

"Knowing the location of people that need urgent help is the key to the effective functioning of Europe’s single emergency number 112," said EU Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding. " In most Member States, we can be sure that emergency teams will find people in emergencies even if they don't know their address. There is no reason why Lithuania cannot implement the same vital service which can save lives of its citizens. As guardian of the EU Treaties, the European Commission has to pursue the infringement proceeding against Lithuania to ensure that the European Court of Justice judgement is followed."

The Commission today launched legal action for the second time against Lithuania for failure to ensure caller location for callers to the European emergency number 112. On 11 September 2008, the original infringement procedure, launched by the Commission in 2006, resulted in the European Court of Justice ruling that, contrary to its obligations under EU law, Lithuania has not ensured that the location of people dialing the single European emergency number 112 is made available to authorities handling these calls. Caller location information is still not available to emergency services for calls made to 112 from mobile phones throughout Lithuania, except in the capital Vilnius and the surrounding area.

The European Commission noted today that Lithuanian authorities are taking steps to ensure that ambulance, police, firefighters and other emergency services know the location of people seeking help via 112. However, it called on the Lithuanian government to accelerate the pace of implementation of caller location information for all calls to 112 from both mobile and fixed lines throughout the whole country. If Lithuania does not respond to the Commission's request within two months, it runs the risk of being fined for not respecting the Court's judgment.

Background

Making the location of people reaching out for help via the single European emergency number 112 known to emergency teams is crucial to ensure the safety of Europeans. Lithuanians and visitors from other countries must be certain that when they need assistance but cannot provide details of their location, Lithuanian emergency services will be able to locate them.

Under the EU's Universal Service Directive (Article 26), Member States must guarantee the proper functioning of the single European emergency number 112 . This includes making sure that caller location information is available to emergency authorities for all calls made to 112.

The Commission has launched infringement proceedings against 14 Member States regarding the availability of the location of callers to 112. 11 of those cases have been closed as the Member States made the caller location information fully available. Apart from Lithuania, the European Court of Justice has also issued judgments ruling that Italy and the Netherlands have not complied with requirements of EU law regarding 112 caller location information. The proceedings against Italy and the Netherlands are still pending ( IP/09/774 ).

A detailed overview of telecoms infringement proceedings is available at:

http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/policy/ecomm/implementation_enforcement/infringement/

More information on 112 is available at :

http://ec.europa.eu/112

Annex

State of infringement proceedings concerning '112' emergency number

(Situation as of June 2009, '* ' - pending cases)

Member State

Availability of 112 from fixed and mobile telephones

Provision of caller location for fixed and mobile calls

Call handling and answering

Austria

+

+

+

Belgium

+

+
(
Infringement closed in June 2007 )

+

Bulgaria

+

(
Infringement closed in January 2009 )

+

+

Cyprus

+

+

( Infringement closed in October 2006 )

+

Czech Republic

+

+

+

Germany

+

+

+

Denmark

+

+

+

Estonia

+

+

+

Spain

+

+

+

Finland

+

+

+

France

+

+

+

Greece

+

+

( Infringement closed in October 2007 )

+

Hungary

+

+

( Infringement closed in June 2007 )

+

Ireland

+

+

( Infringement closed in October 2006 )

+

Italy

+

* Letter of formal notice under Art.228 sent in May 2009 following ECJ judgment of 15 January 2009

* Infringement started in September 2008

Lithuania

+

* Letter of formal notice under Art.228 sent in June 2009 following ECJ judgment of 11 September 2008

+

Luxembourg

+

+

( Infringement closed in October 2006

+

Latvia

+

+

( Infringement closed in February 2008 )

+

Malta

+

+

+

Netherlands

+

* ECJ judgement of 9 October 2008 finding Infringement of EU law

+

Poland

+

( Infringement closed in December 2005

+

( Infringement closed in October 2008 )

+

Portugal

+

+

( Infringement closed in October 2007 )

+

Romania

+

+

( Infringement closed in January 2009 )

+

Sweden

+

+

+

Slovenia

+

+

+

Slovakia

+

+

( Infringement closed in January 2009 )

+

United Kingdom

+

+

+


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