Brussels, 30 November 2009
European Commission reserves phone numbers for victims of crime and non-emergency medical hotlines in Europe
How can victims of crime get assistance in the EU? Who should EU citizens call if they need non-urgent medical help or advice? New helplines like these should be available soon throughout the EU thanks to a decision taken by the European Commission today. It reserves two new "116" numbers for services of social value. The helpline numbers 116 006 and 116 117 will be reserved for victims of crime and for citizens calling non-emergency medical services across the EU.
“ People are most vulnerable when they are away from home, and Europe-wide numbers can make a real difference when things go wrong. The two numbers reserved today will, when operational in all EU countries, offer support to people in difficulty if they are victims of crime or if they need non-emergency medical help " said Viviane Reding, EU Telecoms Commissioner. " I urge Member States to make the new numbers available as soon as possible and to do what they can to encourage organisations that can efficiently provide these services to put them to good use ”.
The 116 006 will help victims of crime by informing them of their rights and how to use these, offering emotional support, while also referring victims to relevant organisations. As a single access point, it will provide information about local police and criminal justice proceedings, possibilities for compensation and insurance matters, and other sources of help for victims of crime
The non-emergency medical call service (116 117) will direct callers to medical assistance when the need is urgent but not life-threatening, especially outside normal office hours, during the weekend or public holidays. The aim is to connect the caller to a skilled call-handler or a qualified medical practitioner who could provide on-call medical assistance or advice, particularly when the caller's usual source of medical assistance is not available.
The Commission Decision adopted today builds on the EU's 2007 Decision on 116 numbers ( ), which reserves three other numbers EU wide for services of social value: 116 000 for the Missing Child Hotline , 116 111 for Child Helplines and 116 123 for emotional support helplines ( ).
Today's Decision requires EU countries to make sure that the two new numbers can be assigned by national telecoms regulators from 15 April 2010. It will be up to the relevant national organisations to apply for the numbers and put them into operation.
In July 2006, the European Commission proposed to reserve a common telephone number to report missing children (116 000) and another for children to call when they need help (116 111) as part of a coordinated EU strategy on the rights of the child ( IP/06/927 ). On 15 February 2007 and 29 October 2007 respectively the Commission decided to reserve 116 000 and 116 111 (as well as 116 123 for emotional support helplines) in all EU Member States ( IP/07/188 ). The Decision obliges EU countries to make "116 numbers" available, but does not oblige them to assign the numbers to a service provider or ensure provision of the services.
Today's amending Decision is available at:
Further information on 116:
State of Implementation of the existing reserved 116 Numbers:
P= preparatory work completed; number availability has been publicised
O= assignment ongoing
A= number assigned