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Telecoms: European Commission ends case against Italy on the transfer of 112 calls to the emergency services

European Commission - IP/10/65   28/01/2010

Other available languages: FR DE IT

IP/10/65

Brussels, 28 January 2010

Telecoms: European Commission ends case against Italy on the transfer of 112 calls to the emergency services

The European Commission today ended legal action taken against Italy following confirmation that calls made to the single European emergency number 112 can be effectively transferred to the relevant national emergency service.

The various emergency response systems of many Member States, including Italy, in particular police, ambulance, fire and rescue services, run separate call centre systems using different numbers. The Member States have to ensure that the handling and answering of 112 calls is as effective as for calls made to other national emergency numbers. It was questioned in Italy whether call centres of the emergency service in charge of receiving 112 calls could transfer callers to the centres of other required emergency services. The Commission had therefore sent a letter of formal notice to Italy about the effectiveness of 112 calls handling and answering in September 2008 ( IP/08/1342 ).

In response to the investigations by the Commission, the Italian authorities demonstrated that calls were effectively being transferred by the police force, which normally answers 112 calls, to the respective emergency service as required by the Universal Service Directive.

A separate infringement proceeding against Italy on the lack of availability of caller location information for mobile calls to 112 is still pending ( IP/09/1784 ).

Background

112 was introduced in 1991 to provide a single emergency number in all EU countries, in addition to national emergency numbers. 112 now works in all EU Member States ( IP/08/1968 ). The 112 provisions have recently been reinforced in the context of the reform of the EU telecom rules. An infringement proceeding against Italy is still pending on the lack of availability of caller location information for 112 calls from mobile phones. On 15 January 2009 the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that Italy had failed to make 112 caller location information available to authorities handling emergencies for all calls. As caller location information for calls made to 112 from mobile phones is still not available, the Commission sent a reasoned opinion (the second stage in the proceeding following the Court's judgement) to Italy in November 2009 ( IP/09/1784 ).

A detailed overview of telecoms infringement proceedings is available at:

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

And an overview of telecoms infringement proceedings related to 112 is available at:

http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/activities/112/docs/table_infring.pdf


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