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Digital Agenda: caller location information for emergency 112 calls now available in Italy; Commission closes infringement case

European Commission - IP/11/301   14/03/2011

Other available languages: FR DE IT

IP/11/301

Brussels, 14 March 2011

Digital Agenda: caller location information for emergency 112 calls now available in Italy; Commission closes infringement case

Today the European Commission closed a longstanding case against Italy as the country has met its obligations under EU telecoms rules to ensure that the location of callers dialling Europe's single emergency number, 112 is made available automatically to emergency services. The Commission opened an infringement case against Italy in 2006 (IP/06/464). Following a judgement by the EU's Court of Justice in 2009, the Italian authorities made significant efforts and implemented a nationwide caller location system in 2010. This action means that the Commission can now close the infringement case.

Caller location information is essential to provide timely emergency assistance, especially for calls originating from mobile phones, when the caller may not be able to state his or her location (e.g. because they are visitors to the area).

Following an infringement proceeding opened by the Commission in April 2006 (IP/06/464), the EU Court of Justice ruled on 15 January 2009 (case C-539/07) that Italy had failed to make the caller location information available to authorities handling emergency calls to the single European emergency number 112. In May 2010 the Commission referred Italy to the Court of Justice for the second time with a view to imposing fines as Italy had not shown significant progress on the implementation of the plans proposed by the Italian authorities to comply with the Court's ruling (IP/10/520).

During the summer of 2010, Italy finally set up a provisional nationwide caller location information system for both fixed and mobile calls. This system can provide public safety authorities details of the area in which the caller is located within a few seconds.

In parallel, the Italian authorities are developing a more advanced system for handling emergency calls, in order to comply with the more stringent requirements for 112 under new EU telecom rules, to be implemented by 25 May 2011 (MEMO/09/568).

Background

Under the EU's Universal Service Directive (Article 26) 2002/22/EC Member States have an obligation to 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 calls made to 112.

The Commission has launched infringement proceedings against 14 Member States on 112 caller location since 2005. The Italian case, opened in 2006, was the last one to remain open. Apart from Italy, the EU Court of Justice has also issued judgements against Lithuania and The Netherlands, which have meanwhile complied with the Court's rulings, allowing the Commission to close these cases (IP/09/1784, IP/09/1491).

An overview of telecoms infringement proceedings is available at:

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

More information on EU rules on 112:

http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/activities/112/rules/index_en.htm

For more information on EU infringement procedures, see MEMO/11/162.


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