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European Emergency Number 112

New technical improvements

If you travel within the EU and face an emergency, you can call the European Emergency Number 112 for free. It will forward you to local authorities like the police or medical services. 2017 brings significant improvements for the 112 emergency responses, as it is now possible to provide the exact location of the caller in several EU Member States (for example, in Lithuania, the UK and Estonia).

Every year about 300.000 callers cannot describe their location because of their state of health, lack of knowledge or level of stress. To help address this problem, the EU financed the HELP 112 project which tested the use of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) for improving caller location in Lithuania, Italy, the UK and parts of Austria, and has recently helped to save a number of lives.

Andrus Ansip, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, said: "I welcome this very important step which helps people in distress and showcases how digital technologies can make our lives safer. I hope that in the future all Europeans will be able to benefit from more effective emergency services thanks to caller location solutions."

Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska, responsible for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs added: "Satellite navigation is crucial in determining the precise location of the 112 caller and saving lives. Galileo, Europe's own satellite navigation system, will be able to locate the caller with much greater accuracy. The launch of Galileo's initial services and first Galileo smartphones available on the market show how space data is making a difference in daily lives of EU citizens." 

On 11 February, the EU celebrates the day of the Single European Emergency Number 112. Calling 112 is free of charge in all EU Member States thanks to EU legislation that was introduced in 1991. More details on 112 Day can be found here.

© European Commission

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