112 – European Emergency Number
In Europe, the number 112 became the single European emergency number in 1991.
Rules ensure that European citizens gain better access to an emergency number not only by traditional telephony but also using new technologies (such as VoIP).
Users of fixed and mobile telephones, including payphones, are able to call 112 free of charge. 112 calls must be appropriately answered and handled, irrespective of whether other emergency numbers exist in a specific country;
It must be ensured that emergency services are able to establish the location of the person calling 112.
The EU Roaming Regulation obliges roaming service providers to send an SMS to people travelling to another EU country with information about the European emergency number 112.
The European Commission is working together with national authorities to ensure the correct implementation of 112. According to the latest COCOM report on 112 (February 2017), in 22 Member States, less than 10 seconds were needed for the answering time to get in contact with emergency services. Of those which reported the time needed to receive the caller location, the longest periods were in Malta and Greece. Austria, Luxembourg and the Slovak Republic did not report relevant data for this Key Performance Indicator.
The best performing Member States where more than 90% of the calls are answered in 10 seconds are: Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Latvia, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania,Slovenia, Spain, United Kingdom.
A pre-recorded message is played before getting in contact with an operator in Cyprus, France, Greece, Poland and Spain.
In total 158.605.429 calls were made to 112 in the year 2016.
False calls are representing about a third of all emergency calls. In Luxembourg, the percentage is 38 %. The lowest rate is in Cyprus (8 %), the highest in Greece (almost 97 %).