112 is the European emergency phone number. You can call the 112 to contact emergency services (ambulances, fire-fighters and the police) in any country of the European Union. You can use the 112 from fixed phones, including payphones, or mobile phones. Calls to the 112 are always free of charge. The 112 functions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
“QUOTATION 112 PEOPLE”
Emmanuel Paul – President of the 112 Foundation
“Each year, more than 150 million people travel all over the EU, they should all know 112! But for 5 years 3 out of 4 European citizens are still not aware that they can dial 112 all over Europe. Now it is time to go ahead; we cannot wait 5 more years to make European citizens aware of such a vital number!”
You can reach the European emergency number 112 in all Member States of the European Union, the European Economic Area and the following countries:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France (including Monaco), Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy (including the Vatican), Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Legislation concerning the 112
Today, the 112 is governed by the Universal Service Directive for telecommunications which was adopted in March 2002. The Directive further detailed requirements concerning the 112:
- Free of charge: Member States must ensure that users of fixed and mobile telephones, including payphones, are able to call the 112 free of charge.
- No discrimination: calls to the 112 must be appropriately answered and handled. Some Member States (Sweden, Denmark and The Netherlands) have introduced the 112 as their single emergency number, while in most Member States the 112 operates alongside national emergency numbers.
- Caller location: Member States must also ensure that emergency services are able to establish the location of the person calling the 112. The ability to locate the caller in case of an emergency may be of great significance in a situation where the person is unable to state his or her location, which can happen particularly when calling from mobile phones or while travelling abroad.
- Raising awareness: all EU countries must inform their citizens about the existence of the 112 and how to use it.