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Reacting to incidents at local level often involves citizens calling the emergency services. However, if you are travelling in the EU, do you know which number to call? The single European emergency number 112 was set up so that European citizens in distress situations are able to get through to the emergency services in all Member States. Thus, anyone travelling within the Union has to remember only one number and this guarantees a quicker and more efficient intervention. While 112 does not automatically replace national emergency numbers, all Member States operate it as either their main or additional emergency number.
112 was established by Council Decision of 29 July 1991 (91/398/EEC). The relevant legal provisions at European Union level are now incorporated in article 26 of Directive 2002/22/EC known as the Universal Service Directive, which provides for universal service and users' rights relating to electronic communications networks and services.
For more information on 112 in your country, please see the Commission's Information Society Directorate-General website.