Every year Member States submit data so we can analyse the efficiency and effectiveness of the single European emergency number - 112. Particularly, the assessment focuses on the volume of emergency calls made to 112, the answering time, an equivalent access for disabled users, as well as the availability and accuracy of the caller’s location. The findings are used to further optimise access to emergency support services.
The main findings of the report
Europeans prefer to make the call to 112 in case of emergency
The share of emergency calls to the Single European Emergency Number “112” is rising, showing the increasing preference by Europeans to use this number in case of emergency. Calls to “112” increased 12% year-on-year, while the total number of emergency calls rose 6%. Calls to “112” represented 51% of the calls placed in case of an emergency. On the basis of an extrapolation of data reported by 8 countries, 2,300,000 emergency calls were placed by roaming end-users in the reporting period.
Accuracy of caller location continued to improve in the reporting period
Advanced Mobile Location (AML), a handset-based caller location solution that relies on GNSS and Wi-Fi signals, took off in the Netherlands. Currently AML is fully deployed in Belgium, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Lithuania, Malta, Slovenia, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The Commission contributes to this development by financing AML deployment in Germany, Denmark, France, Croatia, Hungary, Portugal and Sweden, thereby raising the number of AML countries to sixteen in the near future.
Many more calls come in from mobile phones than from fixed networks
The share of emergency calls placed through mobile phones is more than double of the calls placed in fixed networks. In the reporting period 72% of emergency calls were placed from a mobile phone. This confirms that a growing number of European citizens could benefit from handset-derived caller location, as mandated by the European Electronic Communications Code
Alternative access to emergency services for end-users with disabilities-some improvement needed
24 Member States reported the implementation of alternative access to emergency services for end-users with disabilities through SMS. Meanwhile, some applications deployed can provide much better location information and additional features. In case of roaming end-users, there is room for improvement for cross-border use of these means of access to emergency services. SMS to short numbers are not routed to the host country PSAP, while the awareness of App- or Web-based solutions is insufficient due to a wide variety of these solutions across Member States. This state of affairs is in contrast with the availability of the call to the single European Emergency Number “112” for other end-users.
More public warning systems may be coming up in the next few years
Member States reported that in the next two years they are considering to deploy various public warning systems: location based SMS (in 8 MS), Cell Broadcast (in 7 MS) or Mobile Application (in 1 MS). Currently the technologies deployed are: sirens in 16 Member States; TV, radio or social media alerts in 14 Member States; specific applications in 5 Member States; SMS alert in 6 Member States and Cell Broadcast in 4 Member States.
The Commission monitors regularly the compliance by Member States with obligations related to the functioning of 112. As a result of this monitoring, the Commission initiated infringement proceedings in July 2019 against several Member States and continues working towards full compliance, in order to ensure that EU citizens can fully benefit from it.