11 February is European 112 Day, a day aimed at raising public awareness of Europe's emergency number, 112. This year in August will be 25 years since 112 number was introduced, yet a survey shows that only half (48%) of EU citizens could spontaneously identify 112 as the number that allows them to call the police, fire brigade or medical services anywhere in the EU at no cost.

graphic iwith human figure holding a banner with 112 and text one (one two) for all - Saving lives across Europe for 25 years

As people travel increasingly to other European countries, a single emergency number throughout the EU is of great value. People just need to remember one emergency number anywhere in the EU: 112 – and will immediately reach the local police, ambulance or fire services.

Just a few years ago only one out of four Europeans knew about 112. Since 2012, the Commission has stepped up efforts with public authorities, travel operators and transport companies to publicise the 112 services to those who travel through Europe.

But differences remain between EU countries (Poland and Luxembourg having the highest awareness levels with 83% and 80%, respectively).

This is why the Commission pursues its efforts to inform Europeans, especially the youngest ones, and is reaching out this year to the Erasmus+ network to enlist its support. Commissioner Oettinger, in charge of the Digital Economy and Society, and Commissioner Navracsics, responsible for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, said: "112 became the single European emergency number a generation ago. It is especially important that young people - who increasingly travel, study or work across borders – know the number that can save lives across the EU. We urge all those involved in the Erasmus+ programme to help spread the message about 112."

The Erasmus+ programme is the biggest publicly financed European programme for young Europeans, providing opportunities for over 4 million young people and students to study, train, gain work experience and volunteer abroad. As their safety and security is a priority, the Commission invited the Erasmus+ National Agencies to inform the participants involved in in the Erasmus+ programme about Europe's single emergency number 112. This is another way to help ensure the safety and security of young people abroad.

Background

The Single European Emergency Number 112 was introduced by an EU Council Decision in 1991. It is available in every Member State.

The Commission has also produced promotional material (including posters, banners and quizzes) that can be used by anyone seeking to boost 112 awareness.

112 is also being used in countries outside the EU, such as Switzerland, Iceland and Turkey.

Useful links

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