Information on 112

The Single Emergency Number for Europe

To mark “European 112 Day” on 11th February, the European  Commission is urging Member States to step up their efforts to increase public awareness of the emergency number in Europe.

The statistics are clear and, although knowledge of this number has increased slightly, around three out of four EU citizens still do not know they can call 112 in case of emergency to contact the police, fire brigade or medical services, either in their own country or other EU countries.

In the words of Neelie Kroes, European Commission Vice President for the Digital Agenda: “A European emergency number saves lives, but only if people know about it. On “European 112 Day”, I appeal to the Member States to speed up and consolidate their efforts to ensure that everyone knows they can dial “112” in an emergency.”

A recent Eurobarometer survey shows that just over a quarter (25%) of EU citizens questioned could spontaneously identify 112 as the number to call emergency services from anywhere in the EU. In Greece, Italy, and the UK, less than 10% of citizens were aware.

In 21 EU countries, the emergency number 112 appears in telephone directories and in 20 it appears written on emergency vehicles. However, only 22% of EU citizens said they have received information regarding 112, according to the report. A majority (62%) also said they were not sufficiently well-informed about the EU emergency number. Many citizens also reported having had language problems: one in ten people had problems in communicating in another language when calling 112 from abroad, despite Member States saying their 112 emergency centres were prepared to deal with the calls at least in English.

Memorize this number and save lives.


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