No matter where you spend your summer holiday - the beach, mountains or city - if you are holidaying in Europe, remember the 112 European emergency number. We hope you won't need it, but in case of emergency, don't panic, just dial 112.
It can be dialled from anywhere within the 27 EU countries. It does not replace national emergency numbers, but acts in parallel to them. You can use it at home, of course, but it really comes into its own when you are in another member state, where you can simply dial 112 to call the police, an ambulance, or report a traffic accident - you don't need to know the national number.
During the 4 July plenary, the European Parliament will debate a report on universal service and the 112 emergency number, drafted by Greek Socialist Sylvana Rapti, assessing the current state of play and challenges, notably financing, call handling (response time, calls in foreign languages, caller location, etc) and quality of access for vulnerable people and disabled consumers.
The report notes that 112 can literally save lives and regrets that it has not reached its full potential. Ms Rapti said it is vital to support the 112 number so as to bring the highest benefits to citizens "otherwise the consequence would be to deprive it of its usefulness".
The report also recommends the use of interpretation services to help people who do not speak the language of the country in which they are using the emergency services and emphasises the need to guarantee accessibility to disabled and vulnerable people.
112 has been the official European emergency number since February 2009. Legislation passed by the Parliament last year made the number more accessible.