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2013/0166(COD) - 13/06/2013 Legislative proposal

PURPOSE: to ensure the coordinated and coherent deployment of the interoperable EU-wide eCall service and to guarantee interoperability and continuity of the service throughout Europe.

PROPOSED ACT: Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council.

ROLE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: the European Parliament decides in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure and on an equal footing with the Council.

BACKGROUND: road safety is one of the major elements of the European Union’s transport policy. In 2011 around 30 000 people were killed and more than 1.5 million injured in about 1.1 million traffic accidents on EU roads. In this context, eCall can significantly contribute to the reduction of road fatalities and alleviation of severity of road injuries.

Therefore, the harmonised implementation of an interoperable EU-wide eCall service in the EU has been in the agenda of the Commission since 2005. Given the absence of any significant progress in the voluntary deployment of eCall by the end of 2009, the Commission decided to conduct an Impact Assessment in order to assess the most appropriate policy option to implement the EU-wide eCall service in Europe.

  • The Commission unveiled on 8 September 2011 its strategy on regulatory measures for eCall, together with the adoption of the first part of this strategy, which consisted of a Commission Recommendation on support for an EU-wide eCall service in electronic communication networks for the transmission of in-vehicle emergency calls based on 112 (‘eCalls’).
  • In its non-legislative resolution ‘report on eCall: a new 112 service for citizens’ adopted on 3 July 2012, the European Parliament stated that eCall should be a public EU-wide emergency call system, embedded in the vehicle and based on 112 and on common pan-European standards. It urged the Commission to submit a proposal within the framework of Directive 2007/46/EC in order to ensure the mandatory deployment of a public, 112-based eCall system by 2015 in all new type-approved cars and in all Member States’,
  • On 26 November 2012, the Commission adopted the Delegated Regulation (EU) No 305/2013 supplementing Directive 2010/40/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council with regard to the harmonised provision for an interoperable EU-wide eCall.

IMPACT ASSESSMENT: the impact assessment concluded that the best option to implement eCall effectively is a ‘regulatory’ approach. eCall will then be based on the installation of type-approved equipment for the Single European Emergency Number 112 in all vehicles, starting with certain categories of vehicles, and a framework for handling eCalls in the telecommunication networks and PSAPs; the ability of mobile network operators to transmit messages in a certain format and, lastly, the capacity of the emergency call response centres (also known as PSAPs — Public Safety Answering Points) to handle these messages. The system can only be operational if all three parts are in operation simultaneously.

The estimated costs of upgrading PSAPs average around EUR 1.1 million per Member State. The benefits identified include:

  • reduction in fatalities (with all vehicles eCall-equipped, between 1% and 10% depending on country population density and road and emergency response infrastructure);
  • reduction in the seriousness of the injuries (between 2% and 15%);
  • reduction in congestion costs caused by traffic accidents;
  • facilitation of rescue services;
  • reduced SOS roadside infrastructure.

LEGAL BASIS: Article 91 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

CONTENT: this proposal addresses the part concerning the Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) infrastructure in the Commission strategy on eCall, based on a three-pronged regulatory approach encompassing the in-vehicle system, the telecommunications networks and the PSAPs.

The current proposal calls on Member States to deploy the necessary eCall PSAP infrastructure required for the proper receipt and handling of all eCalls on their territory no later than 1 October 2015, in accordance with the specifications laid down by Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 305/2013 supplementing Directive 2010/40/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council with regard to harmonised provision for an interoperable EU-wide eCall, in order to ensure the compatibility, interoperability and continuity of the EU-wide eCall service.

Each Member State will be able to organise its emergency services in the way most cost effective and appropriate to its needs, including the possibility to filter calls that are not emergency calls and may not be handled by eCall PSAPs, in particular in the case of manually triggered eCalls.

The Commission is proposing this piece of legislation in parallel to a proposed Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council introducing in the EC motor vehicle type-approval system a requirement for fitting an eCall in-vehicle system.

BUDGETARY IMPLICATION: there are no budgetary implications for the EU budget.