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Procedure : 2012/2056(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A7-0205/2012

Texts tabled :

A7-0205/2012

Debates :

PV 02/07/2012 - 24
CRE 02/07/2012 - 24

Votes :

PV 03/07/2012 - 6.9
Explanations of votes
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P7_TA(2012)0274

Texts adopted
PDF 129kWORD 65k
Tuesday, 3 July 2012 - Strasbourg Final edition
eCall: a new 112 service for citizens
P7_TA(2012)0274A7-0205/2012

European Parliament resolution of 3 July 2012 on eCall: a new 112 service for citizens (2012/2056(INI))

The European Parliament ,

–  having regard to the Commission recommendation of 8 September 2011 on support for an EU-wide eCall service in electronic communication networks for the transmission of in-vehicle emergency calls based on 112 (eCalls)(1) ,

–  having regard to Directive 2010/40/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 July 2010 on the framework for the deployment of Intelligent Transport Systems in the field of road transport and for interfaces with other modes of transport(2) ,

–  having regard to Directive 2002/22/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 March 2002 on universal service and users' rights relating to electronic communications networks and services (Universal Service Directive)(3) ,

–  having regard to the Commission Staff Working Paper ‘Impact Assessment’ accompanying the 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’) (SEC(2011)1020),

–  having regard to the Commission communication ‘Towards a European road safety area: policy orientations on road safety 2011-2020’ (COM(2010)0389),

–  having regard to the Commission communication ‘A sustainable future for transport: Towards an integrated, technology-led and user friendly system’ (COM(2009)0279),

–  having regard to the Commission communication ‘eCall: Time for Deployment’ (COM(2009)0434),

–  having regard to the Commission communication ‘Towards Europe-wide Safer, Cleaner and Efficient Mobility: The First Intelligent Car Report’ (COM(2007)0541),

–  having regard to the Commission communication ‘On the Intelligent Car Initiative – ’Raising Awareness of ICT for Smarter, Safer and Cleaner Vehicles' (COM(2006)0059),

–  having regard to the Commission communication ‘Bringing eCall back on track - Action Plan’ (Third eSafety Communication) (COM(2006)0723),

–  having regard to the Commission communication ‘Bringing eCall to Citizens’ (Second eSafety Communication) (COM(2005)0431),

–  having regard to the Commission communication ‘Information and Communications Technologies for Safe and Intelligent Vehicles’ (COM(2003)0542),

–  having regard to the Commission communication ‘European Road Safety Action Programme - Halving the number of road accident victims in the European Union by 2010: A shared responsibility’ (COM(2003)0311),

–  having regard to the working document on data protection and privacy implications in eCall initiative (Article 29 Working Party – 1609/06/EN, WP 125),

–  having regard to its resolution of 25 October 2011 on mobility and inclusion of people with disabilities and the European Disability Strategy 2010–2020(4) ,

–  having regard to its resolution of 27 September 2011 on European Road Safety 2011-2020(5) ,

–  having regard to its declaration of 17 November 2011 on the need for accessible 112 emergency services(6) ,

–  having regard to its resolution of 6 July 2010 on a sustainable future for transport(7) ,

–  having regard to its resolution of 5 July 2011 on Universal Service and the 112 emergency number(8) ,

–  having regard to its resolution of 23 April 2009 on the Intelligent Transport Systems Action Plan(9) ,

–  having regard to its resolution of 19 June 2008(10) on the First Intelligent Car Report,

–  having regard to its resolution of 18 January 2007 on the Third European Road Safety Action Programme – mid-term review(11) ,

–  having regard to its resolution of 27 April 2006 on road safety: bringing eCall to citizens(12) ,

–  having regard to its resolution of 29 September 2005 on ‘European Road Safety Action Programme – halving the number of road accident victims in the European Union by 2010: a shared responsibility’(13) ,

–  having regard to the ‘World report on road traffic injury prevention’ published jointly in 2004 by the World Bank and the WHO,

–  having regard to Rule 48 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the joint deliberations of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection and the Committee on Transport and Tourism under Rule 51 of the Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection and the Committee on Transport and Tourism (A7-0205/2012),

A.  whereas according to the prediction made by the World Bank and WHO, the number of traffic accident victims is expected to rise in every area of the world (from being the ninth to the third cause of death by 2020), and the lower mortality ranking for the 5-14 age group is also a hard blow for both parents and society;

B.  whereas based on the data in the European Union for 2004, more than 40 000 people die every year in accidents and 150 000 people suffer permanent disability;

C.  whereas the aim of the in-vehicle eCall system is to ensure the automatic notification of the emergency services in case of a serious accident, with the purpose of reducing road fatalities and alleviating the severity of road injuries by the earlier arrival of qualified and equipped assistance (the ‘golden hour’ principle);

D.  whereas the eCall emergency call is generated automatically via the activation of in-vehicle sensors which, when activated, establish voice and data connection directly with the relevant Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs);

E.  whereas, according to official statistical data on eCall, it is estimated that the full integration of the system in cars in EU Member States will save up to 2 500 lives annually, while also reducing the severity of injuries by 10-15 %;

F.  whereas eCall provides benefit to road users, travelling within their countries or abroad, who may be unfamiliar with the roads and their exact location in the case of accident;

G.  whereas eCall allows emergency calls to be made without language difficulties by virtue of the digital data enclosed in the Minimum Set of Data (MSD) message format, which is likely to reduce misunderstanding and stress and helps to eliminate language barriers between the vehicle occupants and the PSAP operator, which is important in the European multi-language environment;

H.  whereas the deployment of an EU-wide eCall service available in all vehicles and in all countries has been a major priority for the Union in the context of road safety since 2002, and is included in the Road Safety Action Programme 2011-2020 as a means of improving road safety and contributing to the target of reducing the numbers of road deaths and injuries in Europe;

I.  whereas Directive 2010/40/EU includes ‘the harmonised provision for an interoperable EU-wide eCall’ among its priority actions and sets the obligation for the Commission to adopt, by the end of 2012, common specifications for the upgrading of the PSAPs;

J.  whereas Member States remain responsible for the type of organisation for the PSAPs receiving the eCalls, be it a public organisation or a private organisation acting under public delegation;

K.  whereas the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the Realisation of Interoperable In-Vehicle eCall in Europe has to date been signed by 22 Member States, 5 Associated States, and more than 100 organisations; whereas two more Member States have expressed their support to a mandatory deployment of eCall;

L.  whereas Parliament has expressed its support for the introduction of eCall on numerous occasions, including support for its mandatory deployment, an initiative that will create a feeling of greater safety for citizens when travelling;

M.  whereas a voluntary approach to deployment in the EU has been Commission policy since 2003 but has not achieved significant progress to date;

N.  whereas in its 2009 communication ‘eCall: Time for Deployment’, the Commission indicated that if significant progress had not been made by the end of 2009 in terms of both the availability of the eCall device in vehicles and the necessary investment in the PSAP infrastructure, it would propose regulatory measures;

O.  whereas according to the results of the public consultation carried out in 2010 by the Commission on the implementation of eCall, more than 80 % of respondents find the eCall system useful and would like their vehicle to be equipped with it;

P.  whereas motorcyclists are the user group that can have the most difficulty in notifying the emergency services in the event of being involved in a road accident;

Q.  whereas agricultural and industrial vehicles, particularly agricultural tractors, tend to operate in remote and isolated areas, and are therefore often unable to notify the emergency services in the event of an accident;

R.  whereas private in-vehicle emergency call services exist today, and their deployment in Europe is increasing, but none of them offers full EU-wide coverage and market penetration is below 0,4 % of the vehicle fleet, while some of the services introduced have been dismantled due to market failures, leaving the user without in-vehicle emergency call service during the lifetime of the vehicle;

S.  whereas the technology is ready, and common EU-wide standards have been agreed on and are being refined and tested by industry actors and public authorities in the framework of pilot projects;

T.  whereas the Commission publicly announced in 2011 that it would present, in the first quarter of 2012, a new regulation including eCall as an additional requirement within the motor vehicle type-approval regulatory framework;

1.  Welcomes the Commission's recommendation of 8 September 2011, and urges the Member States and the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to implement its required measures and upgrades at the latest by the end of 2014; regrets, however, that only 18 Member States responded in time; calls on the remaining Member States to do so as soon as possible;

2.  Regrets the delays and lack of progress in the voluntary deployment of eCall to date and the fact that three Member States have not signed the eCall MoU or stated their support to the eCall deployment; calls, therefore, on those Member States that have not yet done so to sign the MoU on the development of a EU-wide interoperable eCall service in Europe, and urges all the parties involved to act simultaneously in order to establish this service;

3.  Underlines the fact that significant gaps exist in the functioning of the European emergency number 112 on which eCall is to be based; calls on the Member States to address these gaps as a matter of urgency, and calls on the Commission to step up its monitoring in this regard;

4.  Considers 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 to guarantee technology neutrality, in order to ensure a reliable, high-quality, affordable and user-friendly service that can work seamlessly and interoperably across the whole of Europe in all automobiles, irrespective of make, country or actual location of the vehicle, thus maximising the benefits of eCall for all road users, including disabled people with special needs;

5.  Emphasises the positive effects of eCall, in terms not only of improving incident management, reducing congestion produced by accidents and avoiding secondary accidents, but particularly of speeding up the arrival of the emergency services and thus reducing fatalities and the severity of injuries resulting from road traffic accidents, thereby improving Europeans' confidence when travelling in other Member States;

6.  Considers that if the introduction of eCall is left to market forces, eCall will only benefit people who can afford high-end vehicles, whereas a mandatory introduction of the system embedded in all vehicles would lead to lower costs and universal, EU-wide deployment;

7.  Recalls that the Commission's impact assessment shows that the adoption of regulatory measures to enforce the mandatory introduction of eCall is at present the only option to achieve all positive effects;

8.  Urges 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;

9.  Considers that the public eCall service should be free of charge and obligatory, and should be installed in all new vehicles falling under the scope of this proposal;

10.  Considers that the public eCall service must be simple, affordable, operational and accessible to everybody throughout the EU, regardless of the vehicle and its location;

11.  Rejects the idea that the implementation of the in-vehicle aspects of eCall could be phased in over an extended period of time;

12.  Calls on the Commission to propose any other regulatory measure necessary to avoid additional delays that could result in preventable fatalities;

13.  Considers that while the cost–benefit analysis (CBA) method can serve an important role in generating data on which to base complex decisions pertaining to investments and technology take-up, it can be of dubious merit when an important part of the analysis involves estimating the value of human life;

14.  Calls on the Commission, while assessing the impact of the deployment of the eCall in the EU, to take into consideration not only the investment and operational costs but also the social benefits resulting from the deployment of the eCall;

15.  Calls on the Commission to set up clear rules on the liability of stakeholders involved in the eCall system;

16.  Calls on the Commission to assess the possibility of false alarms being generated by e-Call systems, the influence of such false alarms on daily emergency services, the need to distinguish both between serious and less serious accidents and between emergency signals and other information to be transmitted to the emergency services to ensure their efficient operation; calls on the Commission to propose concrete solutions on these problems, if necessary;

17.  Welcomes the establishment of the European eCall Implementation Platform, and calls for relevant stakeholders and Member States representatives to participate to ensure a harmonised introduction of eCall;

18.  Calls on the Commission to consider extending the eCall system in the near future to include other vehicles, such as heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), buses and coaches, and powered two-wheelers (PTW), and to assess whether it should be extended also to include agricultural tractors and industrial vehicles;

19.  Considers that the use of aftermarket E-call devices should be allowed for existing vehicles;

PSAPs (Public Safety Answering Points) : emergency response aspects

20.  Notes that ensuring that all PSAPs in all Member States are equipped to a high standard is essential if there is to be a uniform level of protection of all citizens throughout the Union, and therefore calls on the Commission to propose legislation requiring Member States to upgrade their emergency response services infrastructures, and to provide suitable training to operators, so as to be able to handle eCalls by 2015, in a way that is best suited to their national structures and that makes them accessible to everyone;

21.  Urges the Commission to adopt the common specifications for PSAPs within the framework of the ITS Directive by the end of 2012, and to propose a directive on the implementation of eCall;

22.  Appreciates the willingness of mobile network operators (MNOs) to handle eCalls like any other 112 calls, and suggests that they, along with the Member States, should report on a yearly basis to the Commission on the progress made and the difficulties encountered, in particular in relation to the eCall flag;

23.  Welcomes the fact that the establishment of a voice connection between vehicle occupants and the PSAP operators handling emergency calls, allowing mutual communication, reduces both the risk of inappropriate responses and the unnecessary deployment of emergency services, such as in the case of a light accident;

24.  Stresses that there is a growing need for a common data transfer protocol for forwarding such information to public safety answering points and emergency response services, in order to avoid the risk of confusion or misinterpretation of the data communicated; emphasises that the forwarding of information by mobile network operators to public safety answering points should be established in a transparent and non-discriminatory way;

25.  Recalls that having electronic data in the PSAPs may also lead to additional advantages, such as advanced guidance for members of the rescue services to be informed properly about new sources of danger that they may face due to the development of electric cars and other new propulsion systems;

26.  Considers that links between PSAPs and road operators for improving incident management should be promoted, in line with the recommendations of the European eCall Implementation Platform (EeIP);

27.  Supports the intensive work done within the HeERO project (Harmonised eCall European Pilot) on the pilot cross-border authentication of eCall; calls on the Commission and on the Member States to increase cooperation between national PSAPs and emergency response services, in particular at cross-border points in Europe, and to encourage the development of joint training and exchanges of best practices, with a view to improving the effectiveness of the entire emergency services supply chain;

28.  Calls on the Commission to ensure that the eCall system, and the links to PSAPs, also are compatible with systems that interact with infrastructure and with intelligent onboard systems (such as intelligent safety barriers that warn of the possibility of accidents, intelligent onboard speed systems, etc.);

Private emergency call services

29.  Considers that a public EU-wide eCall service can coexist with private emergency services, on the conditions that all performance standards are met by both public and private services, and that – regardless of whether or not a vehicle buyer opts for a private solution – all vehicles are equipped with the public eCall service so as to ensure continuity of the service in all Member States throughout the lifetime of the vehicle;

30.  Stresses that the eCall system must be user-friendly, and emphasises that consumers should be offered a realistic overview of the system, as well as comprehensive and reliable information regarding any additional functionalities or services linked to the private, in-vehicle emergency or assistance-call applications on offer, and regarding the level of service to be expected with the purchase of such applications and the associated cost;

31.  Requests that when a consumer that subscribes to a private emergency call service chooses not to use that service, or is travelling in a country where that service is not offered, the public 112 eCall service should automatically be available;

32.  Considers that private eCall service providers also have the possibility to migrate to the EU-wide eCall service at any time, while continuing to provide other call services;

33.  Invites EU businesses to become involved in the development of the necessary eCall system applications, services and infrastructure, in order to stimulate EU-wide innovation;

Data protection

34.  Stresses the fact that the public eCall system must not under any circumstances allow the journey of a vehicle to be traced, signifying that it must remain a dormant system until an emergency call is triggered, in line with the recommendations of the Article 29 Working Party on Data Protection; recalls that the eCall service has the priority objective of improving incident management, and that data provided by the eCall service cannot be used in any way to monitor and study a person's movements or determine his location unless that person has been involved in an accident;

35.  Stresses that appropriate rules that respect transparency should be included for the processing of personal data relating to eCalls, not only by MNOs but also by all other actors involved, including vehicle manufacturers, PSAPs and emergency services, in order to ensure that the principles of privacy and protection of personal data are respected in accordance with European directives 95/46/EC and 2002/58/EC and with national legislation; stresses that any upcoming legislation should clarify the responsibilities, under Directive 95/46/EC, of the different actors involved in the eCall, as well as the modalities for providing information to data subjects and for facilitating the exercise of their rights;

36.  Stresses that private eCall services must respect the principles of privacy and data protection, providing in particular for informed consent and the possibility of opting out, in line with the recommendations of the Article 29 Working Party; emphasises that consumers' informed consent should be based on full information about the amount of data gathered and the purpose to which it is gathered, and that consumers should be able to withdraw their consent at any time;

37.  Stresses that the owner or leasee of a vehicle should decide, as an informed consumer, who gets access to the data regarding private eCall services registered to the vehicle;

Other related fields

38.  Emphasises that the eCall system utilises technical components (satellite positioning, processing and communication capabilities) that could also provide the basis for several other in-vehicle applications and services;

39.  Considers that, in order to ensure open choice for customers, the eCall in-vehicle system should be accessible free of charge and without discrimination to all stakeholders such as providers of car aftermarket products and services, equipment suppliers, repair shops and independent service providers, roadside assistance and related services; calls on the Commission to ensure that the eCall system is based on an interoperable and open-access platform for possible future in-vehicle applications or services, in order to encourage innovation and boost the competitiveness of the European information technology industry on the global markets; stresses that any such applications and services shall remain optional.

40.  Considers that open choice for customers and open access for service providers should become part of the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) in-vehicle platform design criteria, and that in-vehicle related interfaces should be standardised to allow fair competition and to encourage innovation in the European telematics market;

41.  Stresses that any additional services to be used in a vehicle – especially when driving – will need to comply with clear safety, security and data protection privacy standards, and that compliance with such standards must be measured and controlled;

42.  Recalls that the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) and Galileo can contribute significantly to road traffic management and emergency interventions, and this requires an information campaign to promote greater use of the opportunities that this system offers with regard to the eCall application;

43.  Considers that Member States should be allowed to establish eCall filtering systems for PSAPs that allow the rapid identification of urgent calls, thereby avoiding call centres from being overburdened while increasing the efficiency of emergency services; considers that such efforts should be supported by the Commission;

44.  Calls on the Member States, in cooperation with the Commission, to establish and run national pilot programmes to implement the automatic vehicle emergency response system (eCall) in order to identify possible problems, and to prepare the way for the mandatory implementation of the system in all Member States in 2015;

45.  Requests that a standard eCall interface, a so called ‘eCall button’, which is easily identifiable also for persons with disabilities, should be inserted in all vehicles in order to avoid misunderstanding and possible misuse of the system; calls on the Commission and the European Standardisation Organisations to propose a harmonised standard for such manual triggering mechanism;

46.  Calls on the Commission to assess the possible impact of eCall on public health systems expenditures; in this regard, calls on the Member States to agree on a harmonised definition of serious injuries;

47.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to step up their activities as regards providing extensive practical information through the development of a targeted and far-reaching communication strategy, and implementing coordinated awareness-raising campaigns, concerning the eCall system and its benefits, its use and its functionalities, also in terms of safety for EU's citizens, with the aims of increasing both the public's understanding of, and its demand for, such emergency services, and of minimising the risk that these service are misused or misunderstood;

48.  Recommends that the Commission take care that the eCall service is interoperable with other similar in-vehicle emergency services promoted in neighbouring regions, such as the ERA-GLONASS service;

o
o   o

49.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the Governments and Parliaments of the Member States.

(1) OJ L 303, 22.11.2011, p. 46.
(2) OJ L 207, 6.8.2010, p. 1.
(3) OJ L 108, 24.4.2002, p. 51.
(4) Texts adopted: P7_TA(2011)0453.
(5) Texts adopted: P7_TA(2011)0408.
(6) Texts adopted: P7_TA(2011)0519.
(7) OJ C 351 E, 2.12.2011, p. 13.
(8) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0306.
(9) OJ C 184 E, 8.7.2010, p. 50.
(10) OJ C 286 E, 27.11.2009, p. 45.
(11) OJ C 244 E, 18.10.2007, p. 220.
(12) OJ C 296 E, 6.12.2006, p. 268.
(13) OJ C 227 E, 21.9.2006, p. 609.

Last updated: 17 October 2013Legal notice