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Parliamentary question - E-002997/2019(ASW)Parliamentary question

Answer given by Ms Gabriel on behalf of the European Commission

The Commission constantly monitors implementation of the regulatory framework on calls to 112 and publishes yearly a ‘Report on the implementation of the European emergency number 112’[1]. Recently, the Commission initiated infringement procedures against several Member States for having failed to implement effectively the rules on the 112 emergency number, and it is actively monitoring the legal and technical developments in several other Member States[2].

The current rules, set out in Article 26 of the Universal Service Directive[3], impose requirements of speed in the transmission of caller location information. The legal obligations on Member States leave a margin of discretion to the national authorities regarding the accuracy and reliability of the caller location information that is provided. Recently the Court has interpreted that this margin of discretion is not absolute, ruling that the caller location information provided needs to enable emergency services usefully to intervene[4].

The Commission actively promotes[5] the adoption by Member States of more accurate location systems than those based on network cells[6]. In particular, in order to support Member States in their efforts to adapt to new technologies, such as Advanced Mobile Location (AML), the Commission has funded the Help112 projects[7], ensuring the deployment of AML in 16 Member States.[8]

To adapt the EU rules to new technological advances, the recently adopted European Electronic Communications Code[9] updated the rules on the emergency number 112 by complementing network-based with handset-based location, like AML, as these technologies have proven to be significantly more accurate and cost effective. These new rules will have to be applied in all Member States from 21 December 2020.

Last updated: 5 December 2019
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