Skip to main content
Shaping Europe’s digital future logo
Shaping Europe’s digital future

112: EU Emergency number

Need help? 112 is your life-saving number! 112 is the European emergency phone number, available everywhere in the EU, free of charge.

© European Commission

112 network-based location. Precise caller location saves lives.

How does it work?

  • You can call 112 from fixed and mobile phones to contact any emergency service: an ambulance, the fire brigade or the police.
  • A specially trained operator will answer any 112 call. The operator will either deal with the request directly or transfer the call to the most appropriate emergency service depending on the national organisation of emergency services.
  • Operators in many countries can answer the calls not only in their national language, but also in English or French. If the caller does not know where he is, the operator will identify where the person making the call is physically located and will pass it to the emergency authorities so that these can help immediately.
  • 112 is also used in some countries outside the EU - such as Switzerland and South Africa - and is available worldwide on GSM mobile networks.

Do Remember

  • 112 functions alongside existing national emergency numbers. Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania and Sweden have opted for 112 as their only national emergency number.
  • 112 operators respond only to real emergencies. They do not provide traffic and weather reports, general information or answers to queries.
  • Hoax Calls to 112 are a waste the time and money of the emergency operators and can also be dangerous and a criminal offence in most countries.

eCall

New cars are equipped with eCall technology, which automatically dials 112 in the event of a serious road accident and communicates the vehicle's location to the emergency services.

 

EU Rules on 112

112 became the single European emergency number in 1991. The European Electronic Communications Code ensures that Europeans can call European emergency number 112 from any type of phone, wherever they are in Europe, ensuring:

  • European citizens gain better access to 112 not only by traditional telephony but also using new technologies (such as VoIP)
  • operators provide information about caller location to emergency authorities
  • improved access to 112 for people with disabilities

The Roaming Regulation obliges roaming service providers to send an SMS to people travelling to another EU country with information about the European emergency number 112.

112 Day: raising awareness of EU single emergency number

February 11 is the European 112 Day. On this day, different awareness and networking activities are organised throughout the EU in order to promote the existence and use of Europe's single emergency number.

The European Commission publishes regular reports on the implementation of the European emergency number in EU countries, and as of 2020 the Commission submits the report to the European Parliament and the Council every two years.

Latest news

PRESS RELEASE |
EU emergency number 112 marks 30th anniversary

‘112', the common EU number for emergency communications has been saving lives for 30 years, helping Europeans travel safely and reach emergency services in any EU country through the single EU number. In 2019, Europeans called ‘112' close to 150 million times, which represents 56% of all emergency calls, while in the last 10 years, some 1.5 billion calls were made to the number.

NEWS ARTICLE |
112 Day raises awareness on EU emergency number

In emergencies, dialling 112 is the critical step for getting help. The recognisable, EU-wide emergency number is supported by operators and national Public Safety Answering Point systems, which ensure that the call is properly and efficiently handled.
The EU is making sure that Europeans know that they can dial the same emergency number anywhere in the EU. To raise awareness among Europeans and, in fact, anyone travelling in the EU, each year, February 11th marks ‘112 Day’.

Related Content

Big Picture

Connectivity

The EU’s goal is for Europe to be the most connected continent by 2030.

See Also

Open Internet

EU rules enshrine the principle of open Internet access: internet traffic shall be treated without discrimination, blocking, throttling or prioritisation.

ICT and standardisation

ICT specifications ensure that products can connect and interoperate with each other, boosting innovation, and keeping ICT markets open and competitive.

Electronic communications laws

The EU's electronic communications policy improves competition, drives innovation, and boosts consumer rights within the European single market.

The Connectivity Toolbox

The connectivity toolbox offers guidance for the deployment of fibre and 5G networks. These networks will offer significant economic opportunities.

Radio spectrum: the basis of wireless communications

Wireless communications, via public or private networks, use radio spectrum, i.e. a range of radio waves, to carry information. Such communication can be between people, people and machines or systems (“things” more general) or between things. In this context, radio spectrum is...

5G

5G is the critical new generation network technology that will enable innovation and support the digital transformation.

Connected and automated mobility

Connected and Automated Mobility provides a unique opportunity to make our transport systems safer, cleaner, more efficient and more user-friendly.

Satellite broadband

Satellite broadband is available to provide fast internet connectivity throughout every EU country.

Support for Broadband rollout

The European Commission is supporting EU businesses, project managers and authorities in increasing network coverage to reach the EU’s Gigabit Society goals.