The European Commission today stepped up legal action against Italy because Italian emergency services still do not receive information about the location of people who dial 112 – Europe’s single emergency number – from mobile phones despite a previous judgement of the European Court of Justice.
The Commission has decided to send Italy a reasoned opinion, which is the final stage before the case is referred again to the European Court of Justice, who would then have to decide to impose financial penalties on Italy for lack of respect of a previous judgement.
On 15 January 2009, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that Italy had failed to make 112 caller location information available to authorities handling emergencies for all calls. In particular, caller location information is not yet available to emergency services throughout Italy for calls made to 112 from mobile phones. This follows an infringement proceeding opened by the Commission in April 2006.
In response to the letter of formal notice following the ECJ judgement, the Italian authorities planned to implement a temporary emergency system that would enable caller location information to be available in a relatively short time.
However such a system would finally only become operational by September 2010. As this delay does not meet the terms of the ECJ judgement, the Commission has now decided to send a reasoned opinion to Italy under Article 228 of the EC Treaty.
If the Italian authorities still do not comply, the Commission will apply to the ECJ asking it to impose financial penalties on Italy.
Source: European Commission.