The European Commission has ended legal action taken against Italy following confirmation that calls made to the single European emergency number 112 can be effectively transferred to the relevant national emergency service.
The various emergency response systems of many Member States, including Italy, in particular police, ambulance, fire and rescue services, run separate call centre systems using different numbers.
The Member States have to ensure that the handling and answering of 112 calls is as effective as for calls made to other national emergency numbers. It was questioned in Italy whether call centres of the emergency service in charge of receiving 112 calls could transfer callers to the centres of other required emergency services.
The Commission had therefore sent a letter of formal notice to Italy about the effectiveness of 112 calls handling and answering in September 2008.
In response to the investigations by the Commission, the Italian authorities demonstrated that calls were effectively being transferred by the police force, which normally answers 112 calls, to the respective emergency service as required by the Universal Service Directive.