EC to ask EU Court to fine Italy for insufficient 112 infrastructure

The European Commission has decided to ask the EU Court of Justice to fine Italy for failing to respect a previous Court judgment for not providing full caller location information for emergency services.

Member States have an obligation to ensure that when a person dials Europe’s single emergency number (112) from a mobile phone, details of his or her location are sent to the emergency services. The Commission’s decision to refer Italy back to the Court follows two previous warnings from the Commission.

Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes said “I regret that the Commission has had to ask the Court to impose financial sanctions on Italy, but I will not stand by and see citizens’ lives put at risk due to a government’s failure to act. It is extremely important for emergency services in Italy to be able to locate emergency callers – it is often a case of life and death. Italy has to respect its obligations to implement the 112 emergency call system like all other Member States.”

On 15 January 2009, the EU Court of Justice ruled that Italy had failed to make this information available to authorities handling emergency calls to the single European emergency number 112.

Following the Court’s decision last year, the Commission sent a letter of formal notice on 14 May 2009 and a Reasoned Opinion on 20 November 2009 asking Italy to take steps to fully implement caller location for 112.

The Italian authorities had informed the Commission that they intended to put in place an emergency system for caller location information, which, however, did not proceed according to plans. This was not sufficient to comply with the Court’s ruling.

Click to see a detailed overview of the telecoms infringement proceedings.

Source: European Commission.

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