Thursday 16 July 2009

112 a reminder that the EU is good for something

The latest newsletter from the European Emergency Number Association EENA 112 did remind me of the (not so) good old days when you had to called different emergency numbers pending on what country you happened to visit. The 112 was actually legislated on 1991 but Member States didn’t have to implement the change until 1996. And, this surprised me: most Member states (actually all but Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands) still have kept their national emergency numbers as well. That is not good – how many remembers 2 different emergency numbers? And do anyone think that it help that all countries”must inform their citizens about the existence of the 112 and how to use it”. When in need you must know by heart the emergency number. If you are abroad how likely is it that you will remember the existence of an EU number besides your national number? And if you do remember there is one would you actually know the number? This is an area where the EU should harmonize!

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