In 2018, we welcomed the introduction of the European Electronic Communications Code (EECC) which represented a major step forward for people’s safety on multiple fronts. Today – 21 December – marks the deadline for the implementation of article 109, which includes caller location and accessibility for persons with disabilities. The provisions of the EECC are binding on all EU Members States: countries that have not achieved implementation risk facing infringement procedures resulting in financial sanctions.

What should countries have implemented?

Several important provisions are mentioned in article 109 and EU Member States had 2 years to implement them in their national laws. Among these provisions were:

Accurate Caller Location

All EU Member States should have implemented systems to allow emergency services to receive handset-derived location information, for instance using Advanced Mobile Location. This location information must be provided at no cost to the emergency services or to the caller.

Accessibility for persons with disabilities

All EU Member States should have taken appropriate actions to ensure that persons with disabilities have equivalent access to emergency services through emergency communications. Emergency communications means not only through voice, but also SMS, video, messaging, total conversation, and other means.

What will happen if countries have not implemented the provisions?

Although most Member States have met this deadline, some have not. The European Commission is responsible for ensuring that EU law is implemented, and it will launch infringement procedures against countries which have not done so. Not only may these authorities receive financial penalties, but their citizens’ lives are also being put at risk. EENA will be carefully following the implementation in the EU Members States and will submit complaints to the European Commission against those countries which have not made effort to uphold their obligations under EU law and protect their citizens.

Do you need help or advice?

EENA is always ready to help any public authority aiming to improve the safety of citizens. If you have not succeeded in implementing the provisions of article 109, we are happy to provide advice and to help to connect you with the right people. Do not hesitate to contact Benoit Vivier, our Public Affairs Manager, [email protected].

You can also consult the following resources:

Document : Emergency Communications & the EU Legislative Framework

Presentation : The future of emergency services- What will change with the new EU legislations?

Document: Emergency Services Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities

Resources on Advanced Mobile Location