14 December, 2015

For the French version, please see below.

PARIS – François Hollande publicly welcomed the multiplication of emergency numbers in France in 2015 at a press conference held at the Palais de l’Élysée this Monday.

“It is necessary that French people benefit from as many emergency numbers as possible” declared the French president who highlighted the 16 emergency numbers in France. “There is a number for about everything” added François Hollande.

His greatest source of pride in 2015 is the consolidation of 3117, the emergency number for passengers in train as well as the 31117 when the traveller prefers to send an SMS. François Hollande’s policy was welcomed by politicians from all parties, even though the Greens complained about the lack of ambition of the Government who should have created an emergency number for animals and plants traveling in train.

François Hollande and his government have not succumbed to the pressure coming from Brussels, inviting them to make 112 the single emergency number. French President invoked the article 13 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, claiming that the multiplicity of emergency numbers is a “cultural tradition” in France that should be respected by the EU.

François Hollande’s action is particularly recognised internationally. Barack Obama indeed expressed his admiration to what he calls “the French model”. The president of the United States also declared that he wanted to make of his last year in office the year of the multiplication of emergency numbers in the US: “911 is too simple! We should have several emergency numbers for each kind of emergency, as the French showed. Yes, oui can!”

During his press conference, François Hollande also announced some upcoming reforms in 2016: “new emergency numbers still need to be implemented”. The French President intends to complete his action by establishing new emergency numbers such as 113 and 116117 which are already on their way. 238 for fishing incidents and 4975 for mosquito bites (who will be complementary to 5691 for chikungunya cases) are also currently under study, one official source says. Pursuing a goal of “administrative simplification”, a new emergency number of information on emergency numbers – 0.800.496.581 – will also be created and will be completed by the “Directory of Emergency Numbers in France”, edited by the European Emergency Number Association (EENA) which will be distributed every year: “We want to thank EENA for their excellent monitoring work which completes my Government’s actions” concluded Prime Minister Manuel Valls, who added that he plans to establish a Ministry of Emergency Numbers.

The 2015 edition of the “Directory of Emergency Numbers in France” is available here.

* This is a humourous response to the multiplication of emergency numbers in France, which EENA strongly opposes.

French version available here.