you're reading...
BLOG, What Europe does for you

People in an emergency situation [What Europe does for you]

With European elections coming up in May 2019, you probably want to know how the European Union impacts your daily life, before you think about voting. In the latest in a series of posts on what Europe does for you, your family, your business and your wellbeing, we look at what Europe does for people in an emergency situation.

Hopefully it will never happen to you, but many people find themselves in emergency situations while travelling abroad, because they have a car accident, need medical assistance or fall victim to a crime, for instance. The EU has set up an emergency phone number to enable you to get help quickly: 112. You can dial it anywhere in Europe for free to summon the local police, ambulance or fire brigade to your immediate assistance.

Meanwhile, since March 2018, all new cars have to comply with EU legislation and be equipped with the eCall on-board emergency call system. The system will be activated by sensors if you have a serious car accident and will automatically call the 112 number, communicating your car’s location, the time and the direction of travel, even if you are unconscious or unable to call. You can also trigger it manually by pushing a button in the car, for instance if you witness a serious accident. It is estimated that the system could save up to 2 500 lives a year.

Man dialing emergency (112 number) on smartphone. Woman had heart attack and is lying on the floor.

© vchalup / Fotolia

If you fall sick while travelling in Europe, EU legislation gives you the same right to state-provided healthcare as people insured in the country concerned, and if you carry the European Health Insurance Card, you can avoid paying upfront in most EU countries.

Another example of EU provision for people in emergency situations is the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, which supplies coordinated assistance to victims of natural and man-made disasters. This can include health assistance from the European Medical Corps, who send doctors and medical equipment in response to emergencies in and outside the EU.

Further information



  1. Pingback: People in an emergency situation [What Europe does for you] | - May 20, 2018

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Download the EPRS App

EPRS App on Google Play
EPRS App on App Store
What Europe Does For You
EU Legislation in Progress
Topical Digests
EPRS Podcasts

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 3,504 other followers

RSS Link to Members’ Research Service

Disclaimer and Copyright statement

The content of all documents (and articles) contained in this blog is the sole responsibility of the author and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily represent the official position of the European Parliament. It is addressed to the Members and staff of the EP for their parliamentary work. Reproduction and translation for non-commercial purposes are authorised, provided the source is acknowledged and the European Parliament is given prior notice and sent a copy.

For a comprehensive description of our cookie and data protection policies, please visit Terms and Conditions page.

Copyright © European Union, 2014-2019. All rights reserved.

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: