In 1991, the Council of the EU decided to make the number 112 the single European emergency call number. It called on all member states to introduce this unified number to improve access to emergency services, especially for foreign travellers. Today, the phone number 112 can be dialled in all 28 EU member states and in most other European countries, including Macedonia, Kosovo and certain regions of Russia. As the second country in Europe, Slovenia introduced it as early as in 1997.

It is no coincidence that 11 February was selected for the International Day of Emergency Call Number. If you write down the date with numbers and without a space, you get the number 112, which is easy to remember. Children memorise it best by comparing it to the face: one nose, one mouth and two eyes. It is important for both adults and children to keep this number in mind, so that in the event of emergencies, when we are more or less in shock, they are able to recall it.

Moreover, at the beginning of the new millennium, the European Union issued a directive specifying in detail the functioning and services of the single emergency call number 112. It decided that calls must be free of charge, both from fixed and mobile phones as well as payphones.

It also laid down that this number must give people access to emergency medical assistance, help from fire-fighters, emergency veterinary assistance, help from mountain, cave and other rescue services, and the Police, even though there might also be other national emergency numbers operating in a certain country. Certain member states (Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands) have introduced 112 as their main emergency number, while in most member states, 112 operates along with the national emergency call numbers.

In Slovenia, the emergency call number 112 connects you to all the emergency services and the Police. However, if you want to speak directly to the Police, you can call the number 113.

The EU directive also sets out that member states must enable the indication of the location of the person calling 112. In an emergency, this is very important, especially when the person who needs help cannot tell where it is located. The European Commission recommends that countries should use the method of immediate display of the caller's location, which is called the "push" method. In exceptional cases, the method of subsequent display of the caller's location, also known as the "pull" method, should be used.

The EU Commission also recommends that member states make the effort to inform their citizens of the possibilities related to the use of this number, encourage them to use new technology in addition to the traditional one in order to reach the services through the 112 number, and enable its use to people with particular needs. For several years, a text message to the number 112 can also be sent in Slovenia through the WAP system, which is of particular importance for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. From 2012, it is possible to reach this emergency number with a simple SMS.