In 2007 the European Commission (EC) published its decision to launch a Harmonised Service of Social Value using Harmonised European Short Codes (HESC) which shall consist of 6 digit telephone numbers starting with ‘116’. HESC services should not be of a commercial nature.
Each HESC number shall provide a free of charge access to a common service of a social value across all member states. The list of HESC numbers assigned by the EC may be viewed via the HESC Register.
The implementation of any of these 116 numbers does not in any way imply that numbers currently being used to provide similar services shall be superseded. Any other short codes being used for specific social needs in individual countries may be maintained.
The Ministry responsible for communications, in conjunction with the MCA, have launched the procedure to apply for and assign 116 numbers that have already been reserved at an EU level. This procedure will also involve other Ministries depending on the policy area of the particular HESC number being treated.
In the documents below one can find documents relating to the implementation of the 116 numbering range:
Decision 2007/116/EC of the Commission of 15 February 2007
Decision 2007/698/EC of the Commission of 29 October 2007
Decision 2009/884/EC of the Commission of 30 November 2009
Decision 2023/468/EC of the Commission of 25 November 2022
List of Reserved 116 Numbers