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Telephone numbers in the European Union: Wikis

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All country calling codes for the European Union countries start with +3x or +4x. The international access code has been standardised as 00.

Harmonised service numbers

The following service numbers are harmonised across Europe:

Single numbering plan (1996 proposal)

Proposed Country Code: 3

In 1996, the European Commission proposed the introduction of a single telephone numbering plan, in which all European Union member states would use the code '3'. Calls between member states would no longer require the use of the international access code '00'. Instead the digit 1 was proposed for these calls.

Each coutry would have a two-digit country code more used like a national

Option 3 : Creation, in addition to providing numbers for special services, of a clear European numbering identity (three digit numbering codes) by using the number "3" to proceed current national country codes (e.g. "333" for France or "344" for the UK). This would liberate up to 50 new country codes within Europe and allow the current codes starting with number "4" to be recycled within the world-wide numbering plan. [2]

This proposal would have required countries like Germany, the United Kingdom, Denmark and others, whose country codes began with the digit '4', to return these to the International Telecommunication Union. For example, to call a number in Berlin, in Germany:

xxxx xxxx (within Berlin)
030 xxxx xxxx (within Germany)
1 49 30 xxxx xxxx (within the EU)
+3 49 30  xxxx xxxx (outside the EU)
+49 30  xxxx xxxx (current system)

Such a scheme would also have affected Spain which uses +34. For example to call someone in Barcelona:

xxxx xxxx (within Barcelona)
093x xxxxxx (within Spain)
1 34 93x xxxxxx (within the EU)
+3 34 93x  xxxxxx (outside the EU)
+34 93x  xxxxxx (current system)

Countries like Ireland, Portugal and Finland, which used codes in the '35x' range, would adopt a different format. For example, to call a number in Dublin, Ireland:

xxxx xxxx (within Dublin)
01 xxxx xxxx (within Ireland)
1 53 1 xxxx xxxx (within the EU)
+3 53 1 xxxx xxxx (outside the EU)
+353 1 xxxx xxxx (current system)

A Green Paper on the proposal was published, but it was felt by many in the industry that the disruption and inconvenience of such a scheme would outweigh any advantages.

The EU proposal should not be confused with the European Telephony Numbering Space (ETNS) scheme, which uses the country code +388, and is intended to complement, rather than replace, existing national numbering plans.

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