Providing security is a central concern of any society. Recent natural disasters and terrorist attacks have highlighted the need to be better prepared for crisis situations. The European Commission has therefore proposed an action programme to boost Europe's security industry. The programme should empower this industry - one of the sectors with the highest potential for growth and employment in the EU - to stay in Europe and to continue producing high quality security products.
European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani, responsible for enterprise and entrepreneurship, said: "The current fragmented market weakens the competitiveness of Europe’s security industry. This lack of an "EU brand" is especially critical as the future key markets for security technologies will not be in Europe but in emerging countries. Today we have agreed a blueprint for the creation of a true internal market for security technologies. This is essential to strengthen the position of our security industry, so that it can contribute to growth and jobs."
The Commission proposes to create a true internal market for the security industry by inter alia:
Internal market to boost EU security industry
The EU security market has an estimated market value of between €26 billion and €36.5 billion with around 180,000 employees. It can broadly be divided into the following sectors: aviation security, maritime security, border security, critical infrastructure protection, counter-terror intelligence (including cyber security and communication), physical security protection; crisis management and protective clothing.
European companies are still among the world leaders in the majority of the security sector's market segments. Favourable internal market conditions are essential to keep and expand their technological advantage, as is strengthening the EU security industry's position in emerging international markets. A special emphasis should be given to support SMEs in their efforts to access international markets in third countries.
More specifically,the Commission proposes the following measures to create a true internal market for the security industry:
The priority will be to overcome fragmentation of the EU security market, by harmonising standards and certification procedures for security technologies. European standardisation organisations will be asked to establish concrete and detailed standardisation roadmaps on the next generation of technologies. In this context, to achieve mutual recognition of certification systems, the Commission intends to issue two legislative proposals, to establish an EU wide harmonised certification system for airport screening (detection) equipment, and an EU wide harmonised certification system for alarm systems.
Emphasis should be given to a better exploitation of synergies between (civil) security and defence research. The Commission intends to issue, in cooperation with the European Defence Agency, standardisation mandates for 'hybrid standards' to the European standardisation organisations.
To reduce the gap between research and market, especially in European and international procurement, the Commission will use novel funding schemes foreseen in Horizon 2020 such as Pre-commercial Procurement, to test and validate results stemming from EU security research projects. This approach should unite industry, public authorities and end users from the beginning of research projects. Border security and aviation security are the most promising areas.
The Commission will encourage Member States to launch similar initiatives at national level, in compliance with relevant EU public procurement law.
The Commission will introduce checks on the societal impact of new security technologies at the research stage. In addition, the Commission will issue a mandate to European standardisation organisations to develop a standard for the integration of privacy issues, from design to production process phases.
A major study will analyse the legal and economic implications of third party liability limitation.
A dedicated expert group set up by the Commission will meet at least once per year to monitor the implementation of proposed policy measures and bring together all relevant actors in the field of security.