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 Plan to boost Europe's security industry.
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 Action Plan 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.
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:
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.
Over the last ten years the global security market has grown nearly tenfold from some €10 billion to a market size of some €100 billion in 2011, with an annual turnover of around €30 billion in the EU. However, as recent market evolutions indicate, the global market shares of European companies could drop significantly over the next years if no action is taken to enhance their competitiveness. In the US, thanks to the benefits of a harmonised legal framework and a robust internal market, security companies remain the market leaders and technological front runners. In contrast, the EU's internal market is highly fragmented, divided along national or even regional boundaries. Security, as one of the most sensitive policy fields, is one of the areas where Member States are hesitant to give up their national prerogatives.
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