The plan envisages a stronger internal market for the security industry harmonising standards and certification procedures for security technologies, and better exploiting the links between civil and defence security research.
New funding schemes are proposed including a ‘pre-commercial procurement’ to validate results stemming from EU security research projects and check on the impact to society of new security technologies at the research stage.
The EU executive claims the industry is one of the sectors with the highest potential for growth and employment in the EU – and wants this to remain in Europe.
"The current fragmented market weakens the competitiveness of Europe’s security industry,” said Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, responsible for enterprise and entrepreneurship, at the launch.
Tajani said that the 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.”
The EU security market has an estimated market value of between €26 billion and €36.5 billion with around 180,000 employees, and covers a broad range of sectors including aviation, maritime, border control, as well as counter-terror intelligence, and the ever-prominent cyber security sector.
Harmonised certification proposed
To achieve mutual recognition of certification systems in the security sector, the Commission intends to issue two legislative proposals, to establish an EU-wide harmonised certification system for airport screening equipment and for alarm systems.
The Commission will encourage Member States to launch similar initiatives at national level, in compliance with relevant EU public procurement law.
As a part of the action plan, a major study will analyse the legal and economic implications of third party liability limitation.
Meanwhile a dedicated expert group will be set up by the Commission to meet at least once each year to monitor the implementation of proposed policy measures and bring together relevant stakeholders in the security sector.