BUNDESVERBAND DER SICHERHEITSWIRTSCHAFT
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Nachricht vom 02.07.2020 | 10:36
BUNDESVERBAND DER SICHERHEITSWIRTSCHAFT (BDSW): Joint Statement on the German EU Council Presidency - Shaping a resilient European Union
DGAP-News: BUNDESVERBAND DER SICHERHEITSWIRTSCHAFT (BDSW)
/ Key word(s): Miscellaneous
Brussels / Berlin, 02 July, 2020
After more than three months of health crisis, European citizens and businesses are moving to a "new normal". In this phase, the German Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) will be ground-breaking for the future of Europe: it will have to find an agreement on the Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027 (MFF), steer the EU's response to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, and shape the implementation of the European Commission Work Programme. The European private security industry, represented by the Confederation of European Security Services (CoESS) at EU-level and the Bundesverband der Sicherheitswirtschaft (BDSW) in Germany, is committed to support the EU and German EU Council Presidency in this historic effort.
Road for Recovery from the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic
Since the beginning of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, the European private security sector has been providing an essential service by upholding the protection of critical infrastructure and ensuring the implementation of access control, health and safety measures at hospitals, retirement homes, and many other sectors such as retail, transport and, since recently, tourism. The European Commission and many governments have therefore rightly recognised private security as an essential service.
Still, our sector is severely affected by the current crisis - for example due to a significant drop in air traffic and the cancellation of events. Our members are thereby committed to retain as many jobs as possible in an industry that was, until the crisis, witnessing economic growth and suffering from labour and skills shortages, and we congratulate the European Institutions and Member States to their bold crisis response so far. CoESS and BDSW are convinced that the EU can overcome the current crisis more united and resilient than before and have strong hopes in the German EU Council Presidency. It is now important that the Recovery Fund, based on a swift agreement on the MFF, ensures an adequate protection and sustainable recovery of the European economy. It is crucial that viable companies, which are suffering from the consequences of the pandemic, are able to quickly benefit from financial aid and retain workers, while avoiding distortion of competition.
We also count on the German EU Council Presidency to ensure a transparent dialogue with European Social Partners - especially in those sectors that are heavily affected by the crisis and responsible for the implementation of EU guidelines, such as those on the progressive restoration of transport and resumption of tourism. Private security is an important part of these ecosystems and will, in cooperation with public forces, implement many health and safety measures in these sectors. To avoid a sectoral crisis that may send shockwaves across entire economies, it is crucial that the pandemic's impact on tourism and transport is absorbed while abiding by high security standards.
Shaping a resilient European Union
The upcoming Presidency Trio will also shape the implementation of an ambitious Work Programme of the European Commission. The expected presentation of a new EU Security Union Strategy will be an important deliverable of the Commission this year. CoESS and BDSW recall that the EU must continue initiatives in the fight against terrorism, while adapting the Strategy to today's new normal: actions on the protection of public spaces and public-private partnerships must be reinforced, and lessons must be learned from the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic concerning the "securitisation of health" and cybersecurity. CoESS and BDSW further see the planned revision of Directive 2008/114 on European Critical Infrastructures as a centrepiece of our economies' enhanced resilience against current and emerging threats.
Enhanced resilience must also be sustainable: it is therefore important that public procurement respects important quality criteria - both in terms of safe and compliant private security services, as well as adequate working conditions. CoESS and BDSW would therefore welcome a review of the EU Public Procurement Directives' transposition in the Member States. Resilience of our societies and welfare systems is equally important. CoESS and BDSW therefore recall that the initiatives for fair minimum wages and pay transparency should help strengthening Social Dialogue, which has proven to best serve social cohesion and to guarantee adequate pay and qualitative working conditions across Europe. We count on the German Presidency and the Trio that EU action on these matters does not weaken collective bargaining and respects subsidiarity and proportionality.
Importantly, CoESS and BDSW trust that the German Presidency will ensure the follow-up of the Updated Skills Agenda for Europe in the Council of the EU to better empower workers and businesses in leveraging the digital transformation. This should be done against the background of future EU initiatives on Artificial Intelligence, which have to ensure a human-centric, ethical and risk-based, but also user-friendly application of technologies by a qualified, if necessary licensed, workforce. As a lesson learned from the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, CoESS and BDSW also see that a digital transformation of training and education systems must be taken forward.
CoESS and BDSW count on the German EU Council Presidency to ensure that EU action in the "new normal" will make European society, workers, businesses and Social Partners fit for a new future. Both associations stand ready to offer their expertise in order to foster a resilient Union, which is prepared for the numerous opportunities and challenges ahead.
Catherine Piana Dr. Harald Olschok
CoESS acts as the voice of the private security industry, covering 23 countries in Europe and representing 2 million guards, over 45,000 companies and generating a turnover of over €40M. The private security services provide a wide range of services, both for private and public clients, ranging from Critical Infrastructure facilities to public spaces and government and EU institutions buildings. CoESS is active in European standardisation and numerous EU Expert Groups.
The BDSW represents the interests of its members towards politics and authorities, as well as science and business. Private security service providers in Germany employ about 270,000 employees nationwide today. In 2019, according to initial estimates, a turnover of approximately EUR 9.25 billion was generated. The companies organized in the BDSW offer high-quality services primarily. These include protection of power plants and other critical infrastructure facilities as well as the protection of military properties, reception services, qualified property and plant protection services.
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