Hosted by Euralarm, members of the European Committee discussed the security & safety market together with leading industry authorities. Although, from an economical point of view, the European borders don’t exist anymore, the security and safety industry still needs a different product conformity certificate in every European country. Today’s issue is to exchange thoughts about the market situation and to find ways to create a more open but regulated market for the benefit of European people.
First speaker, René Jungbluth (CEO Business Unit Fire Safety & Security at Siemens) welcomes the European Commission’s agenda towards the consultation on the certification of alarm systems. However this process of completing the security market should be sped up. The gap between standardisation at the European and at national levels should be closed as soon as possible.
Second speaker, Laurent de Longvilliers (General Manager Delta Security Solutions), highlighted that the basis for the security market is quality and reliability. Security businesses also require a pan-European regulation- and certification environment.
Last speaker before the first panel discussion, Graham Willmott (European Commission Directorate-General for Enterprise) welcomed Euralarm’s contribution and listed Euralarm’s initiative in creating CertAlarm as a good example of contributing towards the European single market. He also welcomed contributing for Security products and the project PEARS. Both initiatives are a demonstration on how the industry is able to innovate by means of European funded research projects. The European Commission wants to develop a more harmonised EU security market and helping the European security industry to be more competitive at a global level.
First Panel discussion: The EU Industrial Policy for the Security Industry
Moderated by Michael Bewerunge (Political Correspondent at ZDF), Christian Ehler (Member of the European Parliament, Germany/CDU), René Jungbluth (Siemens), Christoph Kautz (Deputy Head of Unit for Policy and Research in Security) and Rolf Sigg (Chairman of Security Section in Euralarm) discussed the keynotes and the EU points of view.
Single European market for security & safety systems
Rolf Sigg noted that the European single market does not yet exist for the industry. This situation is not in line with the EU ‘no border’ principles and needs to be overcome. Christian Ehler mentioned the resistance particularly in the private sector is still an issue requiring attention. Prior to European rules, member states have to give up their ability to protect national markets. For Christian Ehler, a minimum strategy would be to ensure that civil security is an integrated part in any EU effort, where it is appropriate. Christoph Kautz noted that the idea for eventual legislation on the certification of alarm systems is to allow for the possibility to certify a product in only one EU member state, and be able to market it across Europe.
Christian Ehler also highlighted the social acceptance problems involved with the security industry, mainly depending on how products are labelled and marketed. He noted the need to develop technologies based on market needs and ideas, rather than on engineering difficulties. Rolf Sigg agreed that industry does need to be more innovative, but noted that innovative products still need to pass the hurdles of standardisation, and therefore standardisation bodies should also provide a favourable environment to innovation.
The panel discussed the fragmentation of the European security market. For Rolf Sigg, the fragmentation causes unnecessary certification costs and efforts. The process of going all EU member states makes it difficult for the industry to introduce innovative solutions on time (time to market). As a result, phasing out of products at the end of their lifecycle starts to late. The security market has significant opportunities ahead, once the hurdles are overcome and as long as it sticks to the idea of a true common European market, according to Christian Ehler.
Second panel discussion: Completing the Internal Market for Safety and Security Services
Michael Bewerunge moderated the second panel with Enzo Peduzzi (Chairman of Services Section in Euralarm), Laurent de Longvilliers and Dr. Jerneja Jug Jerše (Services Economic Analysis Unit in the European Commission).
Enzo Peduzzi introduced Euralarm’s vision on the public’s experience towards services for electronic safety and security systems. “Today the industry represented by Euralarm is seen only as a product supplier. Whereby the “end-product” delivered to the clients is highly individual. It is the task of Euralarm to inform the stakeholders and the European authorities in order to avoid wrong conclusions in the decisions to come. Besides products, the services accompanying security products, such as installation, monitoring, maintenance and operation, account for approx. 70% of the industry’s turnover”.
To demonstrate the lack of a really unified European Market for Services, Enzo Peduzzi took cross-border monitoring as an example, explaining the importance of monitoring and how it will increase in the next 10 years. “With a mix of off- and on-site services will change and the importance of offsite services due to ICT will rise. Technology such as remote monitoring will not stop at the border. However the follow-up for on-site actions are not cross-border. As a result, the Services Market is even more fragmented then the product and systems markets. Guidance and support from the European Commission is of common interest regarding the proper implementation of regulations (Services Directive)”.
Laurent de Longvilliers described some of the services involved (providing information as relevant and detailed as possible) and their importance to the high-quality functioning of security products.
Jerneja Jug Jerše stated that it is not foreseen to change the scope of the Services Directive. But, as she pointed out, “this does not mean that things could not be changed through other means. The High Level Working Group on Business Service of the European Commission meets stakeholders to identify problems that the European Commission is not currently aware of”. She welcomed the contributions of Euralarm in this group!
After a discussion the panel concluded:
* the need for more standards in the service sector is present;
* the difference between standardisation for products and services is obvious;
* the level of qualification to carry out the services must be reviewed;
* to create a common vision on cross border services as requested by customers, EU authorities and Industry have to cooperate
The president’s closing conclusions
Marc Chabaud closed the conference with a few conclusions. Euralarm will continue its engagement with the European Commission. A number of difficulties remain in face of Europe’s security industry and a real pan-European market. The security industry will have to listen to its customers, and provide them with the security market they desire. However, people often do not recognize their needs for security and safety solutions.
Pan-European certification would address some of the greater challenges facing the industry to provide innovation and high quality. In this regard, the certification processes certainly need to be sped up, for business as well citizens’ interests.
Marc Chabaud also called on all stakeholders to continue discussions in order to find ways to overcome the fragmentation of the security industry. He called for more links with universities, to ensure that the right qualifications are recognised for the tasks at hand.