European Business Services call for sector-specific EU aid and coordination in the COVID-19 situation

On  15 April 2020, the “Joint European Roadmap towards lifting COVID-19 containment measures” of the European Commission and Council proposed an approach for a gradual lifting of the lockdown introduced in many countries. As part of the European Business Services Alliance (EBSA), CoESS welcomes this Roadmap. Private security, like other business services, will be essential for its implementation. The roadmap must be the basis for targeted EU aid and coordination for the most affected sectors and their ecosystems, under recognition that essential business services, such as private security, will play a crucial role for economic recovery.

In the past weeks and months, focus was laid in EU and national policy on containing the coronavirus and on ensuring the protection of the health and safety of citizens and workers. Recent data show that these containment measures, drastically reducing economic activity and enforcing social distancing, have shown a positive impact.

At the same time, the measures have severe, economic impacts and thus focus must be laid on mitigating the socio-economic impact of the pandemic and the containment measures. Business service sectors have been hardly hit by the closures of transportation hubs, schools, universities, factories, and offices. Private security witnessed in many countries an increasing demand for services at hospitals and the retail sector, but other service segments, such as aviation and event security, have come to a standstill. In some countries, overall business activity in the private security sector has declined by 25% to 30% (learn more about the current situation in the private security sector here).

Together with other business service sectors within EBSA, CoESS therefore congratulates the European Commission and Council for the highly valuable “Joint European Roadmap towards lifting COVID-19 containment measures” that outlines the necessary criteria to respect on the way out of the current situation. Business services, including private security, will play an essential role in implementing the roadmap. In collaboration with or on behalf of public forces, private security will ensure compliance with public health and safety measures during access controls and when controlling the number of people entering facilities. This is essential for a safe and secure economic recovery when reopening entire business sectors, shops, transport and the economy overall.

CoESS therefore joins EBSA in the call to the European Commission to better recognise the essential role of business services for economic recovery and lifting of containment measures. As a next step, more targeted measures in forms of EU coordination and financial aid are required to support the most effected sectors and ecosystems, of which business services are part.

CoESS has already called for such targeted measures for the tourism and transport sectors in a statement to the European Institutions and Member States last week.

The full statement of EBSA can be found here.