Private security and the safe and secure economic recovery in the COVID-19 situation

The COVID-19 crisis is becoming a new normal, shaping social and economic life in Europe for the months or years to come. Protecting the health of our citizens must thereby always be the guiding principle on our way to economic recovery. CoESS has now published first lessons learned about the essential role that private security has played so far in managing the COVID-19 situation and recommendations for the way forward – for private security and the economic value chains it supports, particularly in the tourism and transport sectors.

With some European countries gradually lifting containment measures, this is a good moment to take stock of the situation and look at how we can organise a safe and secure economic recovery that puts the health of citizens first. To support decision-makers in formulating solutions in the new COVID-19 normal, CoESS conducted a survey among national associations about the role of private security in supporting crisis management so far. Despite the prevalent recognition of private security as essential services and the praise for the industry by Heads of State, national police forces and media, the industry is still facing a difficult financial situation and bad contracting practices of public and private buyers.

Based on the survey findings, CoESS calls today on the European Institutions and national authorities in a new statement to:

  • Provide quick financial aid to struggling businesses in the private security sector.
  • Address bad contracting practices of public and private buyers.
  • Recognise the essential role of private security and engage with the sector to find safe solutions for economic recovery that continues to put the health of citizens at its core.

Private security is also part of the value chain in many sectors. CoESS is particularly concerned about the commercial situation in the tourism and transport sectors, and calls in a new position paper on the EU to provide (1) targeted aid to the tourism and transport sectors; (2) common guidelines that ensure a safe and secure return to freedom of movement and tourism within the Schengen Zone; and (3) better engagement of competent authorities with private security associations to support this process.

The European Commission’s and Council’s “Joint European Roadmap towards lifting COVID-19 containment measures” was a first, highly valuable step, and CoESS highly welcomes announcements of the Commission and EU ministers responsible for tourism to start working on homogeneous rules for air, sea and land mobility, as well as protocols which should guide safe operation of tourism facilities across the EU.

You can find the statement on the situation in the private security sector here.

The call to a safe and secure recovery of the tourism and transport sectors in Europe can be found here.

Photo by Daniel Lee on Unsplash