Newsroom

CoESS Newsroom

Welcome to our newsroom. Here you can find the most recent news from CoESS, our members and the private security sector.

CoESS supports EU “Good practices on the protection of public spaces” and future sector-specific guidance -  The European Commission published a Staff Working Document on “Good practices on the protection of public spaces” – a first key outcome of the EU Operators Forum, an Expert Group of which CoESS is an official member. This guidance document shall help public law enforcement and private operators in enhancing security of public spaces and events.

The European Commission encourages the private sector to promote the document and make active use of it by developing sector-specific guidelines. Likewise, Member States are called upon to share the document with public administration and police, both on national/federal, regional and local levels.

CoESS has pro-actively contributed to the guide and congratulates the European Commission on this excellent initiative. We encourage our members to make active use of it when setting up security plans with law enforcement and private operators. CoESS remains committed to supporting the EU in promoting best practices in the protection of public spaces, and offers its expertise to national and EU stakeholders aiming to translate the document into more sector-specific guidance.

Please find here our contact details.

Social Dialogue discusses event security and disruptors of the private security industry - Together with representatives of national associations from all over Europe, CoESS and its social partner UNI Europa met on 11 June 2019 for the European Social Dialogue for private security services.

On behalf of UNI Europa, Alexander Bernd Herrmann, security guard and PhD candidate at the University of Innsbruck (Austria), presented lessons learned in the procurement of private security services for the Cycling World Championship, which takes place each year in Innsbruck. Best value procurement and risks associated to subcontracting, and the transfer of liability, were at the centre of this discussion. Both CoESS and UNI Europa agreed that best value instead of low-cost procurement is key to ensure the provision of high-quality security services performed by well-trained guards – a key pillar of security for mass events and public spaces.

Taking a look at future developments in the industry and related disruptors, CoESS and UNI Europa discussed topics such as platform work and the “war on cash” – supported by presentations given on behalf of CoESS by Riho Lutter (G4S, Estonia) and Thierry Lebeaux (European Security Transport Association).

A key focus for the rest of the year and beyond will be social partner activities related to the findings of the Anticipate Change Project, including an EU-wide survey on the state of private security legislation and services.

Eurofound: CoESS is the only European employers’ organisation representative of the private security services

In the “Representativeness Study” to be published in October 2019, Eurofound confirmed that CoESS is the only European employers’ organisation representing the private security services at EU-level. This provides CoESS with the unique privilege to represent Private Security in the European Social Dialogue, and to be officially consulted in the EU decision-making processes – as laid out in Art. 154 and 155 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

In the framework of European Social Dialogue, the Commission mandates Eurofound to carry out on a regular basis the “Representativeness Study”. The aim of this study is to find out if European sectoral social partner organisations are “representative” enough to act on behalf of their entire industry, and if they have the capacity to negotiate and pass agreements on behalf of their members.

The European Commission further encourages CoESS to recommend to its members, especially those who do not have a social dialogue yet in place, to pro-actively engage in this activity. Indeed, this is of great importance, for example when it comes to the transposition of EU law at national level, as it is currently the case with the EU Directive on transparent and predictable working conditions.

CoESS would like to thank all the members who have contributed to the study, and have reaffirmed its mandate to represent the European private security services with one voice at EU-level.

You can find here further information on the “Representativeness Study” and Eurofound.

France : SNES and USP merge to « Groupement des Entreprises de Sécurité »

On 5 June 2019, the Constitutive General Assembly of the new French security companies’ association “Groupement des Entreprises de Sécurité” (GES) was held, resulting from the merger of the former SNES and USP.

All members of the current SNES and USP Boards became members of the interim GES Board of Directors, which already elected the following members of the newly established secretariat:

  • Frédéric Gauthey (Prosegur France), President;
  • Elias Nahra (Safety Triumph), Vice President and President of the College of Large Enterprises;
  • Mourad Chenaf (Octopus Security), Vice President and President of the College of Medium Enterprises;
  • Abdelhamid Faddeoui (Ateos Security), Vice President and President of the College of Small Businesses;
  • Frederic Laisney (Challancin), Treasurer;
  • Luc Guilmin (Securitas France), Deputy Treasurer.

Pascal Pech, President of SNES, emphasized the great satisfaction of the SNES Board of Directors to achieve the necessary merger of the former two French private security associations. Claude Tarlet, President of USP, highlighted that with a united association the security industry will be able to speak with one powerful voice to French administration, policymakers and corporate clients.

Please find further information on the next steps on the websites of SNES (http://securite.e-snes.org/) and USP (https://usp-securite.org/).

CoESS at Préventica Paris : Need for Quality Standards and Security Continuum. On the occasion of Préventica Paris, which took place from 21-23 May, CoESS was invited by SNES (Syndicat national des entreprises de sécurité) to take part in a panel debate on the importance of quality standards for the private security industry in Europe and France in particular.

Standards play a crucial role to build transparency and trust, and in organising the security continuum between public and private actors. They establish harmonised quality levels on the quality of services, which allow companies to enter the market and respond to client expectations. They complement existing regulation on private security services in EU Member States, if needed – most importantly in fields where stricter self-regulation by industry is of added value.

Catherine Piana, Director General of CoESS, highlighted that ISO and CEN standards were key to promote the provision and procurement of quality security services. Especially the European CEN Technical Committee (TC) 439 on Private Security Services, which is chaired by Catherine Piana, manages and maintains targeted quality norms in aviation and maritime security and is currently developing an overarching standard for Critical Infrastructure.

Still, Catherine Piana stressed that if companies invest money to adhere to certain standards, the latter must be of added value and tailored to the environment they operate in. Standards, both on international and national level, need to be established based on a very clear need and objective.

Participants agreed that to increase the uptake of standards by companies, their strategic value needs to be further promoted – a mission that CoESS takes very seriously.

Germany establishes guards register: To increase transparency and trust in the security industry in Germany, a central guards register will be released by 1 June 2019 for more transparency and secure digital communication with security companies. The register will administer and manage information on all German private security guards. Gregor Lehnert, President of the German Federation of Security Companies BDSW, welcomes the idea of the register, as it will contribute in the medium and long term to a reduction in bureaucracy and to significantly faster vetting.

However, the government foresees an extremely short registration phase for security companies to enter employee data of all 267,000 guards in Germany until 30 June 2019. "The short remaining time until the start of the register must be used as effectively as possible in a joint effort by the state and private security industry," says Lehnert.

The guards register was introduced under the Second Act amending the guarding legislation. For the first time, this register covers all 267,000 guards and more than 6,500 security companies. "We hope, as much as the legislator, that the register will bring more transparency about security companies operating on the German market, and a significant reduction in the often far too long duration of the background check of employees," Lehnert concludes.

For more information in German, please visit the website of BDSW.

CoESS White Paper on Passenger Ship Security: Every year, 400 million passengers pass through EU ports and harbours. In the context of the terrorist threat, CoESS has just published a White Paper on Passenger Ship Security to alert the EU and national authorities, as well as stakeholders, to the security risks linked to passenger ships, and make suggestions on how to mitigate these. The current type of terrorists, who clearly target transportation modes and hubs, as well as leisure activities, pose a significant threat to passenger ships, be they maritime or river cruise ships, or ferries.

Once the ships have left the maritime or inland port, passengers are captive and have nowhere to run, let alone hide, in case of an attack.  Ships are also difficult to reach for Special Forces and the time between the first alert and their intervention would be around 2 hours. Meanwhile, the death toll would be very high.

The focus of the White Paper is on deterrence, prevention and protection against the risk of attacks in the terminal, from a ship or a drone, with weapons, explosives (HMEs, IEDs) and chemicals (likeliest category of the “CBRN” group).

The main recommendation is the use of ship security teams or “Sea Marshalls” on board of ROPAX, Sea and River Cruise and other Passenger Ships. During the critical minutes and hours following an initial event, the ship’s security crew would be the only force available and should therefore be trained and equipped to deal with any plausible foe or event, until such time that the Special Forces reach the ship. A variety of options can be considered: from law enforcement or military staff, to private security, either in-house or through private security suppliers.

The White Paper’s proposed measures address the basic doctrine, minimal training, equipment, as well as the organisation and integration. Written by maritime security experts, the paper is not intended for public circulation and can be obtained on a need to know basis with Chantal Verlaet, Policy and Communication Officer - Chantal@coess.eu.

CoESS maritime experts visit Port of Antwerp: Ports and their infrastructures are a key source for economic prosperity and mobility in Europe. In many countries, they are crucial for trade, supply chains, transport and tourism. They are a driver of jobs, business and a country’s economy.

However, maritime infrastructure is also vulnerable to a multiple and complex threats, ranging from smuggling to terrorist attacks. Private security companies play an important part in their security chains, which is why public-private partnerships are key to deal with the complex challenges that ports are facing today.

CoESS’ Maritime Security Committee and its experts from all over Europe were therefore very interested to meet the security unit of the Port of Antwerp – Europe’s second largest port. Together, they discussed solutions for prevention and protection at port facilities, as well as emergency planning and response preparedness of all stakeholders involved. Alongside the state-level forum for maritime security in Belgium, the Port Information Network (Buurt Informatie Netwerk – BIN) plays an important role in the exchange of information with private actors operating in the port in case of an emergency.

Both sides agreed that the continued professionalisation of Port Facility Security Officers (PFSOs) is crucial to ensure a high-level of security.  Close public-private cooperation is key to tackle security-related challenges, for example concerning the threats arising from international terrorism and cybersecurity.

The CoESS Maritime / Port Security Committee met the day after the to discuss among others the ongoing work at DG MOVE’s MARSEC Committee. The Committee finalised and adopted the CoESS White Paper on Passenger Ship Security, which Guido Fallentheyn will present at the next European Commission Working Group on Ferry Security, where he serves as the CoESS representative.

Security Continuum - French Ministry of Interior and Private Security sign protocol: The representatives of Private Security (SNES, USP and the CDSE) and the Ministry of Interior signed a Protocol allowing the exchange of operational information between the Interior Security and private companies at the local level. The signatories have been working on this agreement for several months. It gives substance to the “security continuum”, which French MP Alice Thourot, the rapporteur of the Parliamentary Committee on this issue, has been supporting. She announced the Protocol’s finalization shortly.

The document concretely aims to designate local reference contact persons and representatives of PSCs, as well as Security Directors.  SNES, USP and CDSE will have to come forward with a list of local points of contacts. 

CoESS has been supporting such type of formal exchange of relevant information between public and private security players, in order to optimize their response in case of incidents, such as terrorist attacks.

European social partners call for the creation of a network of safe and secure truck parking areas: EU Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc, received a call for action by European social partners European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) and International Road Transport Union (IRU) to move forward in the creation of a genuine network of safe and secure truck parking areas. In their statement, both organisations stress that “drivers’ security has deteriorated to a point where one out of four drivers has been victim of a violence or attack”.

IRU and ETF refer to a study financed by the European Commission making concrete proposals to create an EU-wide network of safe and secure truck parking areas (SSTPAs), including an EU-parking standard to which truck parking areas should be raised up to. According to ETF and IRU, it would be “imperative to improve security, sustainability and safety of European mobility chains, and, through that, the welfare and wellbeing of European citizens” by means of support, funding and policies with close involvement of the security community. The European Commission should present a multi-year plan for the next legislature and make more funding available to address the issue.

CoESS strongly supports this call for action and has already highlighted in its White Paper on Best Practices in Transport Security that past incidents, including crime against drivers, theft of cargo, illegal migration and the hijacking of a truck prior to the attack on a Christmas Market in Berlin, show that the physical security of drivers is at risk due to new threat developments.

Social Dialogue meeting: CoESS and UNI Europa representatives discussed the transposition of the Public Procurement Directive and “war on cash”.

During the meeting, Eduardo Cobas, Chairman of the CoESS Social Dialogue Committee, highlighted how Social Partners in Spain successfully worked on the transposition of the European Directive on Public Procurement into national legislation. He stressed that an extensive transposition of the Directive would be necessary, so that there is an obligation to abide by the Sectorial Collective Agreement that quality prevails over price.  There should also be in-depth follow-up, so that companies not abiding by these provisions are not able to enter into public tenders.

Further, Bárbara Marinho e Pinto, from the CoESS’ Portuguese Member Association AES AESRIF presented on the Portuguese Observatory for Private Security, which is inspired by a Spanish best practice example. In the observatory, social partners have come together in order to monitor the situation in private security services. Bárbara Marinho e Pinto emphasizes the need to have a more active and stronger Social Dialogue, in particular in order to make sure that buyers of private security services realize the impact of going for the lowest cost, without regard for the quality. The Observatory’s ambition is to create a virtuous circle, which at the same time promotes quality services, professionalism, good working conditions, and growth.

The Observatory has already approached the government, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Members of Parliament, Police Forces, the Authority for inspection and preventive measures in labour conditions, Competition Authority, Trade associations and confederations in relevant sectors for cooperation and recommendations. The Observatory also launched respective campaigns in Social Media, including strong slogans to alert buyers of private security services against unacceptable practices.

Another important topic of the meeting was the ongoing “war on cash” in several European countries. Thierry Lebeaux from ESTA made a presentation about Sweden’s plan to remove the 500 and 1,000 Kroners’ banknotes within a 9-month period. After this period the banknotes will no longer be able to be exchanged. Central Bankers in Sweden are now realizing that removing cash and lowering cash in circulation may have adverse effect on the banks themselves, questioning their own existence and limiting the access to the cash they are supposed to have to balance their credit operations.

Eduardo Cobas highlighted that similar trends exist in Spain, leading to a joint action between employers and trade unions in order to resist this trend to remove cash from circulation. In Spain, where the CIT is being threatened under a certain threshold, this would be a serious threat to PSCs and their workers. Therefore the goal is double: make sure cash remains an option, and protect the stakeholders handling it. In this regard, he also highlighted the principle of freedom of choice between cash and card payments. Before making any steps towards a cash-free society, real impact studies would have to be carried out.  Also, people who wouldn’t have access to a bank account (the “unbanked”) should be taken into account in a society where cashless payment methods become an obligation. 

Text adopted: Directive on Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions. The EU Institutions have agreed on the Directive on Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions, leading to its official adoption in Parliament on 16 April 2019. CoESS successfully highlighted some critical aspects in the original Commission proposal, but a few concerns remain, which should be addressed during the transposition phase at national level.

The new Directive is a revision of the Written Statement Directive and shall give employees who start a new job the right to be notified in writing of the aspects of their employment relationship, including information on: (1) the nature of their employment, (2) length of probationary periods, (3) advance notifications on working schedules, (4) possibilities to change employment forms, and (5) the right for cost-free training. The new Directive shall ensure a basic level of universal protection across existing and future contractual forms.

Successful amendments to the original European Commission proposal

While the initial proposal raised many concerns within CoESS, the final text takes on board several issues we had raised in the past with the European Commission, including:

  • The definition of “worker”– contrary to the original proposal, the Directive will not establish a new definition of the term “worker” and replace national legislation or collective agreements, but will apply to workers with an employment contract or employment relation as defined at national level.
  • Respect for social partners and room for social dialogue – importantly, collective agreements can differ from the provisions on minimum rights, as long as they respect the overall protection of workers (Art. 12). Art. 13, which would have obliged Member States to declare provisions contrary to the Directive in collective agreements null and void or to amend them, has been deleted.
  • Information provision – concerning the provision of information (Art. 3) and timing (Art. 4), the employer may refer to law and collective agreements. The agreement provides that the essential information to be provided by the employer should be available to the employee within a period of seven calendar days as of the first day of employment, the other information within one month.
  • Minimum predictability of work – Art. 9.1a on minimum predictability of work schedules is now clearly restricted to on-demand contracts.
  • Training – in contrast to the original Commission proposal, employers only have to provide training that is obligatory by EU and national law or collective agreements (Art. 11).

Remaining concerns to raise on national level during the transposition phase

CoESS remains concerned about the administrative burden that the Directive is likely to create as well as lack of legal certainty on some elements. We advise national associations to raise these issues during the transposition phase of the Directive with the ministries responsible at national level. For more information on detailed provisions, please contact alexander@coess.eu.

Next steps

As the Directive was adopted by European Parliament on 16 April 2019, Member States will now have to do the same in Council. Afterwards, they will have to transpose the Directive in national law within three years.

Find here the provisional agreement on the Directive on Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/commissions/empl/lcag/2019/02-15/EMPL_LA(2019)001486_EN.pdf

Drones: CoESS calls for Security Risk Management

Brussels, 3 October 2017 - The first LANDSEC meeting after the summer break had a very full agenda, addressing rail security, cybersecurity, road transport and logistics.

The first presentation was a report from DG MOVE to the stakeholders regarding the rail risk matrix that the Commission built further to a closed session with the Member States in June. The matrix looks at the types of attacks, on the one hand, and infrastructure types, on the other hand.  The types of attacks include explosive, armed, incendiary, hostage and other attacks. The infrastructure type describes the targeted location, for example stations, areas outside / inside stations, train cars, etc.

The LANDSEC Chairman, Carlos Mestre, Head of Unit U5 Transport Security, then opened the floor for comments.

Catherine Piana, DG of CoESS took the opportunity to announce the upcoming publication of the new CoESS Best Practice in Transport Security document.  She highlighted some of the general conclusions:

-       Whatever the security measures, if buyers of private security services keep on focusing mainly on price, and not on quality, it will not support efficient and effective security in the long term;

-       Security legislation / measures usually consider past attacks, and need to be more future-proof, e.g. consider some of the future threats, such as:

  • Drones used to drop explosives
  • Use of CBR, as was the case in the Tokyo metro with Sarin gas

RAILPOL mentioned the crucial role of intelligence, awareness and sharing information.

Stakeholders and Member States are invited to provide comments in the near future.

Catherine Piana, the CoESS Secretary General, spoke 9th May at the CIPRE Conference in The Hague, the international CIP conference and exhibition. 

Critical Infrastructure Protection is a high priority in Europe, especially so in the current context, where the threat level has been heightened in a number of EU countries, further to attacks on CI, and intelligence showing that some of them are being considered as potential targets by terrorists.

The European CIP Directive is limited in scope and therefore does not respond to the need to protect ECI in a harmonized way across the EU.

The private security industry has contributed to and promoted standards for Maritime Ports and Airports and is examining the need for, feasibility and usefulness of standards in other CI areas.

CoESS is actively participating in the CEN Technical Committee 439 “Private Security Services” and, in this context, is contributing to the current exercise of mapping out CI definitions, categories and legislation throughout Europe, as well as analyzing any gaps and proposing solutions. More recently, CoESS has updated its White Paper on CIP, which brings together business cases of private-public partnerships and shows the advantages of PPPs in CIP. The White Paper can be downloaded here http://www.coess.org/newsroom.php?page=white-papers 

The paper proposed by CoESS reports on current activities and future plans in CIP from the private security services perspective.

For more information about the conference and exhibition:  http://www.cipre-expo.com

The CoESS and UNI Europa project on "Anticipating, Preparing and Managing Change in Private Security Employment" has been officially launched on 1 February 2017, thanks to the EU funds supporting the Social Dialogue.  The project will last until 2018, and requires support from Consultants/Academics.  A report is one the main deliverables, and this would consist in two main parts:

- a first part analysing the nature, magnitude and timing of the change (e.g. demographic, technological, security domain, threat, immigration, etc)

- a second part making recommendations on how to anticipate, prepare and manage the change, with a focus on employment: profiles, skills, training, etc.

Specifications for the tender are available upon request. Please contact Chantal Verlaet, Policy and Communication Officer chantal@coess.eu  or Catherine Piana, Director General catherine@coess.eu 

A new website, a new intranet, a new eNewsletter!  The year 2016 will be placed under the sign of communication.

Members and visitors: do feel free to send us your feedback, so that we can optimize it.

“Acting as the voice of the Security Industry” is the tagline which features on the new CoESS website.  As a result of a survey with members and a thought-process within the Board, a new vision, objective and core values and messages have been defined.

CoESS is preparing itself to work on the future rules for Unmanned Aircraft (so-called “drones”), which are being discussed at European level.  A Project Team has been set up, with experts who will look at the proposed rules and give feedback to the European Aviation Safety Agency, as it will prepare the technical rules during 2016.

20.01.2016
The Ambudrone

The “Ambudrone” - whilst the European Commission has presented its aviation package, to also cover so-called “unmanned aircraft”, new applications for these light flying objects are popping up every day. Here’s a short video about the ambudrone in the Netherlands: a medical flying bag transporting resuscitation means, such as a GPS defibrillator, an oxygen mask or a dose of insulin.

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