Rue d'Arlon 20, 1050, Brussels

December 1, 2020: Regulating Private Security in Europe Conference

December 1, 2020: Regulating Private Security in Europe Conference

*As of April 2020, the conference is planned to take place on December 1, 2020 (TBC).

MEP Mrs. H. Vautmans, in cooperation with LVMI-Europe, is organizing a conference on Regulating Private Security in Europe.

The reason to organise a conference on private security in the framework of the threat of terror these days is the following. It has become clear, that security companies could do better and will be less visible than the military surveillance nowadays. In this context it is advisable to consult the new legislation of private and special security. The fact should be taken into consideration that the private security industry, with a few exceptions, have reached a significant degree of commercialization. That means that companies could make a contribution to providing safety. More than ever, companies managed to succeed to offer their services from a problem-solving approach and tailored to the client. As a result, their contribution fits in an integrated division of roles with other security actors, and in particular public safety. Traditionally, the core mission of private companies exists in preventive surveillance and monitoring of goods and passengers on private grounds. Renewed legislation should allow accumulated private expertise, both in terms of technology as knowledge of monitoring and control to integrate into the global security policy. In that sense, this bill can mean an added value in the context of the debate on the core tasks of the police. Also new fields of activity and the system of powers appropriate to the situation are part of this whole. Both points are worked out in this design. The foregoing assumes a custom policy attention to the monitoring of private companies. First of all, clients desire quality of offered services. They expect the Government to guarantee a minimum competence of authorized firms. The weight of this care is increasing, as also private companies play a more important role. Quality translates itself into customized training, minimum requirements that comply with adequate staff and resources framework and a sound/correct service. The security agents have a predominantly preventive role. The possibility of violence and compulsion to use or to someone else’s to limit freedom, remains in principle reserved for the agents of the public authority. The EU would like to limit and do away with using private companies for defense roles because this is the exclusive competence of the nation-state. Recent scandals have raised serious concerns. PSCs have been accused of committing human rights violations and even causing casualties. Rapporteur Hilde Vautmans says, “We need EU standards in place, more democratic control over the use of PSCs, and clarification of their responsibilities.” A parliament committee wants PSCs to steer clear of military combat tasks, adhere to strict codes of conduct and have their staff vetted. MEPs are also calling for international legally binding legislation to regulate activities of PSCs.

Professor Dr. Marc Cools (University of Ghent) will be the moderator. Filip Smeets (Seris Security) will be the Chairman of the Day. The schedule is:

13:00 – Registration and coffee

13:30 – Introduction by Filip Smeets (Seris)

13:50 – Introduction of LVMI-Europe by Annette Godart-van der Kroon (LVMI-Europe)

14:00 – European Framework for Private Security Companies by Hilde Vautmans (MEP)

14:30 – Glenn Scheerlinck (PhD at University of Ghent)

14:50 – Seris Security by Danny Vandormael (CEO of Seris)

15:00 – Jean-Paul Van Avermaet (CEO of G4S)

15:10 – Ingrid Merckx (CEO of Securitas)

15:20 – Q&A

15:30 – Closing Remarks