The title of this chronicle for last years newsletter was:
Services section has started working
In our opinion, it is not one of the smallest achievements of the services section that Euralarm has now completely integrated services within its activities, but its members could not imagine our organisation without it!
It is worth pondering on this statement as an introduction.
What have services brought to Euralarm and how?
It is universally recognised that services, through their added value, will bring small and medium enterprises, and international companies alike, their biggest source of income in the coming years.
As the only European representative of electronic security, Euralarm could not miss that train. Furthermore, with the implementation of the Services Directive, Euralarm could not afford not to bring its vision to the European authorities, a vision which defends freedom of trade framed by proper certifications. In this
context, Euralarm fully supports the idea carried out in the Commission message that certifications were welcome so long as they did not constitute a barrier to trade.
The Services section has been very concerned with the future of monitoring stations and, as we listened to our members worries, the idea that so many of our activities were unknown struck us even more. In further analysing this fact, we realised that it could not be otherwise: even though 700 companies span the scope of our activities, we employ less people that the human side of security and work very discreetly because of the very nature of our activities.
We therefore pushed our Board to increase Euralarms lobby to get us out of the shade, not out of vanity, but because, in this day and age, influence is proportional to notoriety.
There is a leading thread in the services section activities and our action to promote CEN standards on competence falls into that line.
We were very pleased that an overwhelming majority of trade associations voted positively to create these standards. Nevertheless, Euralarm has always been an exchange forum where all voices can be heard and we are concerned that some voices expressed some worries about the consequence of this action.
Lets be clear:
We do not wish to replace existing standards, particularly in fire. We wish to establish a high level of quality which, once operational, will help our members companies to face increased competition in the Services Directive context.
The road to success will take time to be paved: agreement on contents shared by fire and security, all around approval, and most importantly market adoption by customers. Victory will only be achieved when it stands to reason for them to
have premises protected by a third party recognised competent company employing competent staff.
We believe that having fire and security working alongside in one section does not mean that we look for dogmatic integration. Simply, electronic security activities, by allying forces, will secure their future owing to bigger outside influence and recognition. There is no will to amalgamate, just one to establish a common ground to defend common values: competence, the unavoidability of maintenance, the ever-increasing importance of remote monitoring, quality linked to third-party certifications and most importantly, freedom of trade together with freedom of choice for our customers.
Integration of eastern countries remains at the core of our values. We admire their efforts and we will endeavour to contribute to their success, realising that one of the keys of removing threats and creating opportunities in the context of a freedom of trade exchanges lies in the establishment of commonly adopted
quality levels. Our dedicated working group has worked with these values in mind in the past year and will carry on doing so, stimulated by our next General Assembly in Bucharest.
In conclusion, the services section is a crucible where the core values of electronic security are not only defended but we try daily to build a future that will ensure that our members will be able to offer our customers high quality services in a sound competitive and prosperous market.
Chairman of the Euralarm Services Section