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Euralarm targets ambitious EU Recovery Plan designed for more secure society
03 June 2020
EUROPEAN POLITICIANS and institutions are joining forces to present an EU Recovery Plan that will look to make society healthier, more environmentally friendly, more energy efficient and safer/more secure.
The European Union (EU) Recovery Plan will push for investment and reform, duly strengthening the EU economy by focusing on common priorities such as the European Green Deal, digitalisation and resilience.
In recent months, citizens throughout Europe have experienced what it means to be confined to their homes. With around 250 million homes across the EU that need energy renovation, now more than ever it is time for the EU to invest in renovating homes, offices, schools and other private and public sector buildings. The “Renovation Wave” as part of the Green Deal is therefore welcomed by Euralarm and many other stakeholders.
Boosting the rate of deep renovation in all buildings not only improves energy efficiency, but also economic growth. Building renovation and retrofit add almost twice as much value as the construction of new buildings. While investing more in renovations, Governments and authorities (as well as building owners) need to pay keen attention to the implications for the fire safety of buildings because renovations can introduce significant changes in fire safety requirements.
With the growing number of electronic and electrical devices in buildings (eg energy storage as part of energy efficiency measures), the fire load in buildings will continue to increase and must be considered in the overall fire safety concept. Regular fire safety reviews conducted by certified professionals and encompassing risk assessments are even more crucial and should be prioritised by private and public sector building owners and operators.
As one of the Green Deal proposals, the “Renovation Wave” is a unique opportunity to introduce an holistic approach towards fire safety and security when renovating buildings. Safe and secure buildings will contribute to the new European economy as well as the future European ecology.
On that basis, Euralarm is calling on EU decision-makers to determine that all renovated buildings will be fitted with the latest technologies in terms of fire safety and security.
European cyber security strategy
During the COVID-19 crisis, large parts of the European workforce have had no choice other than to work from home, using teleconferencing platforms and various digital co-operation tools to continue their daily work. In just a few months, remote working has accelerated the digitalisation of the European economy. With ambitious measures supporting a “Digital Recovery”, the digital transformation can be confirmed and amplified in the short term.
In the building industry, everyone has seen the effects of a slow adoption of digitalisation. Not surprisingly, Euralarm welcomes an acceleration of the digital transformation. During this crisis, connectivity has proven to be pivotal when it comes to remote working.
It became clear that, wherever Euralarm members had remote access to security and fire safety systems, there has been no disruption of service. Those members have continued to ensure the safety of people and infrastructure.
Pivotal to ensuring business continuity, connectivity must be immune to cyber threats. Euralarm therefore recommends a reassessment of the European Cyber Security Strategy, with special consideration given to some industries (the service sector, for example) where certain specifics should be taken into account.
Single market back on track
The EU Recovery Plan represents a unique opportunity to bring the Single Market back on track and definitively address unjustified barriers that remain in place for products and services.
Euralarm has observed: “In our sector, and despite all of our efforts to create European standards for products, systems and services, obstacles remain for cross-border trade, and especially so for SMEs. It is now time to put an end to these barriers and work together towards a society that genuinely shares and cares.”
The COVID-19 crisis amply demonstrates the crucial need for barriers to be removed. Therefore, Euralarm is calling on the European Commission to engage in a meaningful consultation with those stakeholders most affected by the remaining barrier and then find sector-specific measures designed to underpin the Single Market going forward.
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