France: Parliamentary report calls for regulation & expansion of French private security industry to protect French interests & companies

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26 February 2012

Regulation, Expansion of French Private Security Firms Urged [France]

Author: Pierre Tran, Defense News

A bipartisan French parliamentary report is calling for recognition and regulation of private military companies, hoping to reverse the strong climate of rejection regarding security contractors. The report...points up the growth of business in private security and military activity over the last two decades, led by U.S. and British companies...Private military companies are closely linked to their home governments and their operations tend to reflect foreign policy to such an extent that they can be “real levers of influence,” the report said...“Three large areas of activity can be identified: companies offering services to the state, providing an indispensable accompaniment to large companies, and more specifically, developing an offer for maritime security, notably in protecting commercial shipping against acts of piracy at sea.”...The latest trend is to provide an escort vessel with armed teams on board, which avoids making the captain of the commercial ship legally responsible in case the teams open fire on pirates...said [Jean-Georges Betto, partner at law firm Hogan Lovells]. [refers to Blackwater (now Academi), Argus, GEOS, Risk & Co,Geodis, GIE Access, Sodexo, Thales, Global X, Triskel, APMSS, Solace, Advanfort, Gallice]

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Author: Christian Ménard, Jean-Claude Viollet, Assemblée Nationale [France]

Ce rapport bipartisan a eu pour objectif de dresser un panorama de l’activité de ces sociétés en France et dans le monde, mais surtout de proposer des pistes permettant de répondre aux multiples besoins...Au-delà, les rapporteurs considèrent qu’il est crucial d’organiser le secteur. Cela suppose tout d’abord de légiférer afin de définir clairement un ensemble d’activités autorisées par la loi. Il pourra en découler un système d’agrément des sociétés et des employés à même de clarifier et d’assainir le marché. Ensuite, en tant que client, l’État devra adopter une stratégie d’ensemble pour accompagner la structuration du secteur.

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