At present, there is no legally binding legislation regulating private security companies or PSCs. A parliamentary committee wants to strengthen accountability and oversight of some 40,000 PSCs in the EU.
From conflict zones to the streets of Europe, EU governments, institutions and firms increasingly use private security companies or PSCs to beef up protection of military, diplomatic and civilian installations and buildings. In 2013, there were some 40,000 PSCs in Europe, with 1.5 million contractors, in a global industry valued at 200 billion US dollars in 2016. It's controversial. Some question the very idea of having to outsource security needs to the private sector. We would like to limit and do away with using private companies for defence 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.