Emerging Europe opportunities in the Security sector

The Emerging Europe region, comprising 10 markets and 110 million consumers, offers extensive opportunities across the security sector. The markets are low-risk, close to home and all offer considerable long-term growth potential for UK businesses.

Market overview

Although a fragmented market within CEN due to countries’ sensitivities in relation to national prerogatives, the security market in the 10 countries has common specificities: it’s an institutional market (main contractors are public and government authorities) with a strong social dimension (the security measures and technologies may induce concerns regarding the integrity of the private life).

The security market began to move out of crisis mode in 2010 as organisations started to deal with the proliferating range of security threats facing them. With the emergence of advanced persistent threats, the security experts and entities will have to stay ahead of the cybercriminals, which is where security vendors can step in to ease the burden.

Key opportunities


There are large number of companies working in the traditional physical and computer security sectors in Austria. CCTV and general monitoring of civilians, is something which is controlled by The Data Protection Act and means that CCTV is relatively underdeveloped, approximately 2 million units are currently installed, but the interest and implementation is rising. The use of computers particularly in relation to the supply of government services is regarded as being “state of the art” as are the security features which the Austrian government have implemented.


Bulgaria is an external EU border, and the country is expected to join the Schengen area in 2013.The Bulgarian Ministry of Interior together with Ministry of Finance, Customs Agency and Border Police are looking for ways to improve and strengthen management of external borders, fight and prevent organised crime and terrorism. Those issues are being addressed with procedural and financial support from the EU. The government is developing measures to protect citizens, businesses, institutions and critical infrastructure from cybercrime and internet fraud. There is a stable demand for video-surveillance, access control and perimeter security equipment for industrial, commercial and residential applications.


The Croatian government has announced proposals for the implementation of around 30 public sector investment projects with an estimated value of €13.85 billion. Croatia also has set up a new definition of critical infrastructure; therefore some improvements of security measures are expected. Main opportunities include: Re-equipping emergency services-Croatia is re-equipping its emergency services with new technologies. Some of the projects have started, especially in the Coastguard, Police and Fire departments, Maritime Security: Croatian harbours such as Rijeka, Šibenik, Split and Ploe have projects to upgrade their protection and security plans, Border Control: There are several projects planned including Integrated Border Management: The project is for further development of customs and border controls at border crossing points. Requirements include the supply of special training equipment, transportation, and equipment for border surveillance and Support to the National Visa System.

Czech Republic

The Czech security market has grown dramatically over the last 18 years, and is therefore reasonably well developed and strongly competitive. New technology and products are key to winning. A large number of local companies distribute, integrate or design, install and service security solutions. British security brands are known and distributed in the Czech Republic. The established structure of the market and the nature of the business make identification of a good local partner a priority. The primary impediment for entering the market for top security or demanding applications is certification from the National Security Authority. System integration has grown and major companies estimate that digital surveillance with networking functions will dominate the market within the next few years. The police, public and industrial buildings are now seeking networked and digital surveillance systems.


According to statistical data, security is among the ten most profitable sectors in Hungary, while facility management, which involves property protection, is among the top six. According to the local professional chamber the sector employs 134 thousand, 105 thousand of which are working full-time. Regarding the electronic property protection, numerous external factors influence the security and safety market – the number of new system installations strongly co-relates with the number of new construction projects. Upgrading and extending existing systems also provide opportunities. Business opportunities and local interest exist mainly in IP CCTY cameras, related wireless solutions, face recognition, analytics-intelligence analysis in particular abandoned objects and mass surveillance.


Security market in Poland is expected to be worth £2.5bn annually by 2015.

Poland has embarked on 20 years of uninterrupted economic growth. It has been a member of NATO since 1999 and the EU since 2004. The public sector is one of the largest buyers of security products in Poland. The country joined the Schengen zone in 2007 and as Poland has the EU’s longest external border, public services, border guards and customs which in particular, implemented an intensive programme of up-grading their infrastructure including operating equipment.

Poland is quite strong in manufacturing mechanical security products while sophisticated electronic security equipment is mainly imported. Thus, the best opportunities in the Polish security market lie in state-of-the-art sophisticated electronic security equipment, particularly in the area of high resolution integrated CCTV systems and access control including biometric and chip technologies. A new area of opportunities lies in solutions for cyber crime reduction as cyber security is regarded one of the most important issues for Polish government in years to come. UK businesses are perceived as having cutting edge technology and know-how; thus, UK solutions are well recognised and highly respected.


The NATO membership and EU accession process have triggered major changes within the defence and security sectors in Romania, both in terms of human resources and organisation as well as in operations.

The diversity of Romania’s border (sea shore, mountains, hills, fields, rivers, delta, etc.) covering 1,085 km land border and 2,064 km water border, as well as the double quality of EU and NATO member have asked for an Integrated System for Border Security (SISF) for the benefit of the Romanian and European citizens.

In the last years Romania made significant investments on border security and these include investments in construction, renovation & upgrading of border crossing infrastructure; operating equipment such as laboratory equipment; detection tools, hardware, software, means of transport, logistics & operations. The operational equipment include: movement control sensors vehicles, visa information systems, biometric technology.


In 2012, the combined budgets of the Interior, Justice and Defence Ministries and the Slovak Intelligence Service reached EUR 1.889 billion. The Ministry of Interior’s spending per capita is comparable to the UK’s Home Office (EUR 155 in Slovakia and EUR 175 in the UK). There is over 46,000 security and defence personnel in Slovakia, excluding intelligence services, where numbers are not known (Police – 22,000; Soldiers (professional army) – 15,700; Prison Guards – 4,400; Fire-fighters – 4,200; Mountain Rescue – 120). The main opportunities are in supplying security equipment for prisons; refurbishment of existing prisons and increasing prison capacities; protection of the critical infrastructure; security equipment for the Slovak Ministry of Interior, Police and intelligence services; communication and information systems or cyber security.


Slovenian security sector is quite developed with a number of foreign companies already present in the market with their security and protection products. Slovenian companies regularly visit security exhibitions in the UK where they have access to major suppliers. While there are many products/services already available in the market, Slovenian distributors are always looking for new products especially new technologies to complement their existing range (such as CCTV, fire detection systems, video surveillance, electronic protection of goods, transportation of money, intrusion detection, access control etc.). Products purchased by government, police and other public offices are tendered out and while bids are invited also from foreign suppliers, many times bids must be submitted in Slovene language. It is advised that a UK company who intends to enter the market appoints a local business partner as they tend to already have a network of clients established in the market.

Latest export opportunities – Security

Latest export opportunities – Austria

Latest export opportunities – Bulgaria

Latest export opportunities – Croatia

Latest export opportunities – Czech Republic

Latest export opportunities – Hungary

Latest export opportunities – Poland

Latest export opportunities – Romania

Latest export opportunities – Slovakia

Latest export opportunities – Slovenia

Getting into the market

Doing business in security sector may have cultural aspects for each individual countries within CEN, and the lack of uniform European regulatory measures in the sector is not helping either. That is why the best way to enter the market is by identifying an agent or a partner, especially when the desire is to access local tenders for security projects and procurements.

All tenders are run in the national language (due to EU membership mainly) and according to national and European tendering procedures.

More about doing business in Emerging Europe


Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke market research and support during overseas visits though our chargeable Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS).

To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists in country – or contact your local international trade team.

Contact your local international trade team

UKTI Events

UKTI runs a range of events for exporters, including seminars in the UK, trade missions to overseas markets and support for attendance at overseas trade shows.

Latest events – Security

Major Events

WISE, Warsaw – Poland

19-22 Nov 2013


Security Expo 2013, Sofia – Bulgaria

6-9 March 2013


Romanian Security Fair 2013, Bucharest – Romania

Oct 2013


Useful links

More about OMIS and other UKTI services for exporters

Sectors: Defence & Security
Countries: Austria, Croatia, and Europe
WordPress PopUp Plugin Export Action Plan