BRUSSELS, Belgium – Last Thursday’s start of the Smart2Wheels event was troublesome as there was a big demonstration at the Esplanade, on the doorstep of the European Parliament.
Nevertheless, exhibition of innovative electric bicycles and other two-wheelers took place as planned by the European Twowheel Retailers' Association (ETRA) and Forum Europe, in association with the Netherlands Embassy to the EU, the Greens/EFA Group and UEAPME. Next to the exhibition, the Smart2Wheels event included a high-level meeting with many senior policy-makers and stakeholders in attendance.
The starting shot for the Smart2Wheels event took place in the form of a discussion by six members of the European Parliament on the role of cycling in European policy. Following the discussion, the show of modern cycling products, bicycles and electric 2Wheels for urban transportation on the esplanade of the European Parliament was started. Visitors had ample opportunity to try out the vehicles on show. Various organizations and projects in the field of sustainable mobility presented their activities here.
Later in the afternoon a half day debate was started which brought together participants from European and local authorities as well as from the bicycle business at the Netherlands Embassy in Brussels. The debate focused on the role and potential of cycling and also electric bikes for creating cleaner, less congested cities and by extension, healthier citizens. The debate was concluded with the launch of the Dutch Cycling Embassy (see separate article).