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Industrial Chapter Added to EU Cycling Strategy

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BRUSSELS, Belgium – For the first time, an EU-wide Industrial strategy has been written by the bicycle Industry and shared officially with the highest levels of the European Commission: the Confederation European Bicycle Industry (CONEBI) and the Cycling Industry Club (CIC) joined forces to write an industrial chapter of the European Cycling Strategy and advocate on behalf of the Industry for its adoption in the EU Work Programme 2018-2019.   

Industrial Chapter Added to EU Cycling Strategy
EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc with suitcase containing EU Cycling Strategy she received from ECF director Bernard Ensink. – Photo ECF

When the proposed EU Cycling Strategy was presented symbolically to EU Transport Commissioner Bulc during the Velo-city Conference in Arnhem-Nijmegen of last June it contained the joint contributions of an expert group with 27 members, representing 15 governmental and non-governmental organisations, academia and the Industry, aimed at unlocking the full potential of the whole cycling sector from a policy, regulatory and funding point of view.

Strategic development on cycling

For this reason CONEBI members and CIC companies decided that the EU Cycling Strategy is the right document to highlight the industry’s achievements and future plans by writing an entire chapter about the strategic development and potential of manufacturing and supply, as well as on the conditions and rules that enable the EU to be competitive in terms of maintaining and growing its share of the Industry. Industry experts also provided valuable input into other chapters of the Strategy on topics like vehicle regulations and standards, Intelligent Transport Systems and the potential growth of the market including the great potential of e-bikes.

CONEBI President René Takens also added the industry’s endorsement to the EU Cycling Strategy foreword, “I am proud to say that our sector, the European Bicycle Industry, is not standing at the sidelines: on the contrary, today we employ 90,000 people in 800 SMEs, 25% more than 5 years ago. With the immense success of the electric bicycle, the prospect of accelerated growth over the next decade is looking extremely promising. We will create new jobs and provide an efficient mobility tool for millions of Europeans at the same time.”

Role in EU green economy of cycling

A competitive bicycle industry has a strategic role to play in the current and future EU Green economy: it will grow the EU market share and invest in the development of new industrial strategies as part of a wider EU industrial regeneration. In that regard, industrial policy is one of the key strategies of the EU and in his 2014 “Political Guidelines for the next European Commission”, President Juncker stated “We need to stimulate investment in new technologies, improve the business environment, ease access to markets and to finance”.

European Cyclists Federation (ECF) Development Director Kevin Mayne says that the visibility of the industry associations and companies is essential to allow cycling to compete with the automotive sector and public transport in terms of political support. “We are in a competition for the future of mobility and tourism where our competitors show their long-term strategic commitments to jobs and innovation in Europe through their strategies. By getting a common industry position published we have made a huge step forward, now we have a basis on which to justify our arguments and build support.”

Start of developing forward view

The Industry is becoming more innovative and is focusing on the adaptation of the supply chain to consumer-centricity, on connected bicycles and the concept of smart mobility as well as on its competitiveness at global level through a strong advocacy for fair trade and the international harmonization of regulations and standards.
In this context, in order to remain a strong player, the EU bicycle industry must be supported by the European institutions to address the current challenges in the EU industrial policy and also the ones regarding mobility patterns, digitalisation, health and environment, thus being allowed to keep on delivering Jobs, growth and decarbonisation – just to mention a few.

What next? CONEBI and CIC have agreed that the industrial chapter is just a start of developing a forward view of the industry for policy-makers. Representing the bicycle industry to the EU Institutions means broadening the scope of their work in Brussels for any current and future issue that could assist or jeopardise its fast-growing development in the EU and International markets.

Industrial implications explained at Eurobike

There will be a presentation on the industrial implications of the EU Cycling Strategy at Eurobike. This will be part of the yearly Advocacy Summit. This Summit takes place at Messe Friedrichshafen’s Conference Center East at the Room Paris. The Advocacy Summit is scheduled for 31st August at 16.30.

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