Cycling Summit: A Milestone in Cycling Advocacy and Business!
With more than 20 transport Ministers and Secretary of States sitting in one room and discussing cycling, the first-ever informal EU Cycling Summit (7/10/2015) was a big milestone for cycling advocacy.
The message of CIC hit target as Violeta Bulc, the EU Commissioner of Transport, acknowledged cycling as a leading force in innovation, green growth and jobs creation and spoke about the importance of bikes and e-bikes in her opening speech addressing this high-level audience.
Why was the Cycling Summit important?
200 million EU citizens already cycle, 50 million every day. ECF’s vision is to double cycling in Europe over the next 10 years. For that to happen, every political level and stakeholder has to do its bit.
To unlock the many benefits that doubling cycling would bring to society, environment and business alike, cycling must be recognized as a transport mode in its own right by all government levels.
The beginning of that process was signalled by the adoption “Declaration of Luxembourg” by the EU ministers: a policy document which is expected to set the framework for European cycling policy for the next few years.
The support of the Cycling Industry Club has been critical in this success
There are three reasons why the support of the support of the Cycling Industry Club has been a vital part of this work.
Firstly, of course the founding members of the Club wanted ECF to be a bigger and more effective advocacy voice for cycling at the EU level. The new funding provided by the founding members since 2012 and the additional donations we get from every new member that joins CIC means that ECF has been able to expand our European lobby team with experts in fields from economics to tourism; making the case for cycling at the highest levels.
Secondly, we have had a source of donations for our Leadership Programme, an almost unique activity in our advocacy world. We have been able to reach out to national cycling organisations in countries with no heritage of advocacy, support them, train them and give grants so we can move to the point where there is an effective fighting force for cycling in 28 EU member states.
Finally, in the last year we have seen the some of the leaders of the biggest companies join ECF and CONEBI at the highest tables in Brussels, showing the EU Commission and Parliament that we are part of an exciting innovative industry that is ready to play its part in the economic future of Europe.
For all these reasons this is a great time to say that the Cycling Industry Club is living up to its expectations, we really are making a difference for cycling in Europe.
The work is not over
The job is not done with this summit. Going forward we have to turn declarations into policies and policies into cycling infrastructure on the ground.
We put the “Cycling Economy” into international policy, now our “Green Jobs” initiative is campaigning to create over 400,000 new cycling jobs. More people riding means more people buying bikes and equipment—and that’s good for business.