Tony at CIE Summit

16 Jan 2024

Five years ago, when CIE was founded, one of our key goals was to get cycling on the EU’s agenda and on a level playing field with other transport modes. The year 2023 marks a historic milestone for cycling in Europe. In October, the European Commission proposed its most ambitious initiative on cycling to date, the European Declaration on Cycling which elevates cycling to a strategic priority and acknowledges its power to generate enormous benefits for Europe, stating: “This Declaration recognises cycling as one of the most sustainable, accessible and inclusive, low-cost and healthy forms of transport and recreation, and its key importance for European society and economy.”

The Declaration delivers on a pledge made earlier in the year by EU Green Deal Chief, Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans at the CIE 2023 Summit and follows an EU Parliament Resolution in February and a Belgium-led Member State Declaration signed by a majority of EU countries.

The Declaration has eight key principles and 36 commitments to boost cycling and support the delivery of EU’s key goals. The Declaration states: “In order to fulfil the potential of cycling so that it can effectively help achieve EU mobility, climate, environmental, health, industrial and social objectives, the use of cycling in the EU should increase substantially”. For the first time, the economic and industrial benefits of ‘more cycling’ are explicitly recognised and the Declaration commits to support the development of a world-class European cycling industry.

The Declaration is a result of intense advocacy work by Cycling Industries Europe and partners - through CIE the EU institutions have seen cycling businesses in new places with new messages, from green industry to shared mobility and job creation. This made it possible for cycling to be supported by every department of the EU and every political group. The result is a common plan – The European Declaration on Cycling.

The Declaration is expected to be finalised during the Belgian EU Presidency in the beginning of 2024 as a joint inter-institutional commitment and signed during the informal meeting of transport ministers on 3-4 April.

However, our advocacy work is far from over! Now we need to make sure the initiatives will get implemented and supported by a resilient, sustainable and digital cycling industry. We need to also be ready to present our vision for the future mobility in Europe for the incoming policymakers following the 2024 elections.

After having the highest-level EU policymakers – Commission Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans, French MEP Karima Delli and Belgian Transport Minister Georges Gilkinet – at the CIE 2023 Summit, the bar is set high for 2024. Watch this space!

Share on Linkedin Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Subscribe to our newsletter