04 Mar 2024

On 29 February, the European Commission presented the Mobility Transition Pathway to a packed and eager audience in Brussels – which included a unprecedented high number of cycling industry representatives.

Trade associations of the automotive, rail, maritime and cycling industries shared globally positive feedback on the ‘co-creation’ exercise which has led to the identification of key challenges for mobility industries. The challenges have been translated into a series of proposed actions that would need to be taken by the EU, industries, countries, regions or other key players to make European mobility industries become more sustainable, digital and resilient. The European Commission explained that all relevant players are now invited to make ‘pledges’ that align with the proposed actions and gave further clarifications of how to do it.

The Mobility Transition Pathway report outlines roughly 120 actions, of which 80 can be considered as relevant or highly relevant for the cycling industry, such as supporting industry reshoring, stimulating the growth of cycling services, developing industrial and mobility ‘data spaces’ and continuing to build more safe cycling infrastructure.

While, our readers will already have had a sense of what’s to come in our previous newsletter article on this topic, the publication of the final report and the guidance provided by the European Commission during the event on 29 February gives us a clearer picture of how to get involved in the ‘co-implementation’ phase of the Mobility Transition Pathway. So here are our key takeaways for you.

Read the report

We can do our best to summarise the key findings and proposed actions in the report, but you will have a better picture and overview by checking it out yourself! It may not be necessary to go through all 47 pages but we would draw your attention towards the sections of the report setting out general challenges for all mobility industry players and specificities of the cycling sector. Proposed actions are split across seven sections: sustainable competitiveness; regulation and public governance; social dimension; skills; R&I, techniques and solutions; infrastructure; investments and funding. 

In reading the report and the proposed actions, try to find a set of action points that would align, underpin or consolidate actions your company/organisation is already taking or considering developing, or that addresses a key challenge you face.

You are probably already doing something that could become a Mobility Transition Pathway pledge

Pledges need to align with the report’s proposed actions, but don’t necessarily need to represent entirely new activities or initiatives. In fact, it is very likely your company is already undertaking strategies, projects or initiatives that could become Mobility Transition Pathway pledges.

This could be – among many things - training new mechanics, investing in new production facilities in Europe, upcycling used bicycles for the second-hand market, developing a data-driven approach or setting up collection points for used components. Be sure to have an open mind when reading (or scanning) the report!

Don’t rush and don’t feel under pressure

The Mobility Transition Pathway pledging process – the so-called co-implementation phase - is officially open but time is on your side to make pledges. The European Commission still needs to set up a website to submit Mobility Transition Pathway pledges and it will be live in July at the earliest.

‘Transition Pathway’ exercises have already been undertaken for other sectors such as tourism, textiles and chemicals. The Tourism Transition Pathway co-implementation process was launched over two years ago and the European Commission is still gathering new pledges from the tourism sector players. On a side note, it you are active in the field of cycling tourism, you may also be doing something that could amount to a pledge in that framework. 

Do also bear in mind that pledges are not legally binding. The European Commission asked that pledges are measurable, realistic and aligned with the proposed actions and will seek to help companies or organisations making pledges get the right formulation. But there are no penalties if you make a pledge that does not come to fruition – other than not realising your ambition.

Identify new partnerships and seek public funding support

Engaging in the Mobility Transition Pathway with pledges may hinge upon the possibility to team up with other companies, administrations or associations. This may also present an opportunity to set up a coalition of the willing on a project that has been at the back of your head for a while.

You may also see some action points that do not directly align with your company’s plans but could be of interest for a locality or region you know well. Do not hesitate to exchange about the Mobility Transition Pathway with business partners, collaborating companies or suppliers as there may be something in there for them too.

The Mobility Transition Pathway also props cycling up as an issue to be carefully considered in the context of EU funded projects such as the Horizon Europe research programme – which typically require the establishment of a consortium – or smaller-scale funding streams like cascade funds – a regular topic in CIE’s Cycling Innovation Network discussions. If you are preparing a bid for local, regional, national or European funding, referring to Mobility Transition Pathway proposed actions will give your submission that little bit extra that might make the difference when it is being reviewed and evaluated.

Cycling service providers are welcome

The Mobility Transition Pathway may be presented as an EU ‘industrial’ policy, but that does not mean it is reserved for industry in the stricter sense. In fact, several Mobility Transition Pathway’s proposed actions refer several times to cycling services such as shared bike fleets, logistics and retail. During the event of 29 February, it was made very clear that the link between industry and service providers is key for the mobility sector and service providers should feel involved on an equal footing.

Do also take a look at the European Cycling Declaration

We are particularly glad over at Cycling Industries Europe to see that the final version of the Mobility Transition Pathway report includes the following action point: “Support the implementation of the European Commission proposal for a European Declaration on Cycling”.

It’s obviously a good thing that the Mobility Transition Pathway and the EU Cycling Declaration cross-reference each other for the simple sake of EU policy coherence. But it also means that actions or projects that align with EU Cycling Declaration objectives are potentially relevant for making Mobility Transition Pathway pledges.

EU support will depend on industry’s willingness to engage

While the current political landscape and timetable render it difficult for the European Commission to make concrete promises about funding support – EU elections are less than 3 months away – the co-implementation process will continue throughout 2024 and 2025. The European Commission will be following up by carefully monitoring where and why pledges are being made: topics that gain a lot of traction in terms of pledges will be the most likely to generate targeted policy support and funding opportunities.

Ask Cycling Industries Europe – contact us!

Cycling Industries Europe has been following the Mobility Transition Pathway process since its inception and has played a key role in shaping the proposed actions found therein.

We will in all likelihood be making some pledges as an industry association on various topics, and we are also on hand to help you with the pledging exercise - whether its aligning your project with proposed actions, finding the right formulation for your pledges, setting the right indicators and benchmarks, finding possible partners, coupling a pledge with a request for support, or following up with questions directly to the European Commission – so that you don’t have to!

 We are on hand to answer your questions so please feel free to get in touch with us.








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