Paving the way for a thriving cycling industry

12 Mar 2019

Thanks to the hard work of the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) we’ve seen several important advocacy breakthroughs recently. This is one of the very best reasons why the cycling industry gives an annual donation to ECF to support their advocacy work.

The exclusion of ebikes from mandatory insurance is one of the recent advocacy highlights. As a result of intensive lobbying work by ECF, CIE and CONEBI the European Parliament's Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) proposed to exclude ebikes from the Motor Insurance Directive. This is crucially important for the development of the sector. The committee decision was subsequently endorsed by the full EU Parliament.

Another good news got in this month when the European Parliament's Committee on Regional Development (REGI) adopted a proposal for a revised European Regional Development Fund and Cohesion Fund Regulation for 2021-2027 unlocking funding for regions and Member States for cycling projects. Cycling is explicitly mentioned in the REGI proposal and if all goes to plan this means that regions can include cycling projects in their Operational Programmes from 2021 onwards. The file will still go to the European Parliament plenary, followed by trilogy in the Council before final conclusion, which is anticipated before this parliamentary term comes to an end in May 2019.

Moneywise, in the Commission proposal, €220 billion will be spent on ERDF, and another €40 billion on the Cohesion Fund. The majority of ERDF funding (65 % to 85 %) will focus on smart growth and the green economy, while the fund will also support other activities such as connectivity, social issues and local development.

The first quarter of 2019 saw also important steps taken towards improved safety: First, the EU agreed on making Road Infrastructure Safer for Cyclists by revising the RISM Directive, recognising the need to pay more attention to the safety of cyclists and pedestrians. Moreover, the European Parliament decided to improve the safety of cyclists and pedestrians by equipping motor vehicles with up to date technical solutions.

All this is clearly tremendous value for money, great work ECF team! We look forward to our close collaboration, putting forces together to bring mobility, and the cycling sector in particular, in the heart of the EU’s agenda.

- Lauha Fried

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