Tony Grimaldi

11 Oct 2023

Last week the EU Commission announced a new European Cycling Declaration, a comprehensive document with 36 commitments to create more cycling and a world class cycling industrial sector. Following final consultations with the EU Parliament and Member States this should become EU policy, bringing together the proposals of the institutions in one overall plan for cycling.

The timing for this announcement could not be more appropriate, because it is five years ago today that we announced a new voice for cycling businesses on the European stage, Cycling Industries Europe. The announcement of the EU Cycling Declaration is a true reflection of our achievements in these five years, so I want to put on record my recognition of these twin milestones.

Our ambition in 2018 was clear.

We knew that cycling is a force for good in our society, contributing to liveable cities, health and environmental protection. But the EU is also an economic agency and a single market, therefore we had to show that behind every positive cycling policy there will be companies, from global corporations to startups. We are investing in electrifying mobility, sharing, logistics, leasing, digital services, parking, infrastructure, design and consultancy. It is our industries that will create a million new jobs as cycling grows in Europe.

My thanks to all our members that have made this possible. Your support in the last five years has enabled the cycling industry to be represented in Brussels by a team with extensive experience in public affairs, motivated by a passion for cycling. And you have driven our expert groups, so we can make policy recommendations that support the whole industrial ecosystem.

Now we can celebrate the impact this has made, ensuring that policy makers recognise the wider industrial case for cycling as well as the environmental and social benefits. 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 Cycling Declaration.

And in 2018 when we diverged our former Cycling Industry Club from the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) we promised that the industry would continue to recognize and fund ECF’s work, making it possible for the civil society sector to continue its leading role on cycling advocacy, which we have done through collaboration and financial support from our membership fees. We also established valued partnerships with of our colleagues in other international and national associations in all sectors of cycling, from industry to logistics and mountain biking, building on our shared aims and values.

I hope many more companies will join us for the next five years of CIE because we have much more to do. We have proven that together we are a winning team that can secure the highest levels of political influence and open up billions of euros for investments in cycling, but we must use the words in the EU Cycling Declaration to get even more cycling, in every country.

We know that we have our own challenges to become the green, digitalised and stable industries that will be a leading force in the EU’s Industrial Policy, but with the Cycling Declaration we have a statement of support from the EU’s political leadership.

I was honoured to be present at the Velo-city Congress earlier this year when the CEOs of CIE and ECF were jointly awarded the 2023 “Oscar” for cycling, the Danish Cycling Embassy Leadership Award. This was given for our associations’ work on creating this EU Cycling Declaration. Being there gave me a further confirmation that our companies made the right choice in 2018 to build CIE and we made the right choices in investing in top performing advocates to carry our message.

Congratulations again to Kevin Mayne and our CIE team for the work you have done for our members in these five years, we are proud to support you and our partner organisations.

On behalf of the CIE members I accept the challenge of the next five years, let’s make the aims of the EU Cycling Declaration a reality.

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