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  • Writer's pictureCycling Industries Europe

Climbing Higher: Taking Cycling to a New Level in EU Policymaking

The campaign: Adoption of an inter-institutional EU Declaration on Cycling

This article highlights Cycling Industries Europe's (CIE) success in promoting the adoption of an inter-institutional EU Declaration on Cycling. Their efforts to elevate the status of cycling in EU policy and advance the mission and vision of their Association through collaboration with multiple stakeholders have been acknowledged by the European Association Awards 2024. They were awarded the Impact category for their achievements.

The Goal: The Recognition of Cycling

The ambition of this advocacy campaign was to elevate the status of cycling in EU policy by adopting an overarching strategic policy, similar to other transport and tourism modes. This aligns with our Cycling Industries Europe (CIE) mission to grow cycling for the benefit of society, the environment and the economy. The target audience was decision-makers in the EU Commission, Parliament and Member States, mobilising with other cycling Associations, cities and regions to maximise impact.

Keys to success: Collaboration

In reality, past attempts to get a strategy on cycling adopted by EU institutions were unsuccessful. CIE was a new voice in this space as our trade Association was created only five years ago to bring companies to the advocacy table.

Using an experienced team we mobilised an influential industrial campaign. We coordinated with our civil society and government supporters to put an economic and job creation message alongside environmental and mobility benefits. We are told this was a "game-changer".

The campaign progressed over four years, exploiting the expectations of the EU Green Deal, the need to reduce Russian oil consumption and the post-COVID recovery. Our greatest strength was our partnerships, especially with the European Cyclists' Federation.

This demonstrated the power of collaboration between business, civil society and governmental supporters with our organisations in the lead. Coordinated action was supported by multiple stakeholders who shared messages with us, hosted events and took our influence to decision-makers, both publicly and privately.

The results: Adoption of an inter-institutional EU Declaration on Cycling

An EU Declaration on Cycling was signed by the institutions on 3 April. The adopted declaration now has 36 commitments, which, if implemented in full can double cycling levels in the EU and deliver 1 million new green jobs.

For us, the additional markers of success are the quality and impact of the measures included and recognition of our Association's role in the campaign - e.g. The Belgian Presidency asked CIE to deliver the keynote at the adoption of the declaration at an informal Council meeting.

And next?

Now, the task is to see the measures implemented at all levels, so the campaign continues. The first expenditure linked to the adoption is already flowing (a €800k call for proposals), and long-term evaluation will be multi-billion Euro expenditures by the Commission and Member States on cycling, which we will track. The ultimate measure will be a progression towards more cycle use.

To support this we have created a 10-point Manifesto for the incoming Commission, “From Zero Carbon Mobility to World Class Industry”, which will form the basis of our policy priorities over the next 12 months.


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