The European cycling revolution. Europe leads the way with the historic joint European Declaration on Cycling.
On Wednesday October 4th, EU transport commissioner Adina Valean launched the historic European Declaration on Cycling which aims to serve as “a “strategic compass for existing and future policies to unleash the full potential of cycling in the European Union.” This is the most ambitious initiative on cycling to date by the EU Commission, which recognises that cycling is one of the most sustainable, accessible and inclusive means of low-cost transportation. The Declaration includes thirty-six principles to boost cycling which include improving infrastructure, increasing investments into cycling, developing a world-class bicycle manufacturing industry, supporting two-wheel tourism, and boosting the collection of data on cycling.
Key points on the EU Declaration of Cycling
The comprehensive Declaration contains eight principles with 36 commitments to enable more and better cycling and to support the delivery of climate targets and objectives of the European Green Deal, the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy and the New EU Urban Mobility Framework, as well as the aims of the EU industrial strategy. The eight principles include:
- Developing and strengthening cycling policies
- Encouraging inclusive and affordable mobility
- Creating more and better cycling infrastructure
- Increasing investments and creating favourable conditions for cycling
- Improving road safety and security
- Supporting green jobs and the development of a world-class European cycling industry
- Supporting multimodality and cycling tourism
- Improving the collection of data on cycling
How will/can mountain biking contribute to the aims of the Declaration?
As the leader in mountain bike advocacy in Europe, IMBA Europe recognises the importance of this Declaration, and sees the potential for the sport of mountain biking to contribute to the goals of two-wheel sustainable tourism, economic development of rural communities, and promotion of cycling as an inclusive and sustainable means of transport. Together with our partners in cycling advocacy, including Cycling Industries Europe, IMBA Europe aims to shift the cycling paradigm in Brussels, to ensure that policy makers understand that recreational cycling and cycling mobility complement and strengthen each other.
- IMBA Europe and member organisations promote and encourage all forms of cycling as a healthy form of recreation through our advocacy campaigns, capacity building and involvement in relevant European projects.
- Promote and strengthen social inclusion through campaigning for targeted cycling training for children, and marginalised groups by working closely with our member organisations and Trail Advocacy partnerships. E.g. Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day, joint Erasmus projects, New European Bauhaus initiatives.
- Advocate for better connectivity between suburban and rural areas and city centres, through investment in green infrastructure (i.e. green corridors).
- Provide technical support to members and network members to unlock funding from the EU Structural Funds – e.g. the European Regional Development Fund which is designed to strengthen economic, social and territorial cohesion in the European Union.
- Creating favourable conditions to stimulate high-quality jobs and cycling clusters, including in cycling tourism, in order to significantly increase the number of cycling-related quality jobs, boost relevant skills and vocational training; e.g. Trail builder education and framework (DIRTT project)
- Creating favourable conditions to support cycling as a sustainable means of recreation and tourism.