While in previous months, we got on average 3-12 new membership requests per month, from the start of our promotional campaign at the beginning of April to the end of April we received 50 registrations – including a couple of excellent European Commissioners.
A warm welcome to you all!
Last week Pascal Smet, Brussels Mobility minister, launched the new version of bike experience and the day after, 20 May, met with EUCG and the other cycling associations on cycle-path strategy and tactics.
The revamped bike experience programme is built around a website that matches “bikers” with trainers (called ‘coaches’) in the light of preferences and location
Of particular interest is the offer of a free (ordinary ) bike for two weeks, or an e-bike or folding bike for a fee of €70 for the same period, to any new cyclist. Right now the site is somewhat unbalanced, with only 29 bikers for 1273 coaches and – last time we checked – no matches.
Anyone in the institutions who is interested in being coached should sign up – as there are loads of coaches available. Now if only we could find a way to get the 1000 or so unsuccessful OIB scheme applicants to sign up. That would definitely rebalance supply and demand!
The minister was seeking our support for the 20 new cycle paths he has earmarked for the next few years. He hopes to encourage more “ordinary people” to try out cycling. He will then improve cycle paths , in a further phase, with the backing of a critical mass of more cyclists.
Our colleagues from GRACQ have been pressing for the government to change the law to allow experienced cyclists to remain on the road if they so wish, even when there is a separate cycle-path. And it seems that this law could pass in July.
The Minister also asked for more rapid reactions, rebuttals etc from the associations when the plans were called into question, and for increased individual participation in consultations etc, which carried more weight than the associations alone. In the context of Brussels Region’s struggle to increase the low share of cycling in the mobility mix (less than 5% at the moment), this dynamic, pro-cycling Minister seems to deserve all the support he can get.
As announced at our AGM 2016 yesterday (report to follow in the next day or so), EUCG is now 20 years of age.
All our members former and current are warmly invited to help celebrate this milestone in the journey of two-wheeled EU officialdom.
When? Tuesday 7 June 2015 from 6.30pm
Beer, soft drinks and food will be available
The EUCG President will say a few words around 7.30pm and give a brief history of the EUCG followed by an open mike session for anyone present to offer their memories and reflections.
At 8.15pm there will be a screening of the short film ‘Bikes vs. Cars’ followed by a discussion of 20 years of cycling advocacy in the EU institutions
We aim to wrap up at 10pm
All this for the modest cost of 5 euros admission.
See you there for a wild end-of-teenage party. (Well, may be not that wild…)
In October 2015 EU transport ministers in the Declaration of Luxembourg committed to promoting cycling as a climate friendly and efficient transport mode.
The Commission has begun to put it into practice with the recent appointment of DG MOVE official Piotr Rapacz as the ‘Cycling focal point’. Piotr’s priority is to put cycling at the heart of EU transport and other policies including air quality and environment, health and tourism. The Commission has set up dedicated page for cycling on its website which with information for external stakeholders and other EU official officials.
You can read an interview with Piotr here. EUCG wishes him every success in the new role.
Our Annual General Meeting on Monday, 18 April 2016, 12.30-14.30.
It will be in the PLB building, Room 1.4, on Rue Philippe le Bon 3, Brussels.
Our guest speaker is Fernando Garcia Ferreiro, director in Commission Directorate General for Human Resources. Fernando is responsible for the Fit@work scheme and other corporate social responsibility programmes.
Please come along to find out what has been happening for cycling and the EU institutions over the last year.