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2017 ITF Summit: Governance of Transport

Leipzig – May 31 – June 2, 2017

CONEBI attended the 2017 Summit on “Governance of Transport” in Leipzig, organized by the International Transport Forum (ITF), which hosted more than 40 Ministers and Vice-Ministers and provided valuable opportunities to discuss the current shape of Transportation at global level and its future trends.

In their Joint Declaration, Ministers highlighted the changes required to transport systems in the light of the 2015 Paris Agreement, called for responsive regulation to foster innovation and expressed the will to create frameworks for open mobility data. In a message to the Summit, UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutierrez thanked the ITF for working on policies that improve people’s lives and declared that “the United Nations stands ready in promoting Sustainable Transport and Mobility for all”.

Nowadays, a lot of the attention of the Transport community goes to urban mobility: according to the ITF Transport Outlook 2017, cities need to make a choice as soon as possible on how future mobility needs will be met as transport demand in cities will double by 2050.

The right policies can significantly cut transport CO2 emissions in cities: 70% of reductions can come from new technologies, among which electric mobility and other alternative fuels, while 30% of these emissions require policies that change human behaviour, like for instance, incentives for mobility sharing as well as pricing of fuel and parking, just to name a few.

Relying only on cars to provide accessibility in cities is not sustainable because urban sprawl and reliance on cars will require large infrastructure investments so cities need to change their model of development. Indeed, during the summit, an innovative data visualisation tool developed by the ITF showed CO2 emissions related to urban mobility patterns and how they are impacted by measures such as shared mobility schemes, parking regulations and land use planning. Among several questions, an interesting focus was put on the different sets of measures to decarbonise transport while promoting its socio-economic benefits and how exogenous factors such as consumer preferences and business models impact carbon emissions from transport.


European Commission’s Focal Point for Cycling at the CONEBI General Assembly

London – May 23, 2017

The CONEBI General Assembly held in London on 23rd May gathered not only the CONEBI Members and Directors but also several important guests, among which the European Commission’s Focal Point for Cycling Mr Rapacz.

The Focal Point for Cycling was appointed last year after the informal Council meeting of the EU Transport Ministers – organized during the Luxembourg Presidency – where EU Member States adopted the “Declaration on Cycling as a climate friendly Transport Mode”, which indeed foresees an European Focal Point for Cycling within the European Commission to serve as (a) a one-stop-shop for cycling related questions, (b) to facilitate the exchange of best practices among Member States.

As clearly stated by the Commission, ”Cities are home to over 70 % of the EU population and account for some 85 % of the Union’s GDP. Most journeys begin and end in cities. In many urban areas, however, increasing demand for urban mobility has created a situation that is not sustainable: severe congestion, poor air quality, noise emissions and high levels of CO2 emissions. Urban congestion jeopardises the EU’s goals for a competitive and resource-efficient transport system”. So, given the mentioned context, Mr Rapacz – who deals on a broader level with Urban Mobility – gave a very useful presentation on behalf of the European Commission about the EU policy for sustainable urban mobility with a focus on Cycling.

Mr Rapacz went through many topics: the 2013 Urban Mobility Package, the SUMPs (Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans), the recommendations for coordinated action on urban access regulations, ITS deployment and road safety, the EU financial support and tools, the Urban Mobility Observatory – ELTIS – but also the Member States Expert Group and the CIVITAS initiative.

For more info on the mentioned topics, please do not hesitate to contact the CONEBI Secretariat.


90 000 Direct-Indirect Jobs in the EU Bicycle Industry

Brussels – May 8, 2017

After the first study of December 2012 made by Colibi, Coliped and EBMA – which showed that around 700 companies (most of them SMEs) were directly-indirectly employing 70.000 workers – CONEBI has just contributed to the update of that document: it underlines the current expansion of the EU Industry both in jobs, investments and SMEs, therefore representing a good example of inclusive sustainable economy. The expansion is mainly due to the further development of the most important innovation of the last 20 years: the Pedal-Assist Ebikes.
In the EU there are now over 90.000 Direct-Indirect Workers, and 800 SMEs capillary distributed in 20 of the 28 Member States, generating over 1 Billion euros EU investments and approximately 12 Billion euros EU of Industrial output: for more details, you can find the publication of the results at the following link (for confidentiality reasons, you will only find the total numbers of direct employment for both the EU Bicycle and EPAC producers as well as for Bicycle Parts producers, but also the estimation regarding the accessories producers and the Indirect jobs).


EP President Tajani and Commissioner Bienkowska support a comprehensive EU Industrial Policy Strategy

Brussels – May 5, 2017

On 12 April the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, and Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Elżbieta Bieńkowska, met to discuss the importance of her portfolio in promoting jobs and growth: they share the view on the need for a comprehensive industrial policy for Europe.
“I strongly support the work of Commissioner Bieńkowska in designing a new industrial strategy for Europe, attracting more investment while strengthening our industrial base. The great potential of the digital single market in boosting innovation and competitiveness is key for a modern industrial policy, together with the full completion of the single market for goods, services, capital and energy”.
European Parliament President concluded that, “Citizens want Europe to work more for growth and jobs. For this, we should increase investment to support the real economy; it is a priority that should be clearly reflected in the next EU financial framework”.
The Maltese Presidency recently published the draft Council conclusions on a new strategy for the Union’s industry, which emphasises the importance of strengthening and modernising a strong industrial base in Europe and of ensuring the Union’s industrial competitiveness by putting innovation and digitalisation at the centre of all initiatives, covering both modern industries with high-growth potential and more traditional branches of industry that often face the challenges of rapid economic changes in today’s globalised world and the risk of delocalisation. Moreover, in the draft the Council calls on the Commission to provide the Council with an evaluation of the impact of mainstreaming industrial policy into the EU strategic initiatives as called for by the European Council, by the end of October 2017, and looks forward to examining this evaluation.
More information will be provided in the months to come.


The United Nations: Event on the role of Cargo-Bikes in City Logistics

Geneva – April 26-27, 2017

This year the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) is celebrating its 70th anniversary and, in the context of the UNECE Commission’s work to develop a collective vision of the future towards sustainable development, The Transport, Health and Environment Pan-European Programme (THE PEP) organised an event to show the different aspects related to sustainable and active mobility. In particular, THE PEP representing the cooperation between the UNECE and the World Health Organization (WHO), kindly invited CONEBI to present an overview regarding the role of cargo and e-cargo bikes in business and service applications with a focus on the economic, social and environmental benefits that derive from the use of such vehicles.
As widely known, Cycling is a green and healthy mode of transport, with a notable potential to significantly improve health of people, to reduce air pollution caused by polluting vehicles, and to connect people with the concept of sustainable mobility. In this perspective, Cargo bikes and Pedal-Assist Ebikes are a rising trend in urban lifestyle but also in relation to city logistics. Nowadays we have more and more cargo and e-cargo bikes for bringing children to school but also for postal and goods delivery, for small business services, for street cleaning and maintenance, for collection of waste just to mention a few.

A recent analysis conducted by the European Cycle Logistics Federation provides a fascinating view of the status of Cycle Logistics across Europe; some of the key findings include:

  • Commercial cycle logistics businesses are operating in 93 towns and cities across 17 European countries
  • 39 companies (out of 80) are working with traditional logistics companies providing last and first mile delivery services
  • Over 900 standard bikes, cargo bikes, cargo trikes and quads are being used to provide delivery services
  • Around 1,250 persons are employed across 73 cycle logistics, up from 960 one year ago
  • On average there are over 16,000 items delivered per day (up from 7,500 just 1 year ago) to over 10,000 delivery locations

There are many examples of European towns and cities that are committed to bring cargo bikes to a higher level: in Cambridge, for example, the city council outsources internal mail delivery to cycle logistics company whose couriers cycled 100.000km and saved 45tonnes CO2 in 1 year! In conclusion, cargo and e-cargo bikes are one of the key solution to many of the transportation problems facing European cities while cities and businesses save money by replacing polluting vehicles with cycles for the services they provide.


Energy on the move: going forward with Electro-Mobility

Brussel – March 28, 2017

CONEBI attended the event ‘Energy on the move: going forward with electro-mobility’, which was organised by the Platform for Electro-Mobility and addressed how the EU could reduce CO2 emissions through the further development of electro-mobility. The speakers – Ismail Ertug (MEP Socialists & Democrats), Nicolas Erb (EU Director Alstom), Christian Lindner (Cabinet Member of Commissioner for the Energy Union Mr Šefčovič) emphasised the importance of a good Electric Vehicle charging infrastructure as well as of proper pricing policy and customer acceptance.
Afterwards, Greg Archer (Director Clean Vehicles Transport&Environment) moderated the panel discussion with Peter Handley (Secretariat-General of the European Commission), Klaus Bonhoff (Managing Director NOW), Jonas Helseth (Director Bellona Europa), Tina Zierzul (E-Mobility Program Manager at EON Technologies) and Umberto Guida (Director Research & Innovation UITP). The panellists addressed the topic by mostly focusing on the development of electric cars.
MEP Bas Eickhout (Greens) intervened stating that e-mobility should not only be about e-cars, but also about pedal assist e-bikes: support was confirmed by Director Jonas Helseth and MEP Michael Cramer (Greens), the latter saying ‘we now have electric bikes and electric cargo-bikes’ and regarding freight transport, ‘50% can be transferred to those type of vehicles’. His final message was: ‘not cars but e-bikes: we have to look into the future’.
Phil Summerton, Director at Cambridge Econometrics, said in a study published last year that ‘in a world where climate policies are being implemented to drive investment in low-carbon technologies – as governments agreed in Paris – we will simply need less oil for transport. Through policy support and technological disruption, we can expect the global economy to be using 11 million fewer barrels of oil per day by 2030. This will rise to 60 million in 2050, have profound impacts.’ Pedal Assist Ebikes fit perfectly in this picture and Electro-mobility is getting more and more attention at the EU Institutional level, but to move more people and goods using electricity, we need EU policies and concrete programmes that support the Cycling sector too.


EU Industry Day





Brussels – February 28, 2017

CONEBI attended the first-ever EU Industry Day organised by the European Commission at the Charlemagne building in Brussels to discuss the state of the art of the European Industry and its future challenges with the relevant stakeholders.
The EU Industry is undergoing a rapid change, which will have a lasting impact at several levels. Technological developments and an evolving global context are generating new products and services, and new types of business models for delivering them. The challenge of the European Commission is to provide the appropriate framework in which the Industry can flourish focusing on flexibility, sustainability and innovation.
The European Commission is committed to take strong actions to address key challenges, among which the issues of access to finance and digitalisation, skills development and supportive regulations. Moreover, in terms of funding opportunities, the European Union mobilises more than 740 billion Euros in investments through several programmes:

Investment plan
Removing obstacles to investments, providing visibility and technical assistance to projects. The Commission states that the plan is deploying investments for more than 315 billion Euro over three years.
The EU research and innovation programme with nearly 80 billion Euros of funding available from 2014 to 2020 to bring ideas from the lab to the market.
The EU programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises will run until 2020 with a budget of over 2 billion Euros.
European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF)
ESIF is worth over 350 billion Euros and composed by several specific funds like the European regional development fund, the European social fund and the Cohesion fund.

Nevertheless, in December 2016 EU Member States and the European Parliament clearly stated their full support for a strong European Industrial strategy – which at the moment is missing – via the European Council conclusions, calling to strengthen the EU’s Industrial base. For this reason, CONEBI and 124 other EU Industrial associations have written a Joint Declaration in February, asking the European Commission to work together on a concrete action plan that would allow the EU Industry to compete at the same level with the “Made in India”, “China 2025” and “America First” strategies.

The Joint declaration recites: ‘Europe has been at the forefront of industrial revolutions and technological innovations. The industry directly employs over 34 million people across all Member States, in supply chains comprising hundreds of thousands of SMEs and larger suppliers. It also indirectly accounts for millions of additional jobs in related sectors. The European Industry has remarkable capacity for research and innovation, boasts a skilled workforce and has earned a global reputation for quality and sustainability. What it now needs is the swift and determined support of the European Institutions and the Member States to create more jobs and growth in Europe. As we approach the preparation of the next Multiannual Financial Framework, it is vital to act and help the EU remain a competitive global industrial player


CONEBI at the 70th anniversary of the UNECE’s Inland Transport Committee

Geneva – February 20-24, 2017

CONEBI was invited by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe to the annual Transport Ministerial meeting dedicated to the “Past and Future of the UNECE Inland Transport Committee (ITC)”. The ITC, that celebrated its 70th anniversary, took stock of its past contributions but also decided on its future mission at a time of profound changes, challenges and opportunities globally. The Meeting of Transport Ministers highlighted the importance of sustainable inland transport in the economy: through its thematic panels, the valuable role of ITC as a gateway to promote connectivity was presented. It plays an important role as a platform to link regulators and innovators with special attention to technologies for sustainable mobility and as a center of UN transport conventions with special attention in considering the benefits of internationally harmonised regulatory governance for inland transport.


Presentation ‘How Speed-EPACs can contribute to make more people cycle to work’

Brussels – February 20, 2017

On February 20th, the Permanent Representation of Malta to the EU hosted, together with the European Cyclists’ Federation ECF, the final conference of the EU-funded project Bike2work: the main objective of this project was to encourage a significant modal shift from motorised commuting to cycling in several EU countries. Using a two-fold approach, the project targeted both employees’ behaviour through Bike2Work campaigns and encouraged employers to meet the needs of cyclists. The result is bicycle-friendly employers and employees’ using Cycling as a more sustainable form of commuting. The Austrian Mobility, the Bulgarian and Croatian Cycling Association, the Italian Federation of Friends of the Bicycle, the Green Revolution Association and the Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia contributed – together with ECF and other project partners – to a great project outcome. More info can be found at the following link.

During the final conference, CONEBI presented how Speed-EPACs can contribute to make more people cycle to work: Speed-EPACS make it possible for a bigger group of daily commuters to cycle to work and for longer distances. A study of the Cycling Embassy UK shows that a commuter is willing to cycle about 3km per day on average, which makes it possible to reach about 40% of the daily commuters. We see however that, with an EPAC (up to 25km/h) the distance a commuter is willing to cycle to work doubles reaching about 6km. With a Speed-EPAC, the distance doubles again and one is willing to cycle about 12km to go to work: in this perspective, almost 80% of the daily commuters can be reached.
Therefore, EPACs and Speed-EPACs offer great opportunities for the Bike2Work project and, on a broader level, constitute one of the best sustainable clean means of commuting for long distances.


Bici Academy: The evolution of Bike Shops in Italy

RIMINI –  January 15-16, 2017

Trade and sales have been deeply changing due to a society mutation which is more informed, curious, open to change and decides how to buy in a very different way in comparison with the past.

All these aspects in the process of sales create a discontinuity with ten or fifteen years ago. They amplify the areas of improvement for dealers and require new sale models and marketing, relationship and loyalty of customers. Above all, innovation and high-quality services offered from stores and dealers are required.

What is happening in the world of retail in Italy is that the purchase in stores still represents 90% of the total sales: in order to support this trend, CONFINDUSTRIA ANCMA – the Italian Association of Cycle and Motorcycle Accessories – organised on 15 and 16 January the first edition of the “BiciAcademy” at the convention centre of Rimini together with 12 major Italian and international brands (AMG, Bianchi, Bosch, Campagnolo, Focus Group, Giant, Mandelli, Santini Maglificio Sportivo, Scott, Selle Royal, Shimano, Vittoria). This new event took place under the banner of “knowledge and information” and provided opportunities to get answers to all questions that retailers posed to experts about the different aspects concerning bicycles shops affairs. The objective was to strengthen the skills of specialised shopkeepers of bicycles and to help adapt the Industry to the problems of a constantly evolving market, starting from a process of evolution of the figure of the bicycle dealers.

Two days  of “BiciAcademy” offered 14 workshops to more than 600 participants coming from all over Italy to Rimini. The topics covered were: carbon for bicycles, the correct warehouse management, strategic principles to locate a store, how to set up a shop windows, E-bikes, new forms of relationship with the customer in sales, the after-sale phase, the fundamental view on the social media, e-commerce for the two-wheelers and several others.
After a successful first edition, ANCMA has already started working on a new edition for 2018.