CONEBI hosted its Annual Conference at the European Parliament on 29 November 2023 on the political perspectives of public-private synergies for the cycling industry in Europe
Brussels, 29 November 2023 – The Confederation of the European Bicycle Industry (CONEBI) hosted its annual conference in the European Parliament, bringing together policymakers, organisations and industry leaders to participate in a dialogue on the EU Industrial Transition and the European Declaration on Cycling.
Karima Delli, Member of the European Parliament, Chair of the Transport Committee said: “The conference organized together with CONEBI at the European Parliament was a clear signal that we have a momentum in Europe to push for stronger policies in favour of cycling and the cycling industry. Cycling has many benefits: it is a pollution free mode of transport, it is good for health, it reduces congestion, it is good for climate and it is good for jobs, with 1 million potential new jobs by 20230 in Europe with the adequate support. We need to seize the opportunity given to us by the Cycling declaration and the upcoming transition pathway strategy on cycling. The time has come for a strong commitment at EU level to cycling as a fully-fledged mode of transport and to its industry as one of the key industries in Europe.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Mobility of Belgium Georges Gilkinet expressed the importance of reaching an agreement on a European Cycling Declaration between the European Commission, European Parliament and the EU Member States. He also highlighted the importance of a strong European bicycle industry in Europe and stated: “Cycling contributes to a better health, planet, mobility and economy as one euro invested into cycling brings 2 euros back to the investing countries. As Minister of Mobility in Belgium, having gathered 3 regions and the federal Government to elaborate the first ever Belgian Cycling Plan, I also strongly believe in the role Europe to boost cycling policies. It is in this sense that I will promote cycling and its development during the Belgian presidency starting in January 2024.”
Jorge Delgado, Secretary of State for Urban Mobility Portugal said: “In 2023 Portugal achieved the distinction of being the largest European bicycle producer for the fourth consecutive year. European anti-dumping measures for the sector and the role of the national association ABIMOTA were fundamental for this boost. Portugal’s commitment to carbon neutrality, the benefits of bicycle mobility, the policies in place to support cycling, and our leadership position in bicycle production highlight our commitment, sustainability and innovation. Industrial policy is essential both at the European and national levels, and the existence of a bicycle production cluster in Portugal represents a unique opportunity. If the role of the Portuguese government is crucial in supporting bicycle investments, the support of the European Union for this industry is essential.”
In the photo: Ms. Karima Delli, Member of the European Parliament, Chair of the Transport Committee
The event had two panel discussions: the first one about the political dimension of the industrial transition and the second one about the role of EU Member States in both endorsing and implementing the future European Declaration on Cycling:
The first panel, focussing on industrial policy topics and the role of public-private partnerships, discussed the challenges and opportunities of the industrial transition in Europe, emphasizing the need for collaboration. The panelists looked back at the successful co-creation process between DG GROW (European Commission), CONEBI and company representatives on the so-called “Mobility Transition Pathway”. Leveraging the role of data, tailoring legislation also on the features of the product, and the centrality of Trade Defense Measures were among the key themes raised by the industry. DG GROW confirmed the importance of continuing the dialogue with our industry in the upcoming follow-up and implementation phases.
Panel 1 – From Left to Right: Mr. Raymond Gense, PON Mobility, Director (CIE), Ms. Friederike Pischnick, Bosch, Senior Expert Sustainable Mobility with focus on eBikes, Mr. Mark Nicklas, European Commission, DG Grow I2, Head of Unit, Ms. Adriana Moima, Eurosport DHS, Executive Director, Mr. Thierry du Crest, Directorate-General for Infrastructure, Transport and Mobility France (DGITM), National Cycling and Walking Officer, Mr. Mathias Hierl, CONEBI, Policy Officer
The second panel delved into the content of the European Declaration on Cycling by the European Commission. All panelists emphasized the relevance of reaching an agreement between EU Member States, the European Parliament and the European Commission before the EU elections next year. The discussion furthermore drew attention to the need for EU Member States to further develop cycling infrastructure, improve safety measures, and promote cycling as a sustainable mode of transportation. The presence of the European Commission DG MOVE and the Austrian authorities responsible for Cycling, together with several companies and associations, was instrumental to discuss in a pragmatic way about the challenges and the opportunities on the horizon. Among the key messages of the panel, the importance to develop intermodal mobility systems without focusing on just one mode of transportation, the relevance of lowering the VAT on the purchase of bicycles and e-bikes beyond those countries that have already done it, and the challenge of safe parking infrastructure.
Panel 2 – From Left to Right: Mr. Holger Haubold, European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF), Director Intellectual Property & Data Collection, Ms. Julienne Chen, EIT Urban Mobility, Head of City Partnerships, Ms. Anke Schäffner, Zweirad-Industrie-Verband (ZIV), Chief Policy Officer, Mr. Bertrand Tison, Decathlon, EU Public Affairs, Mr. Torsten Klimke, European Commission, DG Move B3, Head of Unit, Mr. Martin Eder, Austria, Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology, National Cycling Officer, Mr. Thomas Mourey, Project Coordinator, Eurocities
Between the two panels, Professor Stefano Caserini presented a recent study carried out by Politecnico of Milano about the emission savings by strengthening the production of components in Europe.
In the photo: Professor Stefano Caserini, Polytechnic University of Milan
Manuel Marsilio, CONEBI, General Manager, said: “Wrapping up 2023 with such a high-level and diverse line of speakers, exchanging ideas on the challenges ahead was important for the work we do in Brussels to represent our sector. We remain active on the EU dossiers linked to Batteries, Ecodesign and Right to Repair, E-Bikes, Cargo Bikes, Machinery, and of course we look forward to maintaining a constructive dialogue with all the EU institutions on the Transition Pathway and the European Declaration on Cycling, just to mention a few.”
From Left to Right: Mr. Georges Gilkinet, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Mobility Belgium and Mr. Manuel Marsilio, CONEBI, General Manger
CONEBI extends its gratitude to Member of the European Parliament and Chair of the TRAN Committee Karima Delli for hosting the event, as well as to Minister George Gilkinet, Secretary of State Jorge Delgado, Mr. Mark Nicklas of DG Grow and Mr. Torsten Klimke of DG MOVE – European Commission, Mr. Du Crest from the Infrastructure, Transport and Mobility Ministry in France, Mr. Martin Eder from Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology in Austria, Professor Caserini from Politecnico of Milano, all the other associations and company representatives involved, and the event attendees, for their valuable contributions. Thank you to Eurocities for moderating panel two.
The full programme of the event can be found here.
Notes for the Editor
About the Confederation of the European Bicycle Industry (CONEBI): CONEBI represents the European Bicycle, Pedal Assist E-Bike, Parts & Accessories Industries in Europe; out of a total of more than 1000 companies in Europe, more than 700 companies – most of them SMEs – are represented via the CONEBI’s national member organizations. CONEBI’s work involves providing input to the EU’s regulatory and policy consultation fora in matters related to the EU Internal Market, Industry, and Transport legislative agenda. CONEBI is a founding member of the World Bicycle Industry Association WBIA, the Industry4Europe coalition and the EU CCAM Partnership.
For more information, please contact:
Manuel Marsilio, General Manager – CONEBI
Alix Stamp, Communications, Media & Events Manager – CONEBI