Executive Vice President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, announced during a press conference in early June that investments in cycling can use funding from the latest €20 billion support package. The funds have been released to help Member States combat air pollution, climate change, and introduce measures to improve people's well-being. Within this funding package, the EC has allocated €20 billion from EU regional funds to measures designed to strengthen electric car charging and public transport - and now cycling.
Cycling Industries Europe welcomes this as a success after lobbying efforts to increase EU investments in cycling. Six major European cycling associations recently suggested a €13 billion cycling package proposal to the Europen Commission. The announcement by Frans Timmermans sends a clear message and places cycling measures on an equal footing with investments for cars and public transport. Cycling associations have also welcomed the announcement; The European Cyclists’ Federation plans to work with their national-level member organisations to support spending funds cycling at Member State level. The Confederation of the European Bicycle Industries welcomes the investment options as a necessary step at EU-level to support local authorities and national governments to develop better cycling conditions.
Vice President Timmermans' statement is made in light of recovery plans following the COVID-19 crisis with the European Green Deal at the centre. The announcement still needs to be converted into plans within available budgets to make it into a reality.
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Article published first at Cycling Industry News on 02 June 2020