The EU Ministers for Transport and Secretaries of State adopted a "Declaration on cycling as a climate friendly transport mode"
"An important political step in promoting cycling at the European level was achieved last Wednesday at the Informal Meeting of the EU Transport Ministers under the Luxembourg Presidency, as a Declaration on cycling as a climate friendly transport mode was adopted" said Mr. Christian Schweizer, Technical Officer, Transport and Health at the WHO Regional Office for Europe who attended the event in presenting the case for a strong link between public health and active mobility.
In their declaration, the participants agreed on several concrete recommendations:
- Integrate bicycles into the multimodal transport policy;
- Encourage the Commission to equip itself with a "bicycle strategy", by integrating bicycles into existing initiatives in which they have a logical role to play, such as CIVITAS or Smart Cities and Communities;
- Set up a body within the Commission which is in charge of the implementation of the "bicycle strategy" as well as the simple and effective transfer of good practices in this field between Member States;
- Appoint a national body in each Member State which could collect and disseminate examples of good practices between Member States and cooperate with the European body and other existing forums;
- Guarantee that national infrastructure projects take account of and increase international, national, regional and local cycle networks;
- Include cycling in local and regional urban projects;
- Mobilise good practices, financing opportunities and guidelines by working closely with the European body.
"The declaration was fully supported by the Council" continues Mr. Schweizer, "including strong positive statements from Ministers and State Secretaries from the Netherlands, France, Denmark, Finland, United Kingdom, Croatia, Poland, Austria, Cyprus, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Slovenia, Latvia and Greece.
The full text of the Declaration can be found here.