29 Oct 2021

The next three months are a critical period for deciding how much EU money can be allocated to cycling in the next few years. National governments are planning and negotiating over 200 national and regional funding plans that will allocate €250billion from EU’s Structural funds to local programmes. The very good news is that CIE’s partners at the European Cyclists’ Federation have done a great job influencing the regulations that control this money so that cities and regions can ask for more cash for cycling infrastructure and projects.

But on top of the cash for projects there is an even bigger opportunity this year for our industry to get direct support for innovation, expansion and transition to a greener and more sustainable economy. Priority 1 funding is for “A smarter Europe through innovation, digitisation, industrial change and support for small and medium-sized enterprises”, all of which aims to improve the competitiveness of the EU’s industrial sector.

Historically other sectors like automotive and aviation have got huge support from these EU economic and social funds. However now is clearly our time to take a share. Every region in Europe could benefit from supporting an industry that is forecast to grow by 50% by 2030. The fastest growing e-mobility solution in Europe. A sector where 94% of companies say that they will take on more staff in the next two years. And an industry that needs more capacity throughout our supply chains. And now we have our own Cycling Innovation Network which is showcasing the depth of innovation in our sector, showing the potential of new companies in our sector.

What we must do now is get that message through to the planning authorities so that they make cycling company projects eligible in their programmes. It may seem small, but sometimes this just comes down to one or two words in a document. For example, an industrial plan that supports “the transition of the car industry to electric cars” could say instead “transition of the mobility industries to e-mobility”, and this would enable investment in e-bike innovation and assembly or battery production. Digitalisation funding could support the development of many innovative companies in digital services or bike sharing. The very best plans could mention cycling directly, but right now the job is to make sure we are in the game.

Act now

Here’s CIE’s fast-track plan for every company in Europe to act on now.

  1. Get engaged with local and national cycling supporters and give your business support for more investments in cycling infrastructure and local projects – for example tourism, cycle logistics or bike sharing.
  2. Check with the business community in every region where your company operates – find out if there is already a regional or national industry and innovation plan that should support cycling companies.
  3. If you can’t find an existing industrial plan for your country or region than you need to make sure that your national programme managers for EU funds know that they have a high growth cycling industry in their country which they should support.

Find out more:

To take concrete action we have produced a short action guide – download it here.

Don’t miss this chance to build on the momentum for cycling businesses throughout Europe, by acting together we are stronger.

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