On 30 January, representatives and ministers from 14 European Member States gathered in Hasselt, Belgium for a high-level EU cycling conference to discuss the ‘European Declaration on Cycling’. The Declaration, put forward by Flemish Minister of Mobility and Public Works Lydia Peeters, aims to shape the future of cycling policy in Europe.
Alongside the Netherlands and Denmark, Flanders is a cycling powerhouse. With its well-established cycling infrastructure, such as cycle highways and roads, cycling is increasingly popular in the region. The Declaration, now under negotiation, was published by the EU commission on 4 October 2023, consisting of 8 principles and 36 commitments shaping the future of cycling in Europe.
The key priorities from the Declaration that Flanders hopes to see consolidated in the next European legislature are:
- Safer Cycling Environments: Emphasis on infrastructure adjustments, such as dedicated bike lanes, and policy choices prioritising cyclists' needs for increased bicycle use and safety.
- Better Interaction Between Policy Levels: Improving accessibility to EU funding sources and make cycling investments part of a wider integrated plan between legislative levels (European, national, regional and local).
- Improved Data Exchange: Monitoring and sharing of cycling data to inform policies.
- Maintaining EU Competitiveness: Recognising the role of the European cycling industry in enhancing EU competitiveness and supporting the 'Mobility Transition Pathway' initiative, and accelerating the green transition.
The conference featured panel discussions on the development of future European cycling policy. This was followed by break-out sessions on key Declaration principles, such as the use of data, tourism and multimodality, inclusion and health.
Flanders' commitment to cycling is exemplified by an annual investment of at least EUR 300 million towards safe and accessible cycling infrastructure. This is coupled with a commitment to raising awareness and encouraging cycling among Flemish citizens, fostering a sustainable shift in transport choices. The Flemish cycling ambition for 2040 envisions citizens choosing bicycles and seamlessly transitioning to other sustainable modes of transport, such as shared systems or public transport.
- Publication date
- 2 February 2024 (Last updated on: 5 February 2024)
- Policy and research