Cyclist.ie was delighted to be part of the AGM of the European Cyclists’ Federation on Thursday last 25 June 2020. Cyclist.ie is the member for Ireland of ECF.
Irish cycling campaigners have been engaged with the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) for over 20 years, while ECF itself goes back to 1983 when some of the larger national associations came together to form a federation of cycling bodies. The aim was to pool advocacy expertise and to affect change at a European level and especially through the European institutions.
Some of the earliest ECF campaigns focused on the development of long-distance (EuroVelo) cycling routes and on the carriage of bikes on trains, both of which are still current issues – see EuroVelo and TEN-T network: a tandem to fight for and More than half of all major train connections in Europe are not suitable for cyclists.
For the last 10 years, Cyclist.ie has been increasingly plugged into the ECF, and from 2013 to 2016 Cyclist.ie was part of the ECF’s Leadership Training Programme for ECF member organisations ‘punching above their weight’ in changing mobility policy at a domestic level – see Cycling and Bonding in Sofia with our Continental Colleagues.
One of the pleasures of taking part in the AGM – albeit an online version over Zoom this year – is to connect with campaigners from ECF’s member organisations (74 in 47 countries representing 210,000 individual members). ECF now has new leadership in the form of two co-CEOs, Jill Warren and Morten Kabel (see Staff), and an eight-member board spanning the four corners of Europe. The current ECF President is Christophe Najdovski, Deputy Mayor of Paris for Transportation, Mobility, Roadway and Public Space, while Damien Ó Tuama from Cyclist.ie is a board member since 2016. All in all, there is a strong team working on behalf of cyclists’ interests at an EU level and supporting member organisations at a national level.
This year’s AGM approved the 2019 ECF Annual Report which includes a section on the hugely successful 2019 Velo-city International Conference which took place in Dublin – see ECF_Annual_Report_2019.pdf. Two new member organisations joined ECF – the Hungarian Cycling Tourism Association (as a full member) and Funbici from Spain (as an associate member). The membership also approved a new 2030 strategy for ECF which will be developed into a public document over the coming period.
The year ahead is looking particularly intriguing with ECF advancing work on multiple fronts including collecting detailed information about the measures taken by local and national authorities for the recovery after COVID-19 quarantine (see European COVID-19 Cycling Measures Tracker Released Today), and advocating for a significant slice of the COVID-19 Recovery Package to be spent on cycling (as per the graphic immediately below). A related focus is around the The European Green Deal – A huge opportunity for cycling.
In summary, Cyclist.ie’s membership of ECF is valuable to us in being part of a broader European movement to create a low carbon mobility system and more liveable communities, and learning from our colleagues.
Please Contact us in Cyclist.ie if you would like to be kept abreast of what is happening at the European level in cycling advocacy.