A Pan-European Master Plan for Cycling Promotion in the Making

Transport, health and environment ministers from 56 countries have decided to develop a pan-European Master Plan for Cycling Promotion within the next few years by adopting the Paris Declaration. That’s phantastic news for the cycling world, as Master Plans for Cycling Promotion on national and international level are of great value for all stakeholders who work on the promotion of cycling.

Perhaps as early as 2017, we will have a pan-European Master Plan on the Promotion of Cycling on the table. This has been officially decided by the transport, health and environment ministers from 56 countries. These countries adopted the Paris Declaration in April.

ECF welcomes this new initiative! Senior Policy Officer Fabian Küster says: “This pan-European Master Plan on Cycle Promotion is a great opportunity. Although about 15 countries in Europe already have a national strategy on the promotion of cycling in place, this means the majority of countries have not. In just a few years, stakeholders in these countries will, for the first time, have a reference document they can refer to when pushing their national authorities to get active on cycling.” Obviously, also countries with a current national cycling strategy will can take inspiration from this master plan when developing their national cycle strategy further.

What is THE PEP?

THE PEP stands for Transport, Health, Environment Pan-European Programme. Established in 2002, it aims at overcoming a sector approach by bringing decision-makers from these three policy sectors together. THE PEP is jointly managed by the World Health Organsisation (WHO) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). One of the concrete results linked to THE PEP was the development of the Health Economic Assessment Tool (HEAT) for cycling and a new focus on a green and healthy economy and job creation.

What is the Paris Declaration?

About every 5 years, transport, health and environment ministers from the 56 THE PEP member states meet and agree on the main objectives and priority goals for the next years to come. The Paris Declaration added a 5th priority goal to the already 4 existing ones, but more importantly agreed to: “Decide to initiate the development of a pan-European Master Plan for Cycling Promotion, supported by guidelines and tools to assist in the development of cycling promotion policies at the national level. This new initiative will be undertaken within the framework of THE PEP partnerships.

A pan-European Master Plan for Cycling Promotion?

With the decision of the ministers at Paris, there is a clear mandate to develop a pan-European Master Plan for Cycling Promotion. This work will be mainly done by the THE PEP partnership on the promotion of cycling, which gathered for the first time in Paris on April 17. This partnership is a spin-off of the informal ECF network of the national cycling officers, that started 3 years ago during the Velo-city conference in Seville and was coordinated since by ECF. The exact content of the master plan will need to be developed within the next 3 years or so. The national focal points will be contacted in the coming weeks by the Austrian environment ministry to official appoint a national representative to this partnership.

By Fabian Küster ECF

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