Denmark joins Benelux Bike Declaration with other nations likely to follow

Ben Luoma

Denmark joins Benelux Bike Declaration with other nations likely to follow

by Ben Luoma | 9 June 2021 

Several EU Member States have expressed interest in the Benelux Bike Declaration following a meeting of transport ministers in Luxembourg on 3 June 2021. The declaration puts cycling at the centre of EU recovery plans and the European Green Deal.

In an exciting development, Danish Transport Minister Benny Engelbrecht announced that the Scandinavian nation would join with the Benelux countries of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg in their official position on promoting cycling. On Twitter, he stated that the declaration is an “important step for our climate, transport and health.”

Belgian Vice-Prime Minister and Federal Minister for Mobility Georges Gilkinet echoed these sentiments at the meeting, declaring that “the bike is good for our health, our economy and our planet”. He also appealed for more EU Member States to join together in pursuing European cycling and environmental policy.

The Benelux Bike Declaration is a joint political declaration to promote cycling as part of European COVID-19 recovery plans and the European Green Deal. Transport ministers from the Benelux countries presented a list of cycling policy measures to European Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans as part of the declaration in July 2020.

The European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) welcomed and helped promote the declaration, recognising its importance and potential to ensure an increase in cycling levels in Europe.

“We applaud the Benelux Union for continuing to promote the Bike Declaration, and hope additional European countries and regions will sign on," said ECF CEO Jill Warren, who last year welcomed the declaration, praising it for citing the benefits of cycling that ECF has been promoting for years.

Talks are ongoing with two Member States in particular, Austria and Ireland, whose Ministers expressed considerable interest and are reported to now be in discussions as to how the declaration might be amended to better suit their immediate realities.

“I congratulate Minister Benny Engelbrecht on his announcement on World Bicycle Day that Denmark has now joined the Benelux Bike Declaration, which is more than appropriate for such a famous cycling country," said ECF President Henk Swarttouw. "ECF strongly supports the Benelux Bike Declaration. We look forward to further countries declaring their support for the declaration and to commit to more and better cycling for the benefit of their citizens and to battle the climate crisis.”

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