In the run-up to the next European Parliament elections on May 22-25, the European Cyclists' Federation – and member organisations – invited candidates to reply to a survey on European cycling policy. 364 MEP candidates completed the survey: most demonstrated overwhelming support for cycle-friendly policies.
364 MEP candidates from 23 countries across all main political groups filled in the ECF survey, with 40 replies coming from Finland and 31 from Spain. There were 10 replies from Dutch candidates but just one reply from UK-based candidates.
The highest acceptance rate of any of the 10 ECF recommendations was on making motorised vehicles safer for pedestrians and cyclists. ECF’s request that the European Commission develop and adopts a European Master Plan on Cycling by 2019 was approved by 93 percent of the respondents. The lowest support rate appeared to be on ECF’s demand regarding mandatory collection of data and statistics on cycle use at European and national level. Several respondents said in the comment box that the subsidiarity principle was a reason for not supporting some of ECF’s positions, while ensuring to be in favour of cycling in general.
ECF also asked the MEP candidates on how often they cycle. The same question and possible answers were part of the Special Eurobarometer 406 “Attitudes of Europeans towards urban mobility” from 2013. While the replies on “At least once a day” and “A few times a week” score only slightly higher for MEP candidates who filled in the ECF survey compared to the whole EU-28 population, only 1 in 8.5 MEP candidates said that they “never” cycle, compared to half the European population.
"While ECF welcomes these positive responses from MEP candidates, we want to build a sustainable relationship with incoming MEPs after the elections," said ECF Secretary General Bernhard Ensink.
"ECF will initiate the launch of a “Cycling Mobility Forum” in autumn. Chaired by MEPs, it should become a Brussels-based platform where ECF can meet and discuss cycling-related policy issues with all relevant stakeholders to advance our mission."
Dr. Ensink added (channeling Cycling England, RIP): "More people cycling more often.”