Giant, the world’s largest bicycle maker, and the Taiwan Bicycle Exporters Association joined the Cycling Industry Club at the inaugural “The Advocacy Summit” during the Eurobike trade show in Friedrichshafen Thursday, Bike Europe reported.

Organized in part by the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF), the summit seeks to united the industry behind a campaign to lobby the European Union to invest more in cycling infrastructure. Summit organizers argue the  industry can get up to €6 billion of EU funds spent on cycling in the next five years by coordinating their advocacy efforts.

“This is important for all of us,” said Frank Bohle, CEO of Schwalbe and a member of the ECF’s Cycling Industry Club (CIC).
“Advocacy is more than marketing or product development; it is the way we work together to build markets. Schwalbe believes our support for ECF’s Cycling Industry Club and the Advocacy Summit is an investment in the future of cycling.”

If every country in Europe were to reach the sales per head of population of Denmark, the industry would sell 30 million more bikes (150% increase), according to ECF. Yet even small advocacy wins can boost sales in emerging markets. In Ireland, when the government introduced a ‘cycle to work’ tax incentive, the bicycle industry saw €27 million more revenue over 3 years as well as 50 new bicycle shops open. Likewise, targeted lobbying by ECF for EU funded projects saw 26,000 more people cycling in demonstration cities in Italy, Hungary, Belgium, Austria, Spain and Slovenia through methods which can be replicated across Europe.

Industry figures at the summit include René Takens, CEO Accell Group and President of COLIBI and Stan Day, President of SRAM and founder of the SRAM Cycling Fund.

COLIBI/COLIPED, Germany’s National Cyclists’ Association (ADFC) and national trade associations are also demonstrating how trade lobbying interfaces with civil lobbying.

“The summit shows how civil advocacy and trade advocacy are creating the future for our sector. Based in Brussels, ECF knows how the European institutions work, so we can target €6 billion of EU funding for cycling in coming years. Now is the time we have to get mobilised,” says Manfred Neun, President of the European Cyclists’ Federation.

The event is organised by ECF’s growing Cycling Industry Club and ADFC and is supported by media partner Bike Europe.