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EU Funds for Cycling

Blog EU Funds for Cycling
ECF is working to get more people cycle more often. Continue reading to discover the two main European funding sources that can enable us to achieve this goal.
ECF is working to get more people cycle more often. To that end, cycling needs sustained investments, notably in networks of safe and comfortable cycle routes in urban, peri-urban as well as rural areas across the EU. All levels of government, from local to the EU, need to contribute.

Two main European funding sources exist, which can enable us to achieve this goal: firstly, the EU Structural Funds as part of the regular EU budget, and secondly, the Recovery and Resilience Facility, aimed at addressing the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through the EU’s Structural Funds, in particular the European Regional Development Fund and Cohesion Fund, about 2 billion Euro have been invested in cycling during the 2014 – 2020 EU budget. ECF’s estimation for the upcoming new 2021 - 2027 financial period is that at least 6 billion Euro must be spent in order to trigger real modal shift, i.e. encourage EU citizens to switch from cars to bikes by providing safe and comfortable infrastructure. To help managing authorities in Member States to unlock this level of EU funding for cycle projects, ECF has developed 27 detailed country guides, which show how to apply for EU funds and how the development of cycling transport and tourism can boost the national and local economies and tackle many country-specific problems and challenges.

Read more about funding opportunities for cycling in EU Structural Funds and download ECF guide on how to unlock 6 billion Euro for cycling investments from ERDF.

A second source of funding for cycle projects can come from the Recovery and Resilience Facility. There are 672 billion Euro available to weather the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and Member States are now in the process of developing their national recovery and resilience plans which are necessary to obtain this funding. The Executive Vice-President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, has clearly stated that investments in cycling would be the kind of investments that the European Commission would strongly welcome, and early drafts of some Member States national recovery plans, such as from France and Poland, indeed include budget lines for cycling. ECF and Cycling Industry Europe are jointly calling for investments of 10 billion Euro for cycling from the 27 National Recovery and Resilience packages.

Read more about funding opportunities for cycling in the National Recovery and Resilience Plans.

By Fabian Küster
December 16th, 2020