Cycling will be even more “sexy” in the next EU budget
LONG-DISTANCE BICYCLE ROUTES AND CICOTURIZM IN THE FOCUS OF INTEREST DEVELOPER AND STAKEHOLDER PROJECT OF THE ADRIATIC-IONIAN REGION
PRESS RELEASE - Zagreb, 17/12/2020
On Wednesday, December 16, an online workshop ADRIONCYCLETOUR: an integrated project for the Adriatic-Ionian Region cycle routes was organized by Italian region of Marche and in cooperation with the Friuli Venezia Giulia region. Final annual project activities of the EUSAIR Facility Point project aroused great interest and gathered 149 participants from the European Commission, the European Cycling Federation and all 9 countries of the Adriatic-Ionian region.
The aim of the workshop was to acquaint the representatives of the Adriatic-Ionian macro-regional strategy EUSAIR with the flagship project ADRIONCYCLETOUR and to encourage them to action and involvement in its implementation and realization, both at the level of national spatial planning and funding. The preparation of national operational plans for the new financial period 2021 - 2027 is underway, the European Commission is defining and agreeing on thematic priorities for spending approved funds from EU funds in the new financial perspective and now is the right time for increased activity and inclusion of national and macroregional flagship projects in programming and strategic documents. Involvement will provide projects with access to sources of funding from EU funds. Their implementation will provide the realization of development opportunities and regional competitiveness for countries and regions.
"Through the European Structural and Investment Funds in this EU budget, it is planned to invest as much as 2.5 billion euros in the European Union in such activities, but currently about 700 million euros have been spent. This is partly due to insufficient coordination, so improving cooperation will be a priority for the coming period, "said Giusepe Di Paola from the European Commission, Directorate General for Regional and Urban Policy (DG REGIO).
Flagship project ADRIONCYCLETOUR, a joint initiative of EUSAIR Thematic Group 2 - Transport and EUSAIR Thematic Group 4 - Tourism is developing a unique cycling route that connects the countries and regions of the Adriatic-Ionian macro-regional area - from Sicily to Greece. The route has a dual function: it will serve as an infrastructure, integrated with public transport systems (rail, road, sea, air) for cycling tourism, but also for sustainable, urban and interurban mobility. The demonstrated successful cooperation of the transport and tourism sectors in the creation and development of this flagship project draws attention to the important and dual role of cycling and cycling: as special interest tourism with great growth potential, but also as sustainable multimodal urban mobility that contributes to environmental protection and health.
In addition to the presentation of the project, the purpose of the event was to present already planned and partially built bicycle routes from nine EUSAIR countries and those still in the process of development and planning, which may be part of the ADRIATIC-IONIAN cycling route or otherwise connected. As the northern and eastern parts of the ADRIONCYCLETOUR route largely coincide with the EUROVELO 8 Mediterranean route, a total of 7,500 km that passes through 10 European countries, one part of the workshop was dedicated to presenting the experiences gained in the development of this route. The results achieved were presented by Ed Lancaster from the ECF. The development of the Mediterranean route was financed in a three-year period from INTERREG MED 2014-2020. program, and plans for its further improvement have been made for the period up to 2030.
Concluding remarks were summarized by Pierluigi Coppola from the Italian Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport and EUSAIR TSG 2 - Transport Coordinator: funding is not and should not be a problem in the current 2014-2020. nor in the new 2021-2027 financial framework: many projects have already been approved for funding, at national, regional and EU level, there are good project ideas, and with better and greater coherence, coordination and cooperation, better results in using EU funds as a source of funding and for new projects and more needs to be done.
This workshop was part of the three days thematic event CONNECTIVITY: Connectivity as transports and infrastructures, Connectivity as sustainable Adrion-Ionian cycling route and Connectivity as digital innovation for effective solutions to Covid-19 pandemic.