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EU pedalling on Europe Day

07-05-2012 12:07:00

Pedalling for a greener Europe

Denmark boosts bicycling in the capitals of Europe, when Europe Day on 9 May is celebrated with green events throughout the EU.

Grandparents on a bike course in Riga, bicycles mixing smoothies when pedalling in Brussels, and a bicycle parade in Warsaw's streets with local EU ambassadors, politicians and journalists. These are just some of the many green events Danish embassies organize around Europe Day on 9 May.

Under the headline "Green economics - Green Mobility", a wide range of activities put focus on a green transition in everyday life and hopefully get more European citizens to support the green agenda and the ambition of a 30 per cent reduction of the EU's CO2 emissions in 2020.

"Europe Day is an important occasion to mark the activities and achievements of the EU.  This year, the Danish EU Presidency has chosen to focus on sustainable transport in the European capitals, because a green economy can create jobs and boost the economy, while improving the environment and the public health," says Minister for European Affairs Nicolai Wammen.

Inspiration from the Danish cycling culture

Today, more than half of all traffic in the EU consists of trips of less than five kilometres. If these short distances can be covered by bicycle or foot rather than by car, it will result in signif-icant improvements for the environment, the climate and the individual health. For many Danes the bike is the primary mean of transportation and more than 35 per cent of Copenhagen’s inhabitants are biking to and from school or work every day - in many other EU countries, bicycles are less visible in the streets and therefore the Europe Day activities inspires to greener mobility in the future.

In order to mark Europe Day the Minister for European Affairs will participate in an event entitled “Europe build bridges” arranged by the Danish European Movement that will take place on Knippelsbro (Knippel Bridge) in Copenhagen on 9 May at 8.00 AM. Passing cyclists and pedestrians will be able to stop on the bridge for an informal talk about the EU with Nicolai Wammen. More than 20.000 cyclists pass Knippel Bridge on a daily basis on their way to or from work.  

Europe Day

9 May 1950 Robert Schuman presented his proposal for the creation of an organized Europe as a prerequisite for the maintenance of peace between France and Germany. This proposal, known as the ‘Schuman declaration’, is considered to be the foundation for the creation of what we today call the European Union. This is marked in the days around the 9th May each year with a series of events throughout Europe.


Rina Valeur Rasmussen, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Tel: +45 24 28 37 99, email: rinras@um.dk

Selected events organized by the Danish embassies in EU capitals

5th May
In collaboration with Jazz Denmark the Danish Embassy organize an event with Danish jazz music from the band ‘Træben’, which consists of four musicians who play songs from the band's latest album ‘Push’. The concert takes place 10.30-11.30. From 11 pm, you can deepen your knowledge of Danish cycling traditions and green growth. Furthermore you can participate in several types of dance, including Spanish, oriental, Irish and Scottish dancing. Additionally, there will be a concert with the European School choir from 14.30-15.00. Location: Place de Clairefontaine, Luxembourg.

9th May
Bicycle Parade with participation of the Danish embassy, ministers, permanent secretaries and known cyclists. Discover Christiania Bikes, ‘væltepetere’ and new freak bikes. Grandma and grandpa on bikes. In Vermanishaven's bike school the Embassy’s younger employees will teach senior citizens how to ride a bike. Bike Race around the streets of Riga, where you can win great prizes.

9th May
Bicycle school for children with diploma granting, mobile bike shop, bike smoothie bar with green smoothies, bike shop with Danish bike gadgets.

12th May
Open house at the Council building with the 'State of Green' exhibition, smoothie bike etc.

12th May
Bike ride in Nicosia. The starting point is located in the city centre and the route continues through the city's major roads. The ride is organized in cooperation with the Cyprus Cycling Federation.

12th May
Bicycle Parade organized in collaboration with the Schuman Association and the local represen-tation of the European Commission and attended by, among others, the EU countries' ambas-sadors in Poland as well as politicians and journalists.

23rd May
Lecture by filmmaker, journalist and cycling enthusiast Mikael Colville-Andersen on why Athens need bike-friendly solutions and how to get started with specific (and relatively cheap) solutions.