Motorcycling rolls into European Parliament

In the light of two important legislative initiatives, the European 2011-2020 policy orientations for road safety and the new regulation of the type approval of motorcycles, FEMA organised, on behalf of MEP van de Camp, rapporteur of the latter, a workshop to provide policy makers with a better understanding of motorcycling in Europe today.

Moderated by Mr. van de Camp, the workshop started with a presentation by Maria Nordqvist (Swedish motorcycling association – SMC) about the motorcycle community in Europe, its wide diversity, its evolution throughout the years depending on mobility needs, lifestyle, and geographical characteristics. It was followed by a speech from Antonio Perlot (ACEM) and Bob Mills (Triumph Ltd) on the motorcycle industry, pointing at the main differences with the car sector..

Following these two introductions, MEPs and representatives of the Member States had the opportunity to discuss today’s transport challenges: safety and road transport emissions. The safety discussion was introduced by a presentation from Bertrand Nelva-Pasqual (Mutuelle des Motards – the French PTWs insurer) who deconstructed some myths about motorcycle safety such as accident frequency and riders’ responsibility, and proposed areas of improvements based on recent accident data. Finally, FEMA General SecretaryAline Delhaye opened the environmental discussion, highlighting the riders’ strong will to develop and support motorcycling in a sustainable way. Besides the improvement of internal combustion engines,also alternative propulsion engines, such as electric PTWs have to be promoted strongly.

The European Parliament’s conference room was fully occupied, with more than 40 participants. Among the guests were MEP Dieter-Lebrecht Koch, rapporteur for the policy orientations on road safety, as well as the chairs and vice chairs of the transport and internal market committees. The shadow rapporteurs of all major parliamentary groups were present. Several Member States sent representatives, and so did the European Commission.

The motorcycling community was represented by FEMA President and MAG member Gerard Livett as well as by delegates from Finland (SMOTO), France (FFMC), Germany (BVDM) and Sweden (SMC). The Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) also sent a representative, and a handful of industry representatives filled the remaining seats.