On 13 May 2016

A great success!

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European Mobility Week is a campaign that aims to raise awareness among citizens about using public transport, cycling, walking and to encourage European towns and cities to promote these modes of transport and invest in the infrastructure they require.
European Mobility Week takes place every year from 16 to 22 September, with political support from the European Commission – DG MOVE, and comprises a whole week of events to promote awareness about all the different aspects of sustainable transport in European towns and cities. The Car-Free Day which takes place on 22 September is a key part of Mobility Week.
In order to set up a network of local coordinators for European Mobility Week (EMW) at municipal level, the Verkéiersverbond invited Grand Duchy municipalities to a conference in the La Coque amphitheatre to provide more information and encourage discussion.

It was François Bausch, Minister for Sustainable Development and Infrastructure, who set the tone for the conference as he emphasized how in years to come EMW will become increasingly important. Indeed, issues connected with mobility – and in particular health, economic development and protecting the environment – are pre-eminent issues for our future, and so all citizens are asked to get involved and spread the word about sustainable development.

Emile Eicher, President of Syvicol (Association of Luxembourg Towns and Municipalities) then called upon the representatives from the 40 municipalities who were attending the conference, to get in contact with the national coordinator so as to improve the quality of individual contributions. The idea is to encourage collaboration among the municipalities.

The Verkéiersverbond was particularly honoured to welcome two representatives from EMW European Coordination, Peter Staelens, Eurocities Network Project Manager, who provided an oversight of EMW at European level and beyond, and Madeleine Kelly-Tychtl from the European Commission (DG Move) who outlined the financial opportunities available for towns and municipalities in European budgets.

David Everard, EMW national coordinator at the Verkéiersverbond, then outlined the implications of the 2016 EMW theme: “Smart and sustainable mobility – an investment for Europe” as well as appealing to municipalities to take part in the “Smart Mobility. Strong Economy” action; and he gave many practical examples to show how they could simplify their EMW planning.

Next, Secretary of State Camille Gira talked about how the Climate Pact and EMW overlap, and how this can enable municipalities to kill two birds with one stone.

To round the day off nicely, the Mayor of Dudelange, Dan Biancalana, gave a presentation about what his town did in 2015 to take part in the EMW Awards: a week-long awareness campaign was run between 16 and 22 September, several permanent measures were implemented and a car-free day was organised in the town centre. 

The conference definitely highlighted what municipalities stand to gain from organising EMW in 2016 and it provided an opportunity for those interested to obtain detailed information about all the options and assistance available to them.