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Election of three new EuroVelo Council members

Tuesday, June 28, 2022
During this year's inaugural EuroVelo General Meeting (EVGM), Christian Weinberger, Pinar Pinzuti, and Spiros Papageorgiou were chosen to join ECF's advisory body for EuroVelo, the world's largest cycle route network.

The EuroVelo network is managed by ECF’s EuroVelo Management Team with the support of the National EuroVelo Coordination Centres and Coordinators (NECC/Cs) network and various project partners. The highest decision making body is the ECF Board. In 2007, the ECF Board created the EuroVelo Council to act as an advisory body for ECF in the implementation and operation of EuroVelo, the European cycle route network. The EuroVelo Council currently meets four times a year and has eight members who are appointed for terms of three years.

Following the adoption of the new EuroVelo Governance at the end of 2020, positions on the EuroVelo Council are now decided by the NECC/Cs network through elections held during the EuroVelo General Meeting (EVGM). This year's meeting took place on Monday 13 June in Ljubljana, in a hybrid format allowing people to join (and vote) online. There had been significant interest in the three positions available: six candidates were shortlisted from nearly 20 applications in total.

The successful candidates, Christian Weinberger, Pinar Pinzuti, and Spiros Papageorgiou were chosen through the election process and will now serve three year terms on the EuroVelo Council.

We are very pleased to welcome them on-board and would now like to introduce them to the wider EuroVelo community!

Christian Weinberger (Austria), Project Manager and Senior Consultant for the Austrian National EuroVelo Coordinator (NEC)

Christian Weinberger began work on cycling tourism as a consultant back in 1995. In 2000, he switched to ecoplus, Lower Austria's business agency (formerly ‘Regional Development Agency’), where he remains responsible for cycling tourism development in Austria's largest federal state. In this role he established the ‘cycle route optimisation programme’ for the targeted development of the infrastructure for the region’s 10 main cycle routes. His cooperation with ECF’s Austrian member Radlobby began in 2005, when he was appointed the first representative of the National EuroVelo Coordinator of Austria. In this voluntary function, he lobbied for EuroVelo in Austria and succeeded in raising awareness about the initiative amongst all relevant tourism institutions in the country. This would eventually lead to the establishment of the Austrian NECC in 2022. Around 2009-10, he cooperated with MEP Michael Cramer to advance the development of the Iron Curtain Trail, which would eventually become EuroVelo 13.

Christian Weinberger
Christian Weinberger

The route was completed throughout Austria in 2013 following an investment of around €5 million.

“After 17 years of coordinating EuroVelo in Austria, with about 10 years as a ‘one man show’, I have learned how challenging the implementation of EuroVelo can be, especially in a federal country such as Austria. I have also experience of setting up an NEC and implementing long term management systems, as well as awareness of what support a country needs from ECF. Going forward, I would like to see how we can provide more connections between EuroVelo and trains, taxis, bus services etc.

I happily look forward to my new role working together with a team of experts from various countries and backgrounds!” 

Pinar Pinzuti (Italy), Project Manager at Bikenomist

"I am on a mission to encourage more people to bike and to convince institutions to build safe infrastructure for people who walk and bike. For more than 10 years I have been using every possible opportunity to put cycling on the political agenda. I work for the Milan-based company Bikenomist, editor of the online magazine Bikeitalia. I am the director of the Fiera del Cicloturismo, the first and only cycle tourism expo fair in Italy. I am the laureate of the 2022 Annual Special Award of World Bicycle Day of the United Nations for the leadership and excellence in promoting cycling for all. I have been coordinating the Fancy Women Bike Ride since 2013, an annual event involving more than 250,000 people in 200 cities, in 30 countries to demand safe cities for cyclists. "

Pinar Pinzuti
Pinar Pinzuti

"From the initial proposal in 1994, EuroVelo has been a significant network in connecting countries. For me EuroVelo is even more than that. EuroVelo is connecting people who are aiming to tackle challenges like climate change, energy crisis, and over-tourism. EuroVelo helps to increase the number of cyclists who later become the solution for these complex problems.

As a senior project manager with a focus on cycle tourism, I have been creating, planning and executing strategic communication campaigns especially in rural areas, connecting public and private stakeholders.

As a member of the EuroVelo Council I am hoping to operate on a broader scale in order to have a bigger impact on cycling advocacy and cycle tourism promotion.

I am extremely pleased to be a part of EuroVelo and looking forward to joining the Council and having the opportunity to create synergies across the network."

Spiros Papageorgiou (Greece), Co-Founder and CEO of “Cities for Cycling“

Spiros Papageorgiou founded the MBike Cycling Magazine in 1999 - the first and only monthly cycling magazine in the country! He went on to create the Athens Bike Festival in 2008, the main cycling event in Greece with more than 35.000 visitors each year. Besides his company, he is also the founder of the NGO “Cities for Cycling” which became an official ECF member in 2013. As an NGO General Manager, he had the opportunity to work closely with Athens Municipality and National Government as well, concerning the development of cycling in Greece.

Cities for Cycling successfully applied to become National EuroVelo Coordinator for some years but in 2021, Spiros helped establish the first NECC in Greece. Members of this consortium are today The Ministry of Transportation, The Ministry of Tourism, The Central Union of Municipalities of Greece and his organisation, Cities for Cycling.

Spiros Papageorgiou
Spiros Papageorgiou

"Besides being an important tool for sustainable tourism, EuroVelo is an effective way to connect cities, destinations and most importantly people. And under this scope, I look forward to start working together with the EuroVelo Council and EuroVelo Team, trying to facilitate its development, especially where cycling culture is not developed yet, since there is where we need to help more.

I see EuroVelo as a great achievement and I feel really obliged to those who created it and worked for it for so many years. An extended European cycle route network is something valuable in any sense: political, economic, environmental, health and more. It also allows people to enjoy cycling and feel safe while doing it.

I think is one of the best projects ever created and I am honoured to be one of the EuroVelo Council members."