Euro trade organisation COLIBI elects new President

Takens for a ride

At its recent General Assembly in Portugal COLIBI members as expected unanimously voted Accells René Takens as new president, replacing Brian Montgomery (who resigned from the post) and acting president Eddie Eccleston

René Takens, 45, is the CEO of the Accell Group, Europes third largest bicycle producer, formely known as Atag and once the owner of Dawes.

As newly elected President, René Takens has immediately set a number of priorities for COLIBI, the Euro-wide equivalent of the BA.

"[My] main target for the industry is to develop safe, comfortable and attractive bicycles for the consumers and to market them at correct and competitive prices in order to keep the industry healthy. Hence, a good understanding and co-operation within the industry is of vital importance.

As such, COLIBI is very much in favour of the European safety standard for bicycles, which is currently under development within the CEN (European Standardisation Committee) Technical Committee 333 Cycles.

In the new COLIBI philosophy, co-operation and consultation will be the key words, says Takens.

With the objective of avoiding further splits after pro- and anti- camps formed during the Montgomery administration, Takens emphasises that it is important to set up "an efficient and smooth co-operation and consultation between European associations and organisations that promote bicycle production and usage."

Such cooperation and concilliation will help in the tussle with the UCI, with which COLIBI is trying to forge better links.

Takens also wants COLIBI to promote cycling to a mainstream audience:

The bicycle is an environmentally friendly product, it offers an undeniable positive contribution to mobility problems, it is an excellent means of transport to cover short commuting distances and above all: cycling is fun. The hundreds of initiatives launched in the member states should set an example. COLIBI encourages these actions and will try and convince policy makers to finally attribute to the bicycle the attention it deserves.

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