(Ambassador Van Oorschot, April 2016)


Past activities:

  • 2007 European Mobility Week

In 2007 (September 16 to 22) the first European Mobility Week in Bulgaria took place. Events such as bike parades and a ‘Car Free Day’ took place around the country. Sofia, as a capital and the biggest city, was in the focus of the attention. The Week started in Sofia on September 16th with an initiative of TNT, under the auspices of the Ambassador Willem van Ee. The Mayor of Sofia Boiko Borissov and European Integration Minister Gergana Grancharova joined the event. They, together with Bulgarian Olympic Committee Chairperson Stefka Kostadinova and Mr. Van Ee, received and signed certificates of engagement. The certificates are "In support of the 'Arrive on time - ride a bicycle' initiative for use of bicycle as an alternative to motor vehicle and public transport, with the aim of reducing traffic in Sofia and CO2 emissions, for a cleaner capital and planet". After a dedicated press conference, the Ambassador, Grancharova, Tassev, Vassilev and TNT employees kicked off European Mobility Week with a symbolical bike ride in Sofia City Garden.

  • 2009 "Bicycle Traffic Design"

In 2009 Sofia Municipality experts visited the Netherlands for an information exchange and introduction to the Dutch cycling practices. Guidance has been provided by Royal Haskoning. Extensive contacts and exchange followed.

  • Holland Week 2010

On 22nd September 2010 in Sofia, as a part of the Holland Week 2010, organised under the auspices of the Netherlands Embassy, a Dutch Sustainability Day took place. Three Dutch companies - Philips, Shell and TNT demonstrated their sustainable development best practices and eco-initiatives. The successful day ended with short bicycle tour where participants of the Day rode orange bikes underlining the importance of the cycling as healthy and sustainable means of transport in the modern crowded and polluted urban environment.

  • 2012 Mobility Week

On September 16th, the Princess Laurentien van Oranje arrived on a private visit to Bulgaria. Together with Ambassador Karel van Kesteren she gave the start to the 2012 European Mobility Week in Sofia. During the ceremony various events took place - free safety biking trainings, an exhibition of bicycles, etc. Later the same day, the Princess Laurentien joined a Green Biking Tour in the centre of Sofia, accompanied by the staff of the embassy and cycling enthusiasts.

  • 2012 - 2013 “Bike ‘Em All” project

The main objective of the “Bike 'em All” project was to increase the understanding of the concepts of sustainable mobility, via transfer of Dutch experience, notably experience on bicycling, to Bulgarian institutions, including municipalities and NGOs working on sustainable urban mobility and indirectly to the general public. Searching for long lasting impact the professional capacity of Association Bike Evolution (our main partner within the project) has been enhanced, links with similar organisations was established and know-how to the University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy in Sofia has been provided. An update of the education program and curriculum, integrating sustainable mobility and bicycling in ‘Urban Planning’ study program was proposed. Dutch Cycling Embassy was intensively involved. Within the initiative: 3 think-bike workshops including public debates have been held (Sofia, Ruse and Momchilgrad); bike safety lessons have been organised in 5 schools and bike racks in these schools have been placed; 3 dedicated public cycling events were organised: “Christmas on bike” in December 2012, an “Orange bike tour” (linking Netherlands related locations in Sofia) in April 2013 and the “Bike to work day” in May 2013.