On Wednesday 16 October 2019 the European Parliament Historic Vehicle Group (EPHVG) met for the first time after the start of the new parliamentary period. In this group, members of the European Parliament (MEPs) meet to discuss policy developments which are relevant to historic vehicles.
These meetings are also attended by other organizations that have an interest in historic vehicles. FEMA’s Dolf Willigers was there too, because many motorcyclists own one or more historic motorcycles next to the motorcycle and/or car they use every day.
To preserve our cultural heritage the circumstances need to be right: good quality parts and fuel need to be available not in the least to keep the vehicle in its original state, owners need to be able to use them, which means that cities, despite low emission zones (LEZs) must be accessible for owners of historic vehicles, also there should be no thresholds to move them from one country to another, the ownership and use of historic vehicles should be affordable: no unnecessary taxes, high taxation of supposed pollution, etc. and finally the technical knowledge to repair and maintain such vehicles should be preserved.
We are not only talking about cars here. Of course motorcycles are part of the world-wide cultural heritage, just like cars, heavy goods vehicles, agricultural vehicles et cetera. In fact, they are part of a much wider cultural heritage, which contains not only vehicles, but also ships, trains, roads, buildings, even landscapes. The best way of preservation is using it. For mechanical objects like motorcycles not on a daily base, but to preserve a motorcycle you need to keep it running, use it occasionally and show it riding to the public.
The EPHVG was founded to make this possible for all historic vehicles and to emphasize this it will search for alliances with other cultural heritage groups. FEMA is happy and proud to be part of this and will continue to fight for the preservation and use of historic motorcycles.