EU DELEGATES WILL be able to avail of free Dublin Bikes during Ireland’s presidency of the EU in 2013, as part of cost-saving and sustainability measures.
All delegates to official Presidency events in Dublin will receive a Dublin Bikes card, which is to encourage them to use the bikes.
As Dublin Castle is the venue for the vast majority of Presidency events and delegates’ accommodation is also city-centre based, the organisers said this would be an ideal mode of transport.
The bikes are just one element of a sustainability drive within the Presidency.
Around 1600 meetings will take place during Ireland’s presidency of the EU, with 180 of those taking place in Ireland, and approximately 150,00 delegates will visit the country.
The cost of the 2004 Irish presidency was €110m, but the cost of the 2013 presidency is estimated to be €60 million, indicating the organisers have scaled back significantly.
They said that they are using state-owned locations for primary venues, buses will be the primary transport, Dublin Castle will be the Presidency headquarters, and sponsorship has been sought for some parts of the programme. All of these have helped to save money overall.
The presidency will only pay for hotel rooms for Heads of Delegation for the 11 informal ministerial meetings, and a handful of high-level events.
There will also be a ban on printing large volume handbooks or the programme, with all documents available online, plus instead of bottled water, tap water will be used at meetings.