On November 12, 2016, the European Parliament in Strasbourg adopted an ‘Own-initiative report’ (INI) drafted by Keith Taylor, Green MEP for South East England, which explores the potential of Waterborne Passenger Transport, including ferries and cruises, across Europe.
INI reports are important tools for shaping the political agenda; they pave the way for new legislation and explore diverse topics of interest to MEPs and the European Parliament.
Following the vote, Keith, a member of the European Parliament's Transport committee, commented: “I am very pleased that my report has been received so well by my colleagues in the European Parliament. Inland and maritime ferries, as well as cruises and barges, play a crucial role in achieving a more sustainable and efficient European transport sector. Within the framework of this report, I looked at environmental standards, safety and security, cross-border cooperation and competitiveness as well as service quality, passenger rights, and barrier-free accessibility."
"Many commuters in Europe travel by road, creating bottlenecks, congestion, and delays. With its many rivers, waterways, estuaries, long coastlines and islands, Europe’s geography offers extraordinary opportunities for waterborne transport. There are many areas in Europe where travelling by ferry or cruise ships would be more sustainable, easier and quicker. Exploiting this potential would strengthen local economies and help protect Europe’s environment and its citizens’ health."
"This initiative will, hopefully, prompt the action necessary to bring us one step closer to harnessing the huge potential of waterborne transport, which could not only help improve air quality and provide better transport services, but also reduce congestion and CO2 emissions in Europe."
 The report was adopted by a large majority: 551 MEPs voted in favour, 62 against, and 82 abstained.
Keith Taylor is the Green MEP for the South East of England and is one of 50 Greens/EFA MEPs in the European Parliament. He sits on the Committee on Transport and Tourism, and the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety. He is a member of the European Parliament’s delegation to the Palestinian Legislative Council which works to forge greater links between MEPs and parliamentarians in Palestine. Keith is also Vice Chair of the parliament’s Intergroup on animal welfare and a member of the parliament’s Intergroup on LGBTI Rights.