HAVING REGARD to Article 13 (c) of the Convention for European Economic Co-operation of 16th April 1948;

HAVING REGARD to the Recommendation of the Council of 29th September 1955 concerning Facilities to be Granted in the Matter of Visas and Passports;

CONSIDERING that, at its meeting on 29th February 1956, the Council instructed the Tourism Committee to submit a report containing specific proposals to solve among others the problems associated with the crossing of frontiers between Member countries, in time for the benefit to be felt during the 1956 tourist season [Doc. No. C/M (56) 11, Item 82 (e)];

HAVING REGARD to the Report of the Tourism Committee of 20th June 1956 concerning Facilities to be Granted to Tourists in the Matter of Passports for Crossing Frontiers between Member Countries [Doc. No. C (56) 131];[1]

CONSIDERING that, in order to increase and promote tourism in Europe, Member countries should take steps to abolish to the greatest extent possible the obstacles that hamper the free movement of nationals of Member countries;

CONSIDERING that, in this field, Member countries should in future seek ways and means to limit to the maximum the fees and duties charged on the issue of a passport;

I.            RECOMMENDS:

A.           The Governments of Member countries

1.            To consider the possibility of increasing the period of validity of individual passports, issued by their administrations to five years;

2.            Taking account of the measures already taken in accordance with paragraph 2 of the Recommendation of the Council of 29th September 1955, referred to above, to give further consideration to the reduction of the fees charged for the granting of passports to as low a level as possible, having regard to the cost of issue and distribution.

In taking these measures, Member countries should not suspend any more liberal arrangements which they have already established.

B.           Those Member Governments whose administrations issue identity cards, to consider the possibility of standardising these cards and changing their form so that they can be used for international travel, according to a specimen to be drawn up by the Tourism Committee.

C.           The Government of each Member country:

3.            To admit on its territory the nationals of other Member countries on presentation of an official document that establishes their identity and nationality and may be used by those persons for re-entry into the country the authorities of which have issued the document in question.

4.            Without waiting until such measures become effective, to enter into or, where appropriate, to continue negotiations with other Member countries with a view to concluding bilateral or multilateral agreements, or to take unilaterally all measures of an administrative nature tending to admit on the territory of the country concerned tourists who are nationals of other Member countries upon presentation of their identity cards.

5.            Apart from the aforementioned measures, to reduce to a minimum the formalities concerning the frontier controls of the identity documents of tourists from other countries, in particular those from neighbouring Member countries.

II.           INSTRUCTS the Tourism Committee:

(a)        To report to the Council by 31st March 1957 on the measures that Member countries have taken or expect to take in order to implement the provisions of Section I of this Recommendation;

(b)        To draw up at its next session a specimen of the identity card to which reference is made in Section I of this Recommendation.

In adopting this Recommendation, the Council:

I.            NOTED the reservations made by the Delegates for France, Iceland, Portugal, Turkey and the United Kingdom on the whole or part of the provisions of the Recommendation referred to above, and at the same time a statement by the Delegate for the Netherlands according to which his Government, although not opposed to the adoption of the said Recommendation, will take no steps before the results of studies undertaken on the Memorandum which he addressed to the Council of Europe are known.[2]

II.           INSTRUCTED the Secretary-General to draw up the Organisation’s reply to Recommendations 84 and 85 of the Council of Europe on the simplification of formalities required in the matter of passports for crossing frontiers contained in Doc. No. C (56) 138.[3]

[1]     The comments made by the Executive Committee at its meeting of 3rd July 1956 on each Report of the Tourism Committee [see CE/M (56) 27 (Final), Item 189] were presented separately in Doc. No. C (56) 169.

[2]     The Delegate for the Netherlands addressed a letter to the Secretary-General on 29th August 1956 in which he explained the exact position of his Government [Doc. No. C/M (56) 31 Annex].

[3]     The Secretary-General of the Organisation addressed a letter to the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe on 6th September 1956 to this effect.