RECOMMENDATION 81 (1955)[1]

on the possibilities of promoting foreign travel by citizens of Member States of the Council of Europe in the territory of other Member States


The Assembly,

Considering that foreign travel and, in particular, visits on an exchange basis between the citizens of one country and those of another lead to greater mutual understanding and can thus contribute effectively to the promotion of the idea of European unity,

Section A
Action taken on Resolution (52) 47 of the Committee of Ministers

Recommends that the Committee of Ministers communicate to it regularly detailed information on the action taken in pursuance of Resolution (52) 47 and, in particular, on measures taken by individual Member Governments, which do not fall within the scope of the cultural programme of the Council of Europe, with a view to :

(i) increasing the number and value of scholarships available to their nationals for educational visits abroad (Point 1 of Resolution 47);

(ii) enabling their nationals to take part in international meetings, periods of study and courses, on questions of European interest (Point 2 of Resolution 47);

(iii) facilitating the exchange of workers (Point 4 of Resolution 47);

Section B
Development of existing facilities

Recommends that the Committee of Ministers invite Member Governments to develop, and to extend to new groups of the population, the arrangements in force for encouraging international exchange and foreign travel, more especially :

(i) by a substantial increase of the budgetary allocations for workers' exchange programmes and for the subsidies to popular travel organisations granted by the Governments themselves or by international organisations of which they are Members, such as UNESCO, I. L. 0. and the Council of Europe;

(ii) by encouraging the creation of popular travel organisations and of savings clubs for holiday or travel purposes in the countries in which they do not at present exist;

(iii) by promoting, with the help of the Secretariat-General of the Council of Europe, the organisation of conferences at which the organisations referred to could discuss and agree on programmes for travel abroad on an exchange basis or otherwise, covering such matters as accommodation; could prepare the necessary reciprocal agreements in respect of contracts with transport companies and the hotel industry; and could institute such financial clearing arrangements as may be required;

(iv) by making use of the means at the disposal of the public authorities for the purpose of publicising existing arrangements for international exchanges, in particular through the medium of the press and the radio and by any other means of publicity that may reach those who are interested;

Section C
New measures

Recommends that the Committee of Ministers propose to Member Governments the introduction of new measures to encourage travel abroad by the lower-income groups of the population such as :

1. the measures for the simplification of frontier formalities set out in Recommendation 51 (1953) and particularly in Sections B and C thereof, and in Recommendation 84 (1955) and, moreover, where for special reasons, passports have to be retained for the time being:

(i) the free issue of passports;

(ii) the reduction of passport application formalities to the minimum;

(iii) the abolition of passports in certain specific circumstances, for example in the case of return journeys of limited duration;

2. the extension to the nationals of the other member countries of certain travel facilities and advantages granted by a member country to its own nationals;

3. the negotiation of international agreements between rail transport companies extending the tariff reductions made available in certain member countries to ticket-holders who have purchased their ticket in one of the countries in question to travellers who have purchased their ticket in another member country for the purpose of visiting or passing through the country in which the said reductions are applied;

Section D
Introduction of a European savings system for encouraging travel abroad

Recommends that the Committee of Ministers convene a Conference of the competent authorities in the member countries for the purpose of preparing a Convention establishing a European savings system, which will enable the lower-income groups of the population to travel abroad, and which would incorporate the following proposals:

(i) the Council of Europe would issue "travel savings vouchers" which would be on sale with the transport companies of the countries whose Governments are parties to the Convention;

(ii) the vouchers would be exchanged by the holders on the occasion of their annual holiday for a " Council of Europe ticket ", covering a return journey to any member country or countries whose Governments are parties to the Convention;

(iii) the interest on the moneys received by the transport companies from sale of the vouchers would make it possible for the tickets, for which the vouchers would eventually be exchanged, to be issued at less than their nominal value;

(iv) the "Council of Europe ticket" would be accepted in the place of a passport and would serve as a laissez-passer during the period of the validity of the ticket itself. It would be made out in the holder's name and would be issued only on presentation of suitable identity papers, such as a national identity card or a national insurance card.


[1]. This Recommendation was adopted by the Assembly at its 17th Sitting, on 19th October, 1955 (see Doc. 405, draft Recommendation of the Committee on Social Questions and Explanatory Memorandum by Miss Burton, Rapporteur).