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COMMISSION PROPOSAL TO RELAX CONTROLS AND FORMALITIES APPLICABLE TO MEMBER STATE NATIONALS CROSSING INTRA COMMUNITY BORDERS
The Commission has adopted a proposal for a Directive on the facilitation of controls and formalities applicable to Member State nationals when crossing intra-Community borders. The proposal is based on the principles contained in the Commission's draft decision and the resolution of the Council and the Member States meeting within the Council of 7 June 1984. The Franco-German agreement of June 1984 to conduct no more than spot checks on travellers between the two States who display a green disc with the letter E goes beyond the European Council's resolution and was very highly praised by the Commission at the time. The Commission's proposal for a Directive therefore aims at extending the agreement, which was later also introduced between France and Benelux and between Germany and Benelux, to the Community as a whole. The scope of the agreement should be widened to apply not only to controls on motorways but also to airports, porots and railway stations. In this context the importance of the European passport recently introduced in five Member States must be emphasized : motorists can now identify themselves at the Franco-German border by displaying a green disc with the letter E, the plan being to ecxtend this procedure to all road crossing- points between Community countries; persons travelleing by air or train could do likewise by showing their European passport. The purpose of the proposal is therefore to create a favbourable impression isn the minds of Member State nationals in order to increase their awareness of the real existence of the Community. Main points of the proposal : 1. Nationals of the Member States of the Community may cross intra-Community borders without restriction whatever the mode of transport used. 2. Member States may carry out spot checks at border crossing points or just beyond. However, these spot checks mudst be limited and there can no longer ber any question of travellers being as a matter of course, obliged to present an identification document for verification or to make an oral fdeclaration regarding goods they are carrying. The proposal also permits Member States to carry out stricter controls, for milited periods of time, in exceptional caseds where public security is involved. (1) COM(84) 749. - 2 - 3. Persons displaying a green disc (equivalent to a declaration that they fulfil the required conditions) may cross the border at low speed, thereby enabling border officials to carry out a simple visual check. 4. In airports and ports it is proposed that red and green channels ber introduced which will operate with the samme effect as the display of a green disc. 5. It is expressly stated that the proposal does not preclude the existence of the adoption of more favourable regulations for Member State nationals. 6. The Commission will draw up a periodic report in order to ensure that the proposals' objectives are attained, to measure progress made and to sstudy ways and means of achieving the total abolition of controls on Member State nationals at intra-Community borders. 7. In keeping with the wish expressed by the European Council, the Directive should be brought into effect by Member States no later than 1 July 1985.