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Nation States and the EU

IB DP Geography
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Base Knowledge and Understanding

Base knowledge and understanding


European Bodies

Relationships through the membership of various political bodies paint a complex web of interdependencies. The following diagram shows the membership of various European unions, councils and zones. | Source
Video Clip
Data Visualization
Definition multi-governmental organization
Definition flow of goods, capital, labour and ideas
Schengen agreement
News Article
Words to be defined
Base Level



Aim of this lesson:

  • To be able to discuss the links between the diminishing effectiveness of political borders and the flow of goods, capital, labour and ideas.
  • To be able to discuss the role of one multi-governmental organization such as the European Union (EU).
Nations States and the EU

Produce a one sentence definition of the following: The Council of Europe | European Union | Eurozone | European Free Trade Association | Schengen Area | EU Customs Union.

According to the diagram - what 'situation' are the following countries in?

  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • France
Geography Activities
Geography Activities

Notes: What is the European Union?

European Union
BBC News
  Profile: The European Union [27 June 2012]
Geography Activities


Geography Activities
Geography Activities

Notes: How does the European Union impact the flow of goods?

The EU has established a single market across the territory of all its members.

The single market involves the free circulation of goods, capital, people and services within the EU.

Companies can sell their products anywhere in the member states and consumers can buy where they want with no penalty.

No customs are levied on goods traveling within the EU customs union and (unlike a free trade area) members of the customs union impose a common external tariff on all goods entering the union.

Once goods have been admitted into the market they cannot be subjected to customs duties, discriminatory taxes or import quotas, as they travel internally.

The EU is working to improve cross-border infrastructure within the EU, for example through the Trans-European Networks. Projects include the Channel Tunnel, LGV Est, the Fréjus Rail Tunnel, the Öresund Bridge, the Brenner Base Tunnel and the Strait of Messina Bridge.

BBC News
  EU extends Chinese shoe tariffs [22 December 2009]
Geography Activities
Geography Activities

Notes: How does the European Union impact the flow of capital?

Currencies and capital can flow freely between the member states and European citizens can use financial services in any member state.

Free movement of capital is intended to permit movement of investments such as property purchases and buying of shares between countries.

Free movement of capital is an essential condition for the proper functioning of the Single Market. It enables a better allocation of resources within the EU, facilitates trade across borders, favours workers mobility, and makes it easier for businesses to raise the money they need to start and grow.

BBC News
  Wales may qualify for high-level EU funding again [9 December 2010]
Geography Activities
Geography Activities

Notes: How does the European Union impact the flow of labour?

Citizens of the EU member states can live and work in any other country and their professional qualifications should be recognised.

With the lifting of most internal border controls, EU citizen can move as freely around Europe as we can within a Member State.

The Schengen Area comprises the territories of twenty-five European countries that have implemented the Schengen Agreement.

Implementing the Schengen rules involves eliminating border controls with other Schengen members while simultaneously strengthening border controls with non-member states.

The UK declined to join Schengen Convention elements related to passport control, one argument being that, for an island, frontier controls are a better and less intrusive way to prevent illegal immigration than other measures, such as identity cards, residence permits, and registration with the police, which are appropriate for countries with "extensive and permeable land borders".

BBC News
  EU moves to tighten border controls in Schengen zone [4 May 2011]
BBC News
  EU demands Tunisia do more to stop illegal migration [12 April 2011]
Geography Review



Exam style question:

Explain the role of a named multi-governmental organization in the diminishing effectiveness of political borders. [10 Marks]

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