Can't we simply remove political borders? What would be the advantages and disadvantages of doing this?


key concept

Fewer political borders  -  flow of goods, capital, labour, ideas  -  the EU


the eu

Many writers have voiced concern about the apparent loss of sovereignty of nation-states. The loss of sovereignty results from the voluntary or involuntary ceding of national autonomy to other organisations. The establishment and growth of the EU over the last 50 years is seen by some as step towards loss of sovereignty of nation states.

  1. Read the PDF below. Make notes on:
    • Introduction
    • Treaty of Rome (1957)
    • Single European Act (1986)
    • Maastricht Treaty (1992)
    • Amsterdam Treaty (1997)
    • Treaty of Lisbon (2007)

the schengen treaty (1985)

The 1985 Schengen Treaty aimed to make the flow of people across European borders easier and improve collaboration of police and border controls between EU member states.



How effective are EU borders at controlling the following flows? Rank the flows in order of how easily they can move over borders in the EU.

  1. Read pp 184-188 HL Book
  2. Make notes on how the EU has impacted the flow of goods, capital, labour and ideas.


  1. Scan the text. Highlight the years and their events.
  2. Read the article. Highlight key points.
  3. What are the three strands to the sovereignty argument?

exam practice

Explain how one multi-governmental organization has led to a loss of sovereignty. [10 marks]


mark scheme

Candidates would be expected to define their chosen multi-governmental organization as a grouping of nations, providing as their example the EU, NAFTA, MERCOSUR, ASEAN or others.

The example chosen will influence the answer, as some MGOs are merely free trade areas while others have a common external tariff, in the case of the EU a common market and fuller economic union with shared currency and freedom of movement for workers. Thus an answer based around the EU will most likely assert that sovereignty has indeed been lost, while one based around NAFTA may address the phrase “loss of sovereignty” more reservedly.

Accept a wide interpretation of MGO to include the IMF, UN, G20, NATO etc. However, such answers may be self-limiting and unlikely to gain the higher bands as it may be hard to display a loss of sovereignty.

Marks should be allocated according to the markbands.