Are Borders Losing Their Importance in a Globalizing World?

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Borders between countries serve a variety of purposes. Borders acts as physical barriers and, occasionally, as bridges between two countries. Borders also provide a means of transferring resources between two lands, whether economic or natural. There are two types of borders to be considered when looking at the border of any European country. Firstly, the border between two member-states. Secondly, the borders between EU member-states and non-EU states. Within the European Union, borders have been almost entirely abolished with the implementation of the Schengen agreement with the exception of the United Kingdom and Ireland, who have their own agreement, mainly in the Common Travel Area. In this essay I will examine the changing significance of the borders of continental Europe with the United Kingdom and Ireland and argue that, in some aspects, particularly between this border, borders are losing their significance in a globalising world. However, this is particular to Europe.

On 14th June 1985, the Schengen agreement was signed in Luxembourg. The agreement was signed between Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the then West Germany. The Schengen agreement abolished physical barriers between the countries, along with all passport control for their citizens. A similar agreement between Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, called Benelux had already been created in 1944. By 2008, 15 European Union member states had joined the Schengen agreement. The United Kingdom and Ireland opted out of the Schengen agreement for reasons of immigration control. Although the UK and Ireland are part of the European Union, they have different border control policies. The United Kingdom claims that because of its island status, w...

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