What you might need to know

This lesson focuses on the Single Market and the Schengen Area.

The Schengen area comprises 22 countries from the EU and the four countries which are in the European Free Trade Area, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Those 26 countries altogether signed an agreement in 1985 to abolish passport and all other form of border control at their mutual borders. The area has a common visa policy. In cases of terrorist attacks or major threats to a country’s national interests, a country or group of countries can decide to re-instate temporarily border controls. Honestly, on the continent, it has become such a part of peoples’ lives, this abolition of a physical border with passport control, that re-instating it is always problematic passed the first few days.

This lesson gives children different roles and gets them talking and debating. It is also a good lesson to take stock of what the Customs, Union, Single Market and Schengen Area are as well as key principles such as solidarity, freedoms of movement of goods, people, services and capital and shared sovereignty.

Finally it is an opportunity to talk about the Erasmus programme which allows university students and apprentices to go to another EU country or a partner country for 6 to 12 months to study. This has been a huge success so get the children thinking about where they’d like to go!

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