Academic journal article International Journal on World Peace

Borderless Skies! Sovereign Dominance, Regionalism: Lessons from Europe

Academic journal article International Journal on World Peace

Borderless Skies! Sovereign Dominance, Regionalism: Lessons from Europe

Article excerpt


State boundaries and borders continue to change and move, mostly due to acts of aggression, revolution and declarations of independence. Rarely are such changes amicably achieved and disputes over territories are known to continue for decades, leading to acts of on-going hostility. National sovereignty is still protected; yet, in an ever-increasing globalized society, recognition must be given to the fact that cooperation and collaboration are key necessities in securing peace and achieving the integration of a world society.

In the last fifty years the links between nations and regions have grown and developed. Key to this has been on-going communications, which have been enhanced by technology, such as the Internet and evolving transportation systems. Aviation in particular is viewed as a critical factor resulting in global linkage, enhancing and developing the concept of globalization. Globalization has resulted in a "shrinking" world, one of opportunity and the accessibility to new markets. Human mobilization remains a significant factor in realizing equity in global development and economic prosperity.

That said, while the skies may, technically, be viewed as "borderless," the ability to freely fly is often restricted by the lack of international cooperation. This paper considers the aspect of international cooperation and the associated challenges of such, with particular focus on sovereignty and state protectionism, which have limited access to the sky.

The concept of world governance is therefore considered, particularly in terms of international aviation law, which is seen to have limitations, due, in the main, to a lack of trust. This stems back to an inherent legacy of the inviolable sovereignty of states.

This paper provides a unique view and understanding of historical legacies, which affect today's development of air transport, for, whilst commercial aviation is little more than 100-yearsold, it continues to battle old nemeses that impede the development in today's modern times.

The importance of regionalism is reviewed and the significance of regional cooperation is discussed in terms of being a significant factor and "key stepping-stone" in achieving borderless skies with unfettered access across the world. This year (2017) marks 60 years of the Rome Treaties, which have been instrumental in creating the longest period of peace in written history within Europe. The Treaties of Rome established a common market where people, goods, services, and capital can move freely leading to prosperity and stability for European citizens. Key to this has been the transport policy. This year also significantly sees 25 years of the EU Internal Market for Aviation, and ultimately this paper discusses the development of air transport-lessons from the EU.

The research is based upon a mixed method/interdisciplinary approach, predominately with the focus on a socio-legal qualitative review, which presents the factual, chronological background, including the development of the European Union (EU) and the aviation transport and policy framework. An outline of the international aviation dimension is undertaken, particularly in regard to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, which was agreed in the midst of the Second World War. This provides contextualization as to the position and achievements of the European Union. The wider principles of the European Union regarding market integration are also considered.


The composition of the world, in terms of recognized countries, boundaries and borders has often changed, just as the political world also continues to change. The words "country" and "nation" are frequently interchanged for what political scientists call a "sovereign" state and, thus, defining a sovereign state in itself remains controversial.1 The concept of sovereignty is traceable back to an era of extended warfare in Europe, with the principle of sovereignty being the crucial element in the Peace Treaty of Westphalia (1648). …

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