Do Any Neighboring Nations Have a Better Relationship Than The U.S. and Canada?

The title pretty much says it all, but are there any adjacent nations around the world that have a better relationship than America and the Canucks up north? Define better however you’d like. I know that for years the old adage was that we shared the longest unprotected border in the world, but since 9/11 that’s probably not true any more and since we share one of the longest borders in the world period it’s not much of a statement.

I bet Switzerland and Liechtenstein do. And also France and Monaco, Italy and San Marino, France and Andorra, and Italy and the Vatican.

Most of the EU have significantly more open borders with each other, and share a currency. Americans can’t work in Canada the way Germans can work in France.

The Canada/US border may have been an anomaly in 1980, but not so much now.

They don’t have a land boundary, but Australia and New Zealand have a very close relationship.

Better than us. IIRC you can hop from one country to the other to work, if you are a citizen of either Aus or NZ. The USA still has the longest undefended border strongly defended against marauding Canuck consultants and artists.

The U.S.-Canadian border has more customs security now, entry requirements are a little bit more of a hassle now than pre-9/11 (obviously now you need a passport, for example.) But it’s still wholly undefended from the perspective of military defense, border stations aren’t viable defenses from even a small military force.

Well, someone has to do it.

England and Wales, maybe. Probably Scotland too.

Oh, man, don’t get me (or any other Schweitzers) started on those lameass Liechtenstinians…

(You’ve heard their taunts on the street: “Ooh, look at us, we’re Doubly Landlocked: a landlocked country wholly surrounded by other landlocked countries.” and “We’re the only Alpine country totally surrounded by the Alps, dawg!” And “Hey, how 'bout us, dudes – the only German-speaking principality that doesn’t border Germany!” Big Whoop).

I’ve taken the train from Nice (France) to Monaco, and back again, and they are nothing more than two stops on a train line. It doesn’t get better than that.

On the Minnesota/Ontario border, there are signs posted along the road that skirts the border: “Canadians, please stop in town at the border patrol office.” Which was a small cabin. And closed for the day.

I was going to say the Netherlands & Belgium.

This is probably a question that a team of PhD candidates would have to take on for their dissertations.

First, the definitions of relationships have to be laid out. Then you have to decide if the magnitude of the relationship is part of the equation.

Talking from travel experience, not quantitative measurement. Consider:

  • The US has the largest economy in the world.

  • Canada is the US’s largest trading partner. Therefore, what continually moves across their borders continuously is immense.

  • Lately, and currently, US and Canada have instituted passport control for crossing the border.

  • The EU does not have passport control for crossing borders.

  • There are some small neighboring countries that really don’t make any issue of crossing the border.

  • The US and Canada have separate currencies. The EU has a single currency.

  • Canada is not knee-jerk in supporting US foreign policy (Vietnam and Iraq).

  • The US spends millions (billions) protecting the sovereignty of Canada which in turn helps to protect the US.

  • Canada and the US are two very significant countries with a long border that recognized long ago that it is in everyone’s best interest if they work together rather than acting as adversaries. Does that make them bedfellows, always in agreement, no. Is there a practical aspect, yes.

I’m not sure there is an answer to the question without a lot of hard core statistical analysis. Certainly there are countries with little influence in the world that have very close relationship. Again, how do you define it if you take magnitude into account?

Just picking nits:

This is only true for parts of the EU…

… and this is not true for the entire EU either.

More than just work, there are arrangements for health care, welfare etc. tldr details.

Until about 10 years ago even a passport wasn’t required. That led to an odd situation for a few Aussies who had been living for years in NZ (and vice versa), where someone who had never had a passport before had to apply for one in order to return to their own country.

That’s a little different though, as the U.K. is regarded in this case, as one nation.

May I suggest the UK and France? We both now share aircraft carriers!!

In 1972 you definitely got stopped and checked at the US Canada border. Especially if you were driving a carload of college students. On the other hand, going from Berlin to Barcelona had no more id checking than going from New York to Boston. Which was not true in 1980, where the border guards came on the train to check your papers at the French German border - just like in the spy movies.

The Nordic Countries (i.e Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark) have had the Nordic Passport Union since 1954 (which has since then been superseded by Schengen), allowing free trade and travel, with no border checkpoints in existence between them. These countries all share a common history and, barring Finish, closely related languages.

Most people don’t know it, but the US imports more oil from Canada than any other country. Also we get a lot of oil from Mexico too. People think the Middle East is where almost all our foreign oil comes from.

Yeeeeeeeeeeeeaaahhhhhh… weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeell…