The Free Republic of Liberland became the youngest self-proclaimed micro-nation in the world by formally declaring independence on May 1st.
The 2.7 square mile parcel of land is not internationally recognized as a nation, but if it were, it would be the smallest of the Balkan states and the third smallest nation behind Monaco (0.78 square miles) and the Vatican (0.2 square miles).
Previously known as Gornja Siga, the miniscule parcel of territory is one among a dozen others under ambiguous possession on the Croatia-Serbia border.
Border disputes arose between the two countries in 1947, continuing into the present day.
Gornja Siga was the only one of the territories classified as “terra nullius,” or nobody’s land. In other words, Gornja Siga was not subject to or occupied by any sovereignty.
On April 13, Vít Jedlička, President of the Czech Republic’s Party of Free Citizens, deemed the land the new micro-nation of Liberland.
At that time, Jedlička was elected the President of Liberland by his girlfriend and friend, the only other “citizens”.
Heavily forested, and home to no one, Jedlička himself admits that the original intention in establishing Liberland was to protest the Czech Republic government and EU, which he believed were too large and too restricting of personal liberties.
However, the magnitude of Liberland exceeded his highest expectations, becoming an international sensation.
The constitution of Liberland exhibits Jedlička’s own ideal government: non-obligatory taxes, absence of a central bank, few regulations, a de-centralized government, absence of a military, privatization of utilities and infrastructure and prohibitions against deficit spending.
Perhaps the most interesting feature of the government is a provision that states that the citizens have the potential to veto any law they find unjust or disagreeable.
Although Jedlička calls this project a “global revolution,” the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs calls it “a frivolous act.”
Liberland’s motto is “To live and let live,” and its official website describes itself as a “constitutional republic with elements of direct democracy.”
Over 260,000 people have applied for citizenship thus far. Some of the standards for citizenship include respecting other people and opinions, holding private ownership in high regard, not possessing any criminal history and not believing in any “extremist” ideology.
Many of the applicants agree with the libertarian principles the nation is based on, but many are also hoping to escape oppressive regimes in places like Egypt.
Thus far, 7,500 have already been granted citizenship, and the goal, says Jedlička, is to integrate 28,000 more citizens, though not all will live there full time.
It will be fascinating to see the first year of this new nation unfold, especially given its lack of a compulsory tax.
Its only means of revenue is fund-raising.
The Free Republic of Liberland is now ready to accept your donations via PayPal, bank account transfers or Bitcoin.