A new country – Liberland – has been established in Europe; that is, if the country’s “president” can get anyone to take the him and his new country seriously.
Located along a stretch of the Danube River on the border between Serbia and Croatia is the Free Republic of Liberland, whose official motto, translated into English, is “To Live and Let Live.”
Liberland was founded by Czech Vit Jedlicka, a libertarian activist and member of the political party Party of Free Citizens in the Czech Republic, according to Time. For the moment, Vit is the new country’s president; he’s working on a constitution that will lay out the means of electing a successor.
Liberland has no taxes and no military. Wedged between two relatively-new nations, both emerged from the breakup of the former Yugoslavia, Liberland has promised not to interfere with the affairs of either.
“The objective of the founders of the new state is to build a country where honest people can prosper without being oppressed by governments making their lives unpleasant through the burden of unnecessary restrictions and taxes.”
In a practical sense, forming a new country can be as easy as occupying a space and declaring it a new country, according to The Straight Dope; theoretically, you could string a barbed-wire fence around your property, plant a flag, and thereby proclaim it “The Constitutional Republic of Awesomeland,” and you have a new country. That is, until another country raises objections – by trying to collect taxes, or sending in an invading army, for example.
Liberland gets around those pesky problems by invoking the legal principle of terra nullis (“No Man’s Land”), according to The Blaze. Basically, neither Croatia nor Serbia claim those few square miles along the Danube, so it was there for the taking, so to speak.
Whether Liberland actually becomes an actual new country with international recognition remains to be seen. Usually, attempts at forming a new country are met with, at best, a collective declaration of “so what?” (see Sealand or The Principality of Hutt River), and at worst, decades of war and bloodshed (see East Timor).
Even President Vit Jedlicka admits that Liberland is a political stunt; or at least, it started out that way.
“It started a little bit like a protest. But now it’s really turning out to be a real project with real support.”
As of this post, 20,000 people have applied to be citizens of the new country; if you’d like to apply for Liberland citizenship, you can fill out an application by clicking the Registration button here.
[Images courtesy of: Shutterstock/AnnaKostyuk, Liberland.org]