Can Freedom-Loving Czechs Build a New Nation on the Danube?
Tired of high taxes, meddling bureaucrats, and the military-industrial complex? Forget voting for some watered-down sellout like Rand Paul and consider moving to the world’s newest (sort of) country, Liberland.
A Czech man named Vit Jedlicka proclaimed the new republic between Serbia and Croatia on the western bank of the Danube on Monday and has been doing the media rounds all week. With a land area of about 2.7 square miles, Liberland would be the world’s third-smallest country, after the Vatican City and Monaco. According to its website, it has a flag, a motto (“to live and let live”), and an official language (Czech, which seems ill-advised). Jedlicka is taking applications for citizenship, though you’ll have to apply by email because there’s no post office yet. Liberlanders must be people who:
- have respect for other people and respect the opinions of others, regardless of their race, ethnicity, orientation, or religion
- have respect for private ownership which is untouchable
- do not have communist, nazi or other extremist past
- were not punished for past criminal offences
Still a member of the Czech Republic’s libertarian, euroskeptic Party of Free Citizens, Jedlicka says he is working on writing a constitution that “significantly limits the power of politicians so they could not interfere too much in the freedoms of the Liberland nation.”
Jedlicka says his country is on land that was previous terra nullius, unclaimed by either Serbia or Croatia—a quirk of an ongoing border dispute between the two former Yugoslav countries.
This is somewhat similar to Bir Tawal, the unclaimed patch of desert on the border between Egypt and Sudan that was briefly in the news last year when a Virginia man traveled there to plant a flag so he could declare his daughter “princess of North Sudan.”
While it’s not clear quite how serious Jedlicka is actually taking this, he at least seems to have a more ambitious long-term agenda for his new micronation. A better comparison might be Paddy Roy Bates, who ruled the self-declared Principality of Sealand on an abandoned naval artillery platform off the coast of England from 1967 until his death in 2012.
Whether publicity stunt, impossible dream, or future libertarian utopia, best of luck to the brave citizens of Liberland.