Liberland- a Utopia in Europe

, by Georgia McKinson, Marcel Wollscheid

All the versions of this article: [Deutsch] [English]

Liberland- a Utopia in Europe
The Czech politician Vít Jedlička (31) is founder and president of the fictive micro nation “Liberland” (flag in background) between Croatia and Serbia. – Photo: © Liberalistene Norge / Flickr/ CC BY 2.0-Lizenz

In a controversial border region between Croatia and Serbia the Czech Vít Jedlička has founded in April 2015 an illusionary state called “Liberland”. The history of a piece of land at the Danube, in which a libertarian wish society should arise.

For years Serbia and EU-member state Croatia have been disputing the lines of their borders. The territorial ownership claims over a territory of over 100 square kilometres along the Danube are still unsettled. This was reason enough for the Czech young politician Vít Jedlička (31) to declare the territory to be a “no-man’s land” and to call out a state on part of the unsettled territory.

The “Free Republic Liberland” is what Jedlička calls this self-explanatory micro nation at the border of the European Union. “Liberland” is located on a seven square kilometre big section of the Danube shore between Croatia in the west and Serbia in the east. The country is deserted and consists mostly of meadows and swamps. “Liberland” is not internationally recognised, but its own flag, hymn and Motto (“To live and let live”) convey the appearance of being its own state.

In an “election” Vít Jedlička was, with two other founding members of the fictive republic, voted president of Liberland. Jedlička is member of the Czech conservative-liberal “Party of Free Citizens”, which in 2014 succeeded in entering the European Parliament. There the party is grouped with the British UKIP and the Italian five-star-movement as a member of the Eurosceptic faction “Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy” (EFDD).

Location of “Liberland” on the Danube coast between Croatia and Serbia. Source: Google Maps

With his “Liberland” Jedlička wants to make his libertarian dreams come true. A country without taxes, whose minimal government keeps itself largely out of the affairs of the population. The state services such as energy supply, health system or garbage removal are to be financed through the voluntary spending of citizens or undertaken entirely through private businesses. The president promises the citizens and investors with Liberland “not a tax haven”, instead a “tax heaven”. On the websiteof the country those interested can apply for citizenship of Liberland.

That Jedlička will come far with his idea of “Liberland” appears more than unlikely. At the moment he and possible new citizens cannot even reach the land. The government of Croatia has closed off the territory from all sides and denies Jedlička and his entourage entry to “Liberland”.

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