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European Parliament Conference on How to Start a New Country

On 5 December 2018, the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy party organised a conference called The Future of Liberland, in the European Parliament. The Republic of Chameria President Festim Lato also attended this event to present his support to the cause for freedom of Liberland and to learn from the many successes that Liberland has achieved in the past three years.

Liberland is an island in the Danube River between Croatia and Serbia, which is not claimed by any of these two countries. In 2015 Czech politician Vit Jedlicka claimed this piece of land as Liberland; a libertarian country that aims to change the international system and to lead by example, offering a genuine alternative to the present national and international system, which is for the most part designed in such a way that it is resistant to change and favours the established order.

Since its establishment in April 2015 Liberland has gained a strong international following with over half a million applications for citizenship and many press coverings as well as frequent public attendances all over the world by president Vit Jedlicka and his cabinet.

The conference was opened by Mr. Bill Etheridge who is the Libertarian International Chairman and a Member of the European Parliament from the United Kingdom. According to Mr. Etheridge, Liberland is a good example of an alternative to the current paradigm in Europe of increasing centralisation and control over the citizen. It show us that it is possible to resist and decide for ourselves.

Following this introduction, Liberland president Vit Jedlicka provided a comprehensive overview of the new country and its struggle to offer the services usually associated with a recognised State. Liberland was etablished in April 2015 and for the first few weeks the new land was free to enter. Unfortunately, after a wave of media attention the Croatian government closed off the access to Liberland. Nonetheless, the activities to build the State of Liberland took off and since that time it has operated on the forefront of new developments in State construction, financial management and the deliverance of government services.

Liberland is based on a libertarian ideology and believes that the State should have minimal interference in public life and for example should abstain from meddling in the educational- and healthcare system. In this ideology the State is mainly concerned with diplomacy. Liberland has been actively working on fulfilling the obligations set by international law on what constitutes a State, namely the necessity to have a permanent population, a defined territory, a central government and the ability to have international relations with other States.

Furthermore, Liberland tries to take the next step in direct democracy. The citizens of Liberland can veto any legislation that the government creates, just like in Switzerland, and they are not burdend by tax. The president of Liberland explained that the country is a tax heaven, not a tax haven. Payment of taxes is voluntary and since Liberland is a true meritocracy the bigger the tax contribution the greater the vote.

The president of Liberland explained the activities in the field of cryptocurrency (like Bitcoin and Liberland’s new currency the LLM) and the use of decentralised autonomous organisation (DAO) in order to put control of the financial system and the government into the hands of the ordinary citizen. In a final contribution to the conference the president explained about the preparations for constructing the first buildings in Liberland. An architectural competition was held which provided many professional, new and viable designs for Liberland. Architecture determines to a large extent the appearance of a country and thereby has a large impact on its identity. The decisions on the best designs were therefore open, transparant and inclusive in order to maximize the citizen’s involvement in the construction of the State of Liberland.

The Republic of Chameria President Festim Lato and Diplomat Jeroen Zandberg attended the event and had the opportunity to speak to several attendees, including the president of Liberland. There are many lessons to be learned from successful State building initiatives and the president has followed the growth of Liberland and incorporated some of their successful advocacy work into the Republic of Chameria strategy for greater freedom and recognition.

The Republic of Chameria was established in October 2016 and its presence in the international system has since expanded rapidly to the point that in 2019 the diplomatic services of the Republic of Chameria are expected to enter a new phase with possible recognition from many international entities. This work is supported by an increasingly professionalised governmental structure which allows the Republic of Chameria president to keep in touch with all the citizens and collectivelywork towards the common goal of a free and prosperous Chameria.

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