Liberland is Looking for National Status

Jacob Bryant, Staff Writer

Officially known as the Free Republic of Liberland, a new “nation” with some unique circumstances has been making recent headlines.

Liberland could soon become the world’s newest and third-smallest nation. Liberland is a self-proclaimed sovereign micro-state located between the borders of Croatia and Serbia.

In April of 2015 Czech Libertarian Vit Jedlicka visited the territory, planting a flag and declaring himself president.

Some have called Jedlicka’s actions a publicity stunt, although he insists his intentions are legitimate.

Jedlicka was banned from entering Liberland earlier this year. The Croatian government has restricted all public access to the region, and on his last attempt Liberland’s would-be president had to be removed from the land.

It is located alongside the Danube river, an international waterway providing access to the Black Sea for many landlocked nations.  The Danube river separates Croatia and Serbia; Liberland is on the water.  The micro nation is approximately 7 square kilometers, or 2.7 sq miles and is comprised mostly of forest and swampland.

During a border dispute between Croatia and Serbia, a small area of marshland was left unclaimed.  The land technically falls under the jurisdiction of terra nullius,  legally making it belong to no country.

After the Yugoslav civil war in the 1990s, territories were redrawn between the nations. it was originally part of Serbia, but it fell under jurisdiction of Croatia;  however, Croatia didn’t want the land because accepting it would result in the loss of more valuable regions

Since its introduction, over 500,000 individuals have applied for citizenship into the nation.  Nearly 500 more apply every day.

If it were to be recognized as a legitimate nation, Liberland would become the world’s third smallest sovereign state, following Vatican City and Monaco.

Among other things, the nation boasts a voluntary tax system, in which citizens would not be legally obligated to pay government taxes.  Additional ideals include an absence of gun control and a virtual, bitcoin based economic system.

The nation’s fundamental principles are libertarian in nature.  It would be a land with no compulsory taxes, no gun control, with the virtual “Bitcoin” as currency.

The future of Liberland is an uncertain one.  It has enough influential supporters to cause a significant impact, although many seem to regard the rising nation with a sense of disbelief.  An entirely libertarian state with a non-material economy is a new concept to many.  Regardless of Liberland’s fate (with both the UN and its bordering countries), its journey is certainly far from over.