An internationally recognized law known as “terra nullius” (no man’s land) declares that if no one states a claim on a land, then anyone is entitled to it as his or her own. This is how a Czech politician and activist by the name of Vít Jedlička founded Liberland.
The Free Republic of Liberland is a brand new country along the Danube River wedged between Croatia and Serbia. This plot of land is only 7 square kilometers and it went unclaimed after Yugoslavia was dissolved in the 1990s. After 24 years of being untaken, Jedlička planted a flag on the territory on April 13th 2015 and declared that the place was to be called Liberland— a free paradise in the heart of Eastern Europe.
Although Serbia seems to not have any reservations with the idea, Croatia has been less receptive. Those who try to gain access to Liberland are arrested and charged with trespassing — including Jedlička. But that small glitch hasn’t stopped him from pursuing recognition for his country.
One year after planting the flag and beginning the process of international recognition, the president and founding father called together a conference to mark the first anniversary of Liberland. But he was denied entry to Croatia and ended up having to address his people using an Internet connection. During his speech he congratulated them and called them brave for accepting to be part of a country that seeks to be the leader in the worldwide liberty movement.
Vit believes that in all honesty, countries are just a concept that’s made up. He sees no reason why there is so much hostility towards allowing people to travel freely to Liberland. The existence of this new country does not in any way affect Croatia, still it seems like some people in this neighboring country are determined to keep Liberland from functioning as independent and unrestricted.
Liberland is a place where people can be free of violence, coercion, excessive taxation, and regulation of their every move. It’s a true free state that seeks to empower people by bringing about change through education.
The concept seems to be attractive and catching on quickly. Almost 500,000 people have applied for citizenship on the Liberland website. Maybe it’s true that sometimes it’s much easier to start your own country than to change the one that you’re living in.