MicroCon EU 2023

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Group photo from MicroCon EU 2023

MicroCon EU 2023 was the first European iteration of MicroCon, the premiere intermicronational diplomatic event held biennially in North America. The conference was located in Ypres, Belgium from 11 - 13 August 2023. It was jointly hosted by the Royal Republic of Ladonia and the Grand Duchy of Flandrensis. It was a companion event to MicroCon 2023, which had taken place in early July in Joliet, Illinois.

The conference was attended by 66 people representing 23 micronations along with members of the press and academic institutions.


Evening drinks at the Brasserie Kazematten

When presenting her pitch to host MicroCon 2023, Queen Carolyn of Ladonia included the idea of jointly hosting a companion event in Europe. It was thought that the MicroCon brand, having become globally recognized as the premiere intermicronational event, would be a good addition to the numerous smaller European micronational meetups already occurring each year. The plan was approved and preparations moved forward.

The primary organizers of the conference were Grand Duke Nicholas of Flandrensis and the Ladonian Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Yvan Bertjens. Both Nicholas and Yvan are based in Belgium, thus making it easy to facilitate planning and execution of the event.

On 27 September 2022, Emperor Andrew of the Empire of Stomaria released a video criticizing the attendees of MicroCon and stating he had no intention of attending MicroCon EU because it's beneath his dignity. His statement was universally condemned by the micronational community and met with widespread ridicule and mockery.

Pre-conference gatherings

On the afternoon of 11 August 2023, delegations began arriving in Ypres. Many delegates met informally at the restaurants in the city square to enjoy a meal and discuss matters of micronational importance. It was also an ideal time to visit the tourist attractions around the city, such as Saint Martin's Cathedral, Ypres City Hall, and the city walls, which date to the reign of King Louis XIV of France.

At 7:30pm, delegates gathered at the Menin Gate, a large triumphal arch in the city's center, to watch the somber Last Post ceremony. This military taps in remembrance of fallen soldiers has been performed by the city of Ypres every day since 1928 with only a brief break during World War II.

After the Last Post ceremony had ended, approximately 30 delegates met at the Brasserie Kazematten (Casement Restaurant) located inside the subterranean casements of the city walls. This unique eatery featured a wooden dining table long enough to accommodate the entire party in one sitting place. The most popular beverage of the evening was Kriek Max, a lambic-style cherry beer. Because the drinking age in Belgium is only 16 years, even the younger delegates were able to enjoy the distinctive taste of this Belgian drink.

With their early morning wake-up call in mind, the delegates departed for the evening to their hotels at around 11:30pm.

Conference events

Grand Duke Nicholas and Yvan Bertjens presenting

The main conference occurred at Domein De Lissewal in the city center of Ypres from 9:00am - 5:30pm.

Display tables showing artifacts and information about the attending micronations were set up by attendees on the first floor of the venue. They were left in place for the entire duration of the conference and could be viewed by anyone who showed interest in learning more about micronations or alternative states.

On the second floor, a large meeting area served as the primary stage for the presentations. Thirteen presentations of approximately 30 minutes each were given by the delegates. Often, the speakers worked in pairs, each providing a 15-minute segment on a specific topic. Coffee and refreshment breaks were provided at regular intervals to allow for socializing during the information sessions.

Academics Ffion McEvoy of Sweden and Dr. Sandra Petermann of Germany presented dissertations they had written concerning the phenomena of micronations. Dr. Petermann had previously attended MicroCon 2017 in Atlanta, and was well-acquainted with the delegates and their activities.

Conference topics

Nation Presentation Title Presenter
link={{{2}}} Ladonia
link={{{2}}} Duckionary
How to manage a micronation? Yvan Bertjens
Archduke Arthur
link={{{2}}} Grand Duchy of Flandrensis
link={{{2}}} Empire of Angyalistan
Risks and impact of micronationalism on your personal life. Grand Duke Nicholas of Flandrensis
Emperor Olivier of Angyalistan
link={{{2}}} Newgraviate of Saint-Castin
link={{{2}}} Ladonia
Foreign affairs: different approaches in the micronational community. Dominic Desaintes-Bellemare
Yvan Bertjens
link={{{2}}} Principality of Hélianthis How to use micronationalism to promote local heritage and history. Vincent Merchadou
link={{{2}}} University of Mälmo (Sweden) ‘Creating a Country to Save the Planet’: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Environmental Micronations Ffion McEvoy
link={{{2}}} Aigues-Mortes How to finance my micronation? Prince Jean-Pierre
link={{{2}}} Glamorgannwg Blockchain & technology in micronationalism Lloyd Bryant
link={{{2}}} Republic of Molossia Having a relationship with a micronationalist: a guide for a healthy relationship. Adrianne Baugh
link={{{2}}} Republic of Molossia
link={{{2}}} Westarctica
Experience with journalism and press. President Kevin Baugh
Grand Duke Travis
link={{{2}}} Principality of Lorenzburg
link={{{2}}} Republic of Slowjamastan
World building strategies to create a micronational brand. Frei von Fräähsen zu Lorenzburg
Sultan Randy Williams
link={{{2}}} Grand Duchy of Flandrensis Privacy and citizenship: how to get your micronation GDPR-compliance? Grand Duke Nicholas of Flandrensis
link={{{2}}} University of Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz (Germany) The relevance of micronationalism. Dr. Sandra Petermann
link={{{2}}} Republic of Molossia How to avoid a micronational burn-out? President Kevin Baugh

Diplomatic reception

After the information sessions were completed, the delegates took a brief break and returned to the first floor for the diplomatic reception. During this time, they exchanged awards and signed treaties with one another.

Prince Jean-Pierre of Aigues-Mortes was also inducted into the Micronational Hall of Excellence since he was not present in Joliet, Illinois when the 2023 group of inductees received their awards.

The reception lasted for one hour before transitioning into the evening dinner.

Formal dinner

Attendees at the formal dinner

A formal dinner capped off the day's activities. Attendees were seated amidst formal place settings and enjoyed a three course meal that included white and red wines from Belgium. Dinner lasted until approximately 11:00pm, when most delegates departed to their hotels for the evening. A hearty few who still had energy visited a fun fair underway in the city square and enjoyed a few drinks before retiring.

The menu consisted of:

  • Appetizer: Shrimp croquette
  • Main Course: Beef stew (stoofvlees) with salad and fries
  • Dessert: Vanilla ice cream and fruit topped with red fruit coulis

Post-conference events

The following day, a number of delegates joined an organized tour of landmarks around Ypres. These locations included the site of the Battle of Passchendaele.

A few micronationalists then enjoyed one last meal in the city square before closing out the conference.

Attending nations

Grand Duke Niels and Grand Duke Travis

Attending organizations

  • University of Mainz
  • Malmö University
  • MicroWiki
  • Microfrancophonie
  • Microcosme.info

External links