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.
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.
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.
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.
|How to manage a micronation?||Yvan Bertjens|
| Grand Duchy of Flandrensis
Empire of Angyalistan
|Risks and impact of micronationalism on your personal life.||Grand Duke Nicholas of Flandrensis|
Emperor Olivier of Angyalistan
| Newgraviate of Saint-Castin
|Foreign affairs: different approaches in the micronational community.||Dominic Desaintes-Bellemare|
|Principality of Hélianthis||How to use micronationalism to promote local heritage and history.||Vincent Merchadou|
|University of Mälmo (Sweden)||‘Creating a Country to Save the Planet’: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Environmental Micronations||Ffion McEvoy|
|Aigues-Mortes||How to finance my micronation?||Prince Jean-Pierre|
|Glamorgannwg||Blockchain & technology in micronationalism||Lloyd Bryant|
|Republic of Molossia||Having a relationship with a micronationalist: a guide for a healthy relationship.||Adrianne Baugh|
| Republic of Molossia
|Experience with journalism and press.||President Kevin Baugh|
Grand Duke Travis
| Principality of Lorenzburg
Republic of Slowjamastan
|World building strategies to create a micronational brand.||Frei von Fräähsen zu Lorenzburg|
Sultan Randy Williams
|Grand Duchy of Flandrensis||Privacy and citizenship: how to get your micronation GDPR-compliance?||Grand Duke Nicholas of Flandrensis|
|University of Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz (Germany)||The relevance of micronationalism.||Dr. Sandra Petermann|
|Republic of Molossia||How to avoid a micronational burn-out?||President Kevin Baugh|
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.
The reception lasted for one hour before transitioning into the evening 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
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.
- Grand Duchy of Flandrensis (co-host)
- Royal Republic of Ladonia (co-host)
- Principality of Aigues-Mortes
- Empire of Angyalistan
- Parliamentary Monarchy of Duckionary
- Glamorgannwg Indigenous People
- Principality of Hélianthis
- Isle of Lithua
- Principality of Lorenzburg
- Republic of Molossia
- United Republic of Obscurium
- Newgraviate of Saint-Castin
- Republic of Slowjamastan
- People's Revolutionary Republic of Yusienia
- Grand Republic of Cycoldia
- Republic of the Coruscant
- Democratic Republic of Satoshi
- Republic of Pleiso
- Republic of Fulldova
- Principality of Deux-Acren
- Kingdom of Lytera
- Empire of Onyonia
- University of Mainz
- Malmö University