By Noël Mélet, French Honorary Consul of the Free Republic of Liberland
In 2015, on April 15th, I came across an article about this new European country… And just like a kid, on April 17th, four days after its creation, I started a Facebook page named “Liberland – French Section”… This page quickly became viral, and fans and candidates asked a thousand questions on this hours-old nation.
The following week, just like dozens of people before me, I applied for citizenship on Liberland.org.
As far as I know, our page is the oldest Facebook page about Liberland in the world. From this starting point, things escalated quickly: in May, Pierre-Louis Boitel, who was appointed as the French ambassador, contacted me to join the embassy.
In 2018, on may 23th, Pierre-Louis created the page “Ambassade de la République Libre du Liberland en France” (Liberland’s French Embassy), and asked me to manage it.
The workload is abundant, and Pierre-Louis Boitel, spontaneously contacted by many candidates, built up a bigger team: Pierre Estienne as an interpreter, Jean-Louis Guenego as the head of communications and press relations, Guillaume Peyroutou and Julien Malfroy as advisors and Fabrice Réaux as a photographer.
Since May 2015, I have served as the honorary consul of France. Soon, letters of courtesy were sent to the ambassadors of the biggest countries in Paris… the responses were sparse; we weren’t expecting diplomacy to be an easy task.
In June, Pierre-Louis Boitel told us about his intent of inviting president Vít Jedlička at the first official Liberland event in France. A formidable challenge, that became a total success, thanks to the hard work of our team and the support of the french Parti Libéral Démocrate, who welcomed us as their annual convention.
Soon after that, many journalists from the major French media contacted us for an interview with our President.
New positions for some of our members, professional obligations for some others, Pierre-Louis Boitel was appointed to become one of the two Vice Presidents of Liberland, and the French ambassador became Guillaume Peyroutou, who had to leave the position for personal reasons.
Since then, the French diplomatic mission has been working daily to manage the Facebook pages, the French forum on Liberland.org, and answer emails from the hundreds of applicants contacting us every day.
In 2017, on March 25th, we organized another visit of President Vít Jedlička in Paris — a complete success once again, with applicants who found the evolution of Liberland very interesting.
Diplomatic affairs were gradually developed, depending on events and necessities.
Many letters were sent to ambassadors in Paris, to congratulate them during national events of their respective countries, or in particular circumstances such as birthdays of politicians, presidential elections, and sometimes, alas, when catastrophies happened. The lack of reaction on their side doesn’t discourage us, as we know that sometimes, diplomacy takes time (in French: “laisser le temps au temps”, or, litteraly “give time some time”)
Today, the French diplomatic mission chose to help its Italian friends and colleagues in the organization of the first official visit of president Vít Jedlička in Rome, on the 25th of November 2018. For several months, we have been in a friendly relationship with leaders of a member of the UNPO. Negotiations are in progress, to settle our relationship with a treaty of friendship, during this presidential visit in Italy.
For us libertarians, Frédéric Bastiat, a French economist who lived during the 19th century, remains an iconic figure of the classical liberal economical politics. Thus, we deemed important to deposit a wreath of flowers on his tomb during the upcoming presidential visit. A few days after this ceremony, our french diplomatic mission will also organize an event where our french supporters will pay their respects in front of Bastiat’s statue in Mugron, and in front of the house in which he spent his whole professional life, before dying in Rome in 1850.
Several other projects will happen in 2019. Gauthier Lamothe, recently appointed as the Director of Communications for Liberland, is also preparing events in France in association with our diplomatic mission.
Dear fellow Liberlanders and supporters, what seemed to be a dream is getting every day closer to reality. With more than 600,00 aspiring citizens, Liberland is building very strong roots. Patience has to stay the keyword for those who aspired to become citizens. In every circumstance, keep our motto in mind: live and let live.