Gotzborg closes latest chapter

LONENBERG – More than seven years after it returned from a three-year hiatus, Gotzborg will again enter an official, indefinite, period of dormancy.

One of Micras’ older micronations, Gotzborg had a history of spurts of activity – first, from its founding in March 2004 until April 2007, when it went on hiatus, and then from 2010 to 2013, upon its return. Since 2013, Gotzborg’s activity waned to the minimal levels it sees today, consisting of at-most a few largely administrative-related forum posts each month.

That lack of cultural and government development and ideas is largely a consequence of the micronation’s demographics. When Gotzborg was first active from 2004 to 2007, its citizens were mostly in university. Those who returned post-hiatus had long since graduated and embarked on their careers, limiting their participation further. The key leaders in recent years – Sinclair and August Charles II, Gotzborg’s founder and king – have also become increasingly busy with their macronational commitments.

To that end, both decided that the upcoming expiration of Gotzborg’s web hosting package was a natural end point for the micronation. While a return in the future is not impossible, no such eventuality is openly expected.

The micronation’s Micras territory, which largely encompasses its constituent realm of Victoria, is planned to be transferred for safekeeping to Stormark, which already protects other Victorian historical entities. Stormark will remain the protector of Gotzborg’s Micras territory until any return to activity.

Work to secure Gotzborg’s archives and facilitate the Micras territory transfer will continue between now and when the web hosting package expires in mid-December.

Editor’s Note: The Coprieta Standard was founded, and named after a city, in Gotzborg; however, it will continue to publish despite its home micronation being inactive, much as it did during Gotzborg’s first hiatus.

Micras activity at year-low

“So many <1 PPD nations …,” said Jezza Rasmus discouragingly in reply to the MCS’ thirty-eighth monthly forum check statistics released on March 1. And rightfully so, as the MCS reported that 16 of Micras’ 27 member micronations had yielded an average of less than one post-per-day on their national forums over the course of the month of February.

The benchmark of activity measures within the Micras community, the average PPD indicator has been central to the MCS’ management of the fictional world map project for much of its near sixteen-year history. At present, generally, a member micronation that fails to achieve a minimum of 10 posts per month (an average of 0.33 PPD) for three consecutive months may be declared inactive and unceremoniously have its territory reduced or otherwise be wholly removed from the Micras world map if it fails to receive any posts in that time frame.

Yet Rasmus’ discouragement may well be misplaced. While 16 of 27 micronations failing to achieve enough interest or participation to attain one PPD may be disappointing, this number has been fairly constant over the last year (see chart). This indicates that the phenomenon may not be as destabilizing to the community as one might think.

20160303-Chart-Micras-Activity

Of greater concern is the plunge in the average PPD across all Micras micronations that shows a steady decline in the overall activity of the community since March 2015. According to the thirty-eighth instalment of the forum check statistics, the community averaged a total of 66 PPD last month. That is in down from an average of 193 PPD a year earlier and the lowest of any month since.

The 66 PPD figure is expected to increase once the bastion of activity in the community, Stormark, reports its statistics; however, the figure nonetheless paints a dreary picture of activity in the community outside of Stormark’s borders.

Perhaps Rasmus’ discouragement, while statistically misplaced, is sadly warranted.

Hamland announces new government plan

NEW KIRRIE – As the micronation moves forward into an autumn lull in activity, the Hammish government has announced its policy programme for the next sitting of Parliament.

Preparations for the new sitting follow what the Prime Minister, Lord Lewis, described as a successful summer sitting, which saw parliamentarians adopt a major currency reform and make progress on the authoring of a new constitution for the micronation.

The legislative programme for the upcoming sitting will consist of five major undertakings, Lewis announced, which includes two measures to further build on the aforementioned constitutional and currency reforms. The government expects to complete the overhaul of the micronation’s constitution by mid-November, while it will also launch the local installation of the Micras-developed phpBank to facilitate trade under the new currency, the Zenar.

The government will undertake developments in an effort to build Hamland’s cultural heritage, specifically by expanding the local constructed language while advancing religious diversity.

The programme will also see a renewed vigor in foreign relations between Hamland and its prominent allies, Passio-Corum and Alexandria. “I do not want to see [our relations] waste or wither,” said Lewis. “We must do our best to strengthen what good friendships we have.”

The final plank of the programme will be the creation of a comprehensive law book in order to create a “thriving legislated state”.

“As always with politics, we must turn the page … Growth and activity cannot be sustained upon good, or bad, feeligns but only on a vision to improve what is there already,” Lewis said in reflecting on the programme.

MCS objects to Hammish gripe

HUB.MN – In joining Alexandria’s objection to two appointments to the MCS Administrative Council made last month, Hamland has raised the ire of the organization’s Administrator General.

The June 3rd appointments of Jack Lewis and Jezza Rasmus to the Council as a Junior Councillor and Senior Councillor, respectively, was perceived by some to be an unfair increase in representation from the Bastion Union sector of the Micras community.

With Stormark’s candidate for the Council, Sigrdrifa, having lost out to Lewis and Rasmus during voting, the Stormark-bloc of micronations, consisting also of Alexandria and Hamland, immediately perceived a pro-Bastion Union bias in the process. Alexandria subsequently lodged a formal protest to the appointments after a June 21st decision of its parliament to support such a measure.

Hamland followed Alexandria with the tabling of a motion in its parliament to voice no-confidence in the new appointees to the Council that was passed unanimously and filed with the Council yesterday. The author of the Hammish motion, Donat Ravaillac, suggested in it that the appointments represented the “severe compromising of the organization’s impartiality,” while encouraging a more balanced representation between Bastion Union and non-Bastion Union micronations on the Council.

The MCS Administrator General, Craitman Pellegrino, took exception to the accusation of bias within the Council in favour of the Bastion Union. “I would personally say that one full Council member has a particular association with the Bastion, alongside our junior member; so 2/6,” he argued, noting that the total representation on the Council by Bastion Union micronationalists has consistently hovered around two individuals.

Pellegrino concluded his remarks by alluding to a political, as opposed to factual, motivation for the Alexandrian and Hammish objections. He noted, in a dry sarcasm, that if the representation of any one community within the Council was such a serious matter, there has yet to be any concerns voiced to half of the current Council being from the MicroWiki Community.

Tapfer powers enter into regional pact

THALASSA (CS) – A treaty concerning geographical boundaries, trade, airspace, and a continental highway system has been entered into by the four micronations spread across the Micras continent of Tapfer.

The Tapfer Continental Organization and Standardization Treaty will further define the “in-simulation” characteristics of the continent located on the Simulationist Micras. The agreement entered into force yesterday as the representatives of the four micronations of Alexandria, Jingdao, Natopia and Stormark affixed their signatures to the comprehensive text.

The agreement commits each micronation to respect its neighbours’ sovereignty and territorial boundaries, including airspace up to 100 km above, while requiring each to exploit natural resources within its boundaries in an environmentally conscious manner.
TapferHighwaySystem
A quasi-free trade clause within the treaty will ensure that burdensome tariffs will not be levied on goods; however, the clause has been limited to only goods produced on Tapfer and exported within the territory held by each micronation on that continent. It is yet to be seen whether the clause, in practice, serves to create confusion or inefficiencies through duality of tariff systems in those micronations that have their primary manufacturing centres based elsewhere on Micras, such as Alexandria and Stormark.

The most significant, and costly, provision of the treaty is the creation of the Tapfer Highway System across the continent (pictured). The extensive freeway-type transportation network would allow residents to travel across the continent with minimal restriction, with border control points being limited to freeway exits rather than the routes themselves.

The Treaty is the first major regional diplomatic pact in Tapfer since the Novasolum Regional Micronational Community covered the continent from 2005 to 2007.

Stormark, Craitland conclude significant treaty

CHERRY TREES – Following a week of negotiation, the micronations of Stormark and Craitland have entered into a treaty that will define territorial rights on the Micras continent of Lyrica.

Largely dominated by Stormark, the continent is also home to a small overseas territory of Craitland known as Lakkvia, which shares the lakes of Arquous and Dawnuck with its Storish neighbours. Those lakes, in Stormark’s mythology and history, are considered to be the “Sacred Lakes of Hurmu”, referring to a prominent historic micronation of the Micras Sector that, since its dissolution, has turned into a cultural sect, primarily within Stormark.

The pilgrimage rights of members of this cultural sect largely motivated the treaty negotiations, which focused on territorial boundaries. Under the terms of The Lake District Treaty, as it has been styled by the signatories, both Stormark and Craitland will share sovereignty of the lakes, with specific border delineations agreed upon, and members of each’s Hurmudaic communities will have unfettered right to cross international borders for pilgrimages to various locations on the lakeshores.

In addition, the treaty has enshrined the maritime boundaries of each micronation in accordance with the Micras Treaty Organization’s Conference on the Laws of the Seas, ensuring Lakkvia’s sovereign access to international waters.

2014 FNORD Award recipients announced

HUB.MN –- Following a week of sequestering, the judging panel for the 2014 FNORD Awards have announced the winners from across the Micras community.

In the three-way race for the community’s most prestigious award, the Odlum Award for Overall Achievement, Harald Thorstein edged out fellow nominees Edgard Carrillo and Jezza Rasmus, joining the group of a dozen previous recipients of the award.

Thorstein’s micronation of Stormark also jointly received the Beard Award for Conflict Resolution, along with Natopia, for their role in convening the ongoing Tapfer Conference that seeks to define a new relationship between the two micronations, as well as the Empire of the Alexandrians, all of whom hold territory on that continent of Micras.

The Coprieta Standard was also honoured with the Iain Jacobson Award for Micronational Journalism, marking the third consecutive year that it has received that Award. The Standard faced stiff competition this year with the upstart Micras Observer having garnered much attention and praise for its unique editorial content.

The awards for Best New Idea and Most Promising New Micronation were not named this year, as the judging panel was unable to come to a consensus on the nominees in each category.

This also marked the first year that a historic award was renamed, with the Tony Au Award for Economics, named for the Micras’ community’s founding economist, being renamed in honour of its most recent prodigy in the field, Andreas the Wise.

The full list of this year’s recipients is as follows:

The Shane Odlum Award for Overall Achievement Harald Thorstein
The Liam conToketi Award for Most Promising New Micronationalist James Knight
The Iain Jacobson Award for Journalism The Coprieta Standard
The Erik Mortis Award for Leadership Nathan Waffel-Paine
The Jeremy Bellamy Award for Literature Shyriath Bukolos
The Bill Dusch Award for Cultural Development The Apollonian Confederation
The Charles Beard Award for Conflict Resolution The Governments of Natopia and Stormark
The Rebecca Panks Award for the Graphic Artz Bjorn Olsen
The RIMA Award For Micronational History Krasniy Yastreb
The Craitman Pellegrino Award for Sport Barnaby Hands
The Andreas the Wise Award for Economics Pallisico Sinclair
'Tis But a Flesh Wound Award for Refusing to Give Up in the Face of Failure Ryker Everstone