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The European microstates
European microstates
or European ministates are a set of very small sovereign states in Europe. Andorra, Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, San Marino, and the Vatican City
Vatican City
are usually included,[1] and are the six smallest states in Europe
Europe
by area. Four of these states are monarchies (three principalities—Andorra, Liechtenstein, and Monaco—and one papacy, the Vatican City), with all these states tracing their status back to the first millennium or the early second millennium, except for Liechtenstein, created in the 17th century. Microstates are small independent states recognized by larger states, unlike micronations, which are only self-declared and not recognized. According to the qualitative definition suggested by Dumienski (2014), microstates can also be viewed as "modern protected states, i.e. sovereign states that have been able to unilaterally depute certain attributes of sovereignty to larger powers in exchange for benign protection of their political and economic viability against their geographic or demographic constraints."[2] In line with this definition, only Andorra, Liechtenstein, San Marino, and Monaco qualify as "microstates" as only these states are sovereignties functioning in close, but voluntary, association with their respective larger neighbour(s). Luxembourg, which is significantly larger than the European microstates, nonetheless also shares some of these characteristics.[3] Some scholars dispute the status of Vatican City
Vatican City
as a state, arguing that it does not meet the "traditional criteria of statehood" and that the "special status of the Vatican City
Vatican City
is probably best regarded as a means of ensuring that the Pope
Pope
can freely exercise his spiritual functions, and in this respect is loosely analogous to that of the headquarters of international organisations."[4]

Contents

1 List of states often labelled as microstates 2 Economic policies and relationship with the European Union 3 Similar entities

3.1 Dependencies 3.2 Sovereign Military Order of Malta

4 Historical small territories 5 Popular culture and sports 6 See also 7 References 8 External links

List of states often labelled as microstates[edit]

Arms Flag Microstate Capital city Area (km²/sqmi) Notes

Andorra – Principality
Principality
of Andorra Andorra
Andorra
la Vella 468 km2 (181 sq mi) The Principality
Principality
of Andorra
Andorra
used to be a feudal remnant high in the Pyrenees, a fiefdom held jointly by the Bishop of Urgell
Bishop of Urgell
in Spain
Spain
and the Count of Foix
Count of Foix
in France, with a population of approximately 89,000. The County of Foix merged into the French Crown in 1607 and thus the King of France
France
and then the President of France
France
took the place of the Count of Foix. Since 1993 Andorra
Andorra
has been a parliamentary democracy, but it maintains two Co-Princes, one being France's elected head of state and the other being the Bishop of Urgell. It has been independent since 1278. Catalan is its official language.

Liechtenstein – Principality
Principality
of Liechtenstein Vaduz 160 km2 (62 sq mi) The Principality
Principality
of Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
is the sole remaining polity of the Holy Roman Empire, having been created out of the counties of Vaduz and Schellenberg
Schellenberg
in 1719 as a sovereign fief for the wealthy Austrian House of Liechtenstein. Its population is over 35,000. Owing to its geographic position between Switzerland
Switzerland
and Austria, it was not swallowed up during the reorganisation of Germany
Germany
following the French Revolution, and avoided incorporation into the German Empire
German Empire
later in the 19th century.

Monaco – Principality
Principality
of Monaco Monaco-Ville 2.02 km2 (0.78 sq mi) The Principality
Principality
of Monaco
Monaco
on the French Riviera, ruled by the House of Grimaldi since the 13th century, achieved full independence only following the cession of the surrounding Nice region from Piedmont to France
France
in 1860. Monaco
Monaco
is located on the Mediterranean Sea, tucked into the Maritime Alps and has a population of around 35,000. Its constitutional monarchy is led by Prince Albert II. The population is 95% Roman Catholic. French, English, Italian, and Monégasque are the most widely spoken languages. Its economy is based on light manufacturing, banking and financial services, shipping and trade, R&D in biotechnology, marine environments, and tourism.

San Marino – The Most Serene Republic
Republic
of San Marino San Marino 61 km2 (24 sq mi) The Republic
Republic
of San Marino,[5] also known as the Most Serene Republic of San Marino,[5] is the oldest surviving sovereign state and constitutional republic in the world. It is the continuation of a monastic community founded in 301 A.D. and is the last survivor of a large number of self-governing Italian communes from the Middle Ages, having survived the consolidation of Italy
Italy
into medium-sized territorial states in the 15th century and the unification of Italy
Italy
in the 19th century, largely owing to its remote location in a valley of the Apennines and its decision to offer sanctuary to leaders of the unification movement. It has a population of approximately 30,000.

Malta – Republic
Republic
of Malta Valletta 316 km2 (122 sq mi) The Republic
Republic
of Malta
Malta
is an archipelago of seven islands in the central Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
and has a population of around 446,000 (2013 estimate),[6] meaning it has a larger population than several non-microstates, notably Iceland
Iceland
which has a population of around 325,000 (2014 estimate).[7] People first arrived on Malta
Malta
about 5200 BC from the nearby island of Sicily. It gained independence from the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
in 1964. Malta
Malta
is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations and a full member of the European Union. Roman Catholicism
Roman Catholicism
is the official state religion of Malta.

Vatican City – Vatican City
Vatican City
State Vatican City 0.44 km2 (0.17 sq mi) The State of the Vatican City
Vatican City
is the last remnant of the former Papal States, the lands in central Italy
Italy
ruled directly by the Pope. After the unification of Italy
Italy
in the 19th century the Papal States
Papal States
had become formally part of the Kingdom of Italy, but the Vatican disputed this claim of geographic authority, and the Papacy continued to exercise de facto political control over an area around St Peter's Basilica[citation needed] in Rome. A sovereign Vatican state was later established by the Lateran Treaty
Lateran Treaty
of 1929 between the Pope
Pope
and the government of Benito Mussolini, in which the Pope
Pope
recognised the Italian state in exchange for establishing Roman Catholicism
Roman Catholicism
as the state religion, and recognition of the Pope's sovereignty over a tiny state located entirely within the city of Rome. Its population is between 600 and 700. The Holy See
Holy See
is a unique sovereign entity under international law distinct from Vatican City
Vatican City
with the pope as the head of both, maintaining diplomatic and official relations with over 170 states and entities and participating in various international organizations either in its own capacity or on behalf of Vatican City.

Economic policies and relationship with the European Union[edit] Main article: Microstates and the European Union The European microstates
European microstates
are all of limited size and population, and have limited natural resources. As a result, they have adopted special economic policies, typically involving low levels of taxation and few restrictions on external financial investment. Malta
Malta
is a full member of the European Union, while the other five European microstates
European microstates
have obtained special relations with the European Union. Many of the microstates have also entered into a customs union with their larger neighbours to improve their economic situation ( Vatican City
Vatican City
and San Marino with Italy, Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
with Switzerland, Monaco
Monaco
with France). Most of them lack clearly marked borders; for example, Monaco forms a continuous metropolitan area with its neighboring French communes (the largest being Beausoleil) and has many streets running across or even along the border. Similar entities[edit] Dependencies[edit] While the microstates have sovereignty over their own territory, there are also a number of small autonomous territories, which despite having (in almost all cases) their own independent government, executive branch, legislature, judiciary, police, and other trappings of independence, are nonetheless under the sovereignty of another state or monarch.

Akrotiri and Dhekelia
Akrotiri and Dhekelia
(British overseas territory, United Kingdom) Åland Islands
Åland Islands
(External territory, Finland) Faroe Islands
Faroe Islands
(External territory, Denmark) Gibraltar
Gibraltar
(British overseas territory, United Kingdom) Guernsey
Guernsey
(British Crown dependency), one of the Channel Islands
Channel Islands
and including Alderney, Herm
Herm
and Sark Isle of Man
Isle of Man
(British Crown dependency) Jersey
Jersey
(British Crown dependency), one of the Channel Islands Mount Athos
Mount Athos
(autonomous monastic state, Greece)

Sovereign Military Order of Malta[edit]

Flag
Flag
of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta

The Sovereign Military Order of Malta
Malta
is a Catholic lay order that is a traditional example of a sovereign entity under international law other than a state. Unlike the Holy See, which is sovereign over the Vatican City, the Order has no territory. However, its headquarters, located in Palazzo Malta
Malta
and Villa Malta, are granted extraterritoriality by Italy, and the same status is recognized by Malta
Malta
to its historical headquarters, located in Fort St Angelo.[8] The Order is the direct successor to the medieval Knights Hospitaller, also known as the Knights of Malta, and today operates as a largely charitable and ceremonial organization. It has permanent observer status at the United Nations
United Nations
and has full diplomatic relations, including embassies, with 100 states[9] and it is in more informal relationships with five others. It issues its own stamps, coins, passports, and license plates, and has its own army medical corps.. Historical small territories[edit] The wars of the French Revolution
French Revolution
and the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
caused the European map to be redrawn several times. A number of short-lived client republics were created, and the fall of the Holy Roman Empire gave sovereignty to each of its many surviving component states. The situation was not stabilized until after the Congress of Vienna
Congress of Vienna
in 1815. Following World War I
World War I
and World War II
World War II
a number of territories gained temporary status as international zones, protectorates or occupied territories. A few of them are mentioned here:

Historical small territories

Name Start date End date Modern-day state(s) Notes

Couto Misto 10th century 1868 Spain/Portugal Independent microstate on the border between Spain
Spain
and Portugal

Duchy of Naples 840 1137 Italy The Duchy survived the withdrawal of the Byzantine Empire and remained independent until subsumed by the Kingdom of Sicily
Sicily
in 1137

Republic
Republic
of Lucca 1160 1805 Italy The Republic
Republic
was absorbed into the Principality
Principality
of Lucca and Piombino (a client state of the First French Empire) between 1805 and 1815, and formed the independent Duchy of Lucca
Duchy of Lucca
between 1815–1847, as a consequence of the Congress of Vienna

County of Santa Fiora 1274 1633 Italy  

Senarica 14th century end of 18th century Italy Smallest independent state to hold that distinction for so long

Gersau 14th century 1798 Switzerland  

Republic
Republic
of Mulhouse (fr) 1347 1798 France  

Republic
Republic
of Ragusa 14th century 1808 Dubrovnik, Croatia  

Republic
Republic
of Cospaia 1440 1826 Italy Created after an error by Pope
Pope
Eugene IV during the sale of territory to the Republic
Republic
of Florence. A small strip of land went unmentioned in the sale treaty and its inhabitants promptly declared themselves independent.

Republic
Republic
of Saint-Malo 1590 1594 Ille-et-Vilaine, France  

Republic
Republic
of Paulava (lt) 1769 1795 Lithuania A completely independent republic founded by a Lithuanian noble Paweł Ksawery Brzostowski with its own President, parliament, laws and army. The state was recognized by the Grand Duke and King Stanisław August Poniatowski itself.[10][11]

Gozo 1798 1800 Gozo, Malta  

Free City of Kraków 1815 1846 Kraków
Kraków
Poland  

Free States of Menton
Menton
and Roquebrune 1848 1860 France  

Republic
Republic
of Krushevo 3 August 1903 13 August 1903 Municipality of Kruševo, Republic
Republic
of Macedonia  

Free State of Schwenten January 1919 August 1919 Świętno, Poland  

Free City of Danzig 1920 1939 Gdańsk, Poland  

Klaipeda Region
Klaipeda Region
or Memel Territory 1920 1923 Lithuania The territory was placed under French control under the Treaty of Versailles in 1920, but was occupied by Lithuania
Lithuania
in 1923 in the Klaipėda Revolt

Free State of Fiume 1920 1924 Rijeka, Croatia  

Saar (League of Nations mandate) 1920 1935 Saarland, Germany Following World War I, the Saar was a League of Nations mandate
League of Nations mandate
under French control, until a referendum in 1935 saw over 90% of voters opt to return to Germany.

Saar (protectorate) 1945 1956 Saarland, Germany Following World War II, France
France
governed the Saar directly as a protectorate, surrounded by France
France
proper to the west and the French Zone of Occupation of Germany
Germany
to the east.

Free Territory of Trieste 1947 1954 Divided between Italy, Slovenia
Slovenia
and Croatia Trieste had been occupied by Italy
Italy
following the end of World War I, and was notionally recreated as a Free Territory following the end of World War II, when it was divided between areas of Allied and Yugoslav control, formalised in 1954 with the Allied part being returned to Italy.

Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik
Republic
Republic
(1991) 1991 1991 Dubrovnik, Croatia  

Neutral Moresnet 1816 1920 Kelmis, Belgium Neutral Moresnet
Neutral Moresnet
was a condominium between the Netherlands
Netherlands
and Prussia over a disputed zinc mine.[12] 

Popular culture and sports[edit] A 1955 novel called The Mouse That Roared
The Mouse That Roared
by Irish-American
Irish-American
writer Leonard Wibberley
Leonard Wibberley
features an imaginary European microstate called the Duchy of Grand Fenwick. The novel was later adapted to a play and film. Some of the European microstates
European microstates
are members of the Games of the Small States of Europe
Europe
(GSSE); several of the island dependencies compete in the Island Games, alongside several other island dependencies from elsewhere in the world. Countries that participate at the Games of the Small States of Europe
Europe
are: Andorra, Cyprus, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro
Montenegro
and San Marino. See also[edit]

Europe
Europe
portal

Enclave and exclave Games of the Small States of Europe

References[edit]

^ Klieger, P. C. (2012). The Microstates of Europe: Designer Nations in a Post-Modern World. Lexington Books. ^ Dumienski, Zbigniew (2014). "Microstates as Modern Protected States: Towards a New Definition of Micro-Statehood" (PDF). Occasional Paper. Centre for Small State Studies. Retrieved 06.07.14.  Check date values in: access-date= (help) ^ Eccardt, Thomas M. (26 October 2017). "Secrets of the Seven Smallest States of Europe: Andorra, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City". Hippocrene Books – via Google Books.  ^ Mendelson, M., 1972. Diminutive States in the United Nations. The International and Comparative Law Quarterly, 21(4), pp.609–630. ^ a b "San Marino". Encyclopædia Britannica. 1 March 2011.  ^ "Estimated Population by Locality - 31st March, 2013" (PDF). Malta Government Gazette no. 19094. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 28 September 2014.  ^ "Key figures". Statistics Iceland. Retrieved 28 September 2014.  ^ "After Two Centuries, The Order Of Malta
Malta
Flag
Flag
Flies Over Fort St. Angelo, Beside The Maltese Flag » Sovereign Order Of Malta
Malta
- Official Site". Orderofmalta.int. Retrieved 2016-10-21.  ^ The Order's official website lists them in this table date=19 November 2016. ^ Grigaliūnaitė, Violeta. "Paulavos respublika: vieta, galėjusi tapti lietuviškuoju Monaku ar Lichtenšteinu". 15min.lt. Retrieved 2 June 2014.  ^ "Paulavos respublika. Kas tai? - Lankytina vieta Merkinėje". TuristoPasaulis.lt (in Lithuanian). 5 June 2014. Retrieved 6 January 2018.  ^ Dröge, Philip, Moresnet, Unieboek, Antwerp, Belgium, march 2016

External links[edit]

Article from The Economist, 24 December 2005, "Castles in the Air" GlobaLex, "The Micro-States and Small Jurisdictions of Europe"

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