Welcome to Verdis, the 'sovereign state' on Croatia and Serbia's disputed border

Daniel Jackson never set out to run a country.

But a chance research session with friends set him on a journey of epic proportions.

The group had been reading into the Croatia-Serbia border dispute, a disagreement that led to ‘pockets’ left up and down the Danube River.

Daniel decided to explore the possibilities of land ownership in the region, with the end goal of doing ‘something positive but unique in the word’.

He soon found an ‘unclaimed’ strip of land and christened it the Free Republic of Verdis – Verdis for short – on May 30, 2019.

On some maps, especially local ones, the territory is known as Pocket-3 of the Croatia-Serbia border dispute.

Daniel describes the land as a sovereign state.

The 18-year-old holds the position of interim president within the Verdis Government, which even has its own website.

He told Metro.co.uk: ‘It may seem completely insane to some people, but in the past year we’ve made some real amazing process.

‘We’ve had applications [to become citizens] from lots of people in the UK, and from across Europe.

‘Some people have been slightly suspicious, or just curious to begin with, but overall the reception has been really good.’

Daniel says he is able to own the territory as neither Croatia or Serbia claimed it – as they wanted larger pockets on the opposite side of the Danube river.

He said: ‘This allowed Verdis to claim the land and be rightful to it under international law – terra nullius – as the first claimant in over 25 years.’

The 18-year-old has spent the last two years building up the reputation of Verdis and says he now has support from locals in nearby towns such as Aljmaš.

Daniel, who lives in Dover, has taken several trips to see Verdis, making sure to keep an eye out for any mines or unexploded ordinance left behind from the Yugoslav wars.

He travels by boat to reach the land, which is currently without inhabitants or infrastructure.

When including waters, Verdis’ size reaches 0.501km2, making it slightly larger than Vatican City.

Daniel, and the Government of the Free Republic of Verdis, plans to build ‘once enough funding, international recognition, and planning have been reached.’

He added: ‘Some of our major milestones and achievements have been increasing contact with the international community, building a fully functional government, the ability to make frequent trips to the land claim, and further success in the reconciliation of ethnic groups near the region due to tensions from the former Yugoslav wars.

‘Some of our long-term goals are to place permanent settlers on the land claim – which we are quite close to doing.

The website states: ‘Due to the number of applicants, we charge a small processing fee to upkeep our systems.

‘All proceeds go into the Verdisian Government to help build the nation.’

The 18-year-old, who is originally from Melbourne, has encouraged anyone interested in Verdis to consider joining or getting in touch if they can make a difference to the future of the pocket of land.

For more information go to https://verdisgov.org

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].

For more stories like this, check our news page.

Source: Read Full Article