New Eiffel and the Grand Unified Micronational

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Left to right: logo of the GUM (during New Eiffel's membership) and the flag of New Eiffel

The Principality of New Eiffel, an erstwhile European micronation, was a full member state of the Grand Unified Micronational (GUM) between 21 May 2019 and the micronation's dissolution on 1 November 2020. New Eiffel was first accepted as a provisional member—a status before full membership—on 28 April, when the Quorum of Delegates convened. New Eiffel had first submitted an application for membership around 16 March. Zabëlle Skye served as the formal, principal delegate to the GUM for New Eiffel's entire membership, including during hiatuses, though New Eiffel had several secondary and tertiary delegates during various stages in its GUM membership. Janus Smith, the leader of New Eiffel's Yellow Party, and Anthony Dickson, an acquaintance of Skye, were the second and third longest-serving delegates respectively.

New Eiffel had been in attendance at 29 of 33 quorums (sessions)—giving a high attendance rate of 87.8 percent—though on occasion the delegate for New Eiffel had arrived late. Regarding projects within the GUM, New Eiffel was a signatory to the Edgbaston Convention and participated in the Sister Cities Program which twinned micronational cities; New Leeds, the largest and only-populated city of New Eiffel, and the capital, Új Repülő, participated. Both Skye and Dickson made an appearance at the fourth 24 Hour Quorum held between 1–2 May 2020. New Eiffel's GUM code was NEI.

Throughout New Eiffel's membership, Skye held several political offices and positions within GUM; between 11 January and 4 July 2020, he served as the Micronational Development Secretary; the acting Press Secretary between 1 February and 30 March; and a lobby moderator for the GUM's Discord server between 28 March and October 2020. In addition, Skye expressed interest in running for chair in the June 2020 election, however ran instead as the running mate of Jayden Lycon. Lycon lost to Newton von Uberquie with 4 votes against 26.

Historical context

Grand Unified Micronational

The Grand Unified Micronational (GUM) is an intermicronational organisation, regarded as the principal such organisation of the MicroWiki sector throughout much of its existence. It was founded on 5 January 2009 by Jacob Tierney of Scientopia who sought a merger between the Countries United in National Trade and Hontui Islands in Peace, the only two organisations in the MicroWiki community at the time. The GUM quickly superseded both organisations to become the largest and most influential intermicronational organisation in the sector, holding a hegemony over MicroWiki—particularly under the leadership of Robert Lethler of Erusia—between March 2009 and January 2010.

The GUM was then challenged and gradually weakened by competition from the newly-formed Organisation of Active Micronations (OAM) established on 30 October 2009, and on 30 July 2010, the GUM effectively collapsed after Lethler left the community following the revelation that Erusia was a fabrication. After a prolonged dormancy, the GUM was formally re-established on 14 August 2011 by the Troika, which saw the GUM's influence grow over 2012 and 2013 after the OAM had slowly declined before dissolving on 29 December 2011. By 2014, inactivity once again beset the GUM; on 14 June 2015, the organisation dissolved into a formal discussion venue.

The GUM was reformed back into an intermicronational organisation on 4 June 2016 to yet again become the principal organisation of the MicroWiki sector. However, activity levels dropped to an all time low by late 2017 during the Stagnant Era of MicroWiki, and concerns were voiced publicly about the future of the GUM as community members discussed ways to restore activity. A solution was met in November 2018 when the GUM transferred to instant messaging application Discord, which helped revitalise activity within the organisation. The move came after the establishment of MicroWiki@Discord on 17 September, which revived activity in the MicroWiki sector.

Principality of New Eiffel and arrival in the MicroWiki sector

Logo of the NEUM (prior to its name change), an intermicronational organisation founded by New Eiffel prior to its GUM membership

The Principality of New Eiffel, an erstwhile micronation landlocked within the United Kingdom, was preceded by two micronations founded by the creator of New Eiffel, Zabëlle Skye. The first, the Republic of New Finland, was established on 31 December 2017 in Pretoria, South Africa, and laid claim to British territory on 4 January 2018. The Republic was succeeded by the Kingdom of New Finland on 4 June, and eventually the Principality of New Eiffel—then New Temporary—on 11 August. The micronation was renamed to New Eiffel on 30 August. Skye discovered MicroWikia then MicroWiki during New Eiffel's creation and development in August, but only registered an account on MicroWiki on 27 September.

Skye later created the New Eiffel Union of Micronations (NEUM; later retitled the Organisation of Active Micronations) on 21 November, aiming a community of smaller and newer micronations. Gaining six members by the end of the month, it had greatly expanded New Eiffel's diplomatic outreach. The NEUM had reached eleven member states by December. Skye's first impression to the wider MicroWiki community, however, was one of ridicule. Skye engaged in online micronational warfare via MicroWiki talk pages with Aidan McGrath of the erstwhile Catholique Socialist Republic on 12 December. Following the end of the conflict on 15 December, Skye and McGrath continued to hold opposing views, though later the two regretted the conflict and formally established peace after New Eiffel joined the League of Nations on 16 January 2019—yet relations remained bitter.

Background and membership

McGrath, with whom Skye held bitter relations, voted against New Eiffel's membership application

The earliest reference made by Skye regarding the GUM is dated to 9 March 2019 in a message posted by him to MicroWiki@Discord, but it is likely that Skye knew about the GUM prior to this. Early messages by Skye seem to suggest that he believed the GUM to be a "YAMO", perhaps due to his allegiance to the NEUM. Nevertheless, Skye first sent—or considered sending—a membership application for New Eiffel to the GUM on 16 March, possibly upon the influence of Ashley Jaax of the Republic of Iustus. Skye later stated in a June 2019 MicroWiki@Discord message that "New Eiffel only submitted to join the GUM because everyone kept telling us [too]".

New Eiffel was first accepted as a provisional member—a status before full membership—on 28 April, with eight votes in support and none against or abstaining. During New Eiffel's membership vote, the Quorum of Delegates noted that Skye was ubiquitous on MicroWiki@Discord and prominent among newer micronationalists, but lamented that New Eiffel as a micronation was unprofessional and needed some time to further develop.

New Eiffel's application to full membership was discussed in the quorum held on 19 May. A provisional member, Skye was allowed to attend and engage with sessions but not directly vote. Representing New Eiffel during its membership considerations, Skye answered several questions raised by delegates. After being moved to voting, New Eiffel's membership application was approved with eight votes in support, one against and one abstaining. McGrath of the Kingdom of Quebec—a McGrathic state that succeeded the Catholique Socialist Republic—voted against, concerned about the veracity of New Eiffel School. Membership was formally granted on 21 May.

Dissolution

New Eiffel dissolved on 1 November 2020 following a political crisis that began in December 2019. The GUM officially recognised the micronation's dissolution on 4 November and formally voided its membership.

Delegation

Skye served as the principal delegate to the GUM for New Eiffel's entire membership, including during hiatuses. Emily Gréz, a fictional persona who ostensibly served as the Minister of Foreign Relations of New Eiffel, became the first secondary delegate in mid-March 2019. Janus Smith, leader of New Eiffel's Yellow Party, was delegated to the GUM on 18 July 2019, and Anthony Dickson, an acquaintance of Skye, was made a delegate on 1 August, replacing Gréz. Dickson would also later be appointed as a secondary delegate to the Cupertino Alliance on 8 March 2020, serving until New Eiffel's dissolution. Smith optionally stepped down from his GUM delegation on 10 September 2019 after allegations of unprofessionalism, during which time he perpetuated the "((((Joke))))" meme, but was re-delegated between 2 January and October 2020, but remained largely inactive. Both Janus and Dickson, who too became inactive during the later months of his delegation, were replaced by Leon Montan and Max Baez—New Eiffelic citizens—in October 2020, when Skye took a hiatus. Baez did not represent New Eiffel at any quorums by the time of New Eiffel's dissolution, while Björk represented New Eiffel once in the 4 October session.

Positions

During New Eiffel's membership, Skye held several political offices in the GUM. Between 11 January and 4 July 2020, he served as the Micronational Development Secretary, during which he formally "integrated" his Help Joining the GUM project, originally founded on 26 July 2019, into the GUM proper on 2 February, a measure which in effect consisted of recognition and endorsement from the parent organisation. The project was also renamed the Grand Unified Micronational Development Initiative.

Skye also served as acting Press Secretary between 1 February and 30 March while Emperor Adam I of Adammia focused on finishing his degree. In total, Skye wrote nine articles on the minutes of the quorum. Skye lastly served as a lobby moderator for the GUM's Discord server between 28 March and October 2020, when he stepped down to commence his hiatus. The reception to his role was mixed; Skye was initially praised for maintaining the GUM's professionalism—which was the position's intention—but later criticised for enforcing rules when unnecessary.

In addition, Skye expressed interest in running for chair in the June 2020 election, however ran instead as the running mate of Jayden Lycon. Lycon lost to Newton von Uberquie with 4 votes against 26. Skye would also later serve as the delegate for two other micronations—the Empire of Aenopia and the Kingdom of West Sayville—following New Eiffel's dissolution.

Sister Cities Program

New Leeds, the largest and only-populated city of New Eiffel, and the capital, Új Repülő, were entered into the Sister Cities Program created by Secretariat for Micronational Development Nicholas Randouler of the Principality of Posaf on 26 January 2020. New Leeds had three sister cities: New Aberdare in Aenopia, Danko House in the Commonwealth of Essexia and Presque in Misberia. Új Repülő had two sister cities: Wrythe, Empire of Austenasia and Granada Nicosi in the Millanic Confederation (Millania). The project greatly benefited New Eiffel's diplomatic relations with the micronations, particularly Essexia.

Edgbaston Convention

New Eiffel voted in favour of the Edgbaston Convention against misleading claims within micronationalism, and became a signatory of it on 28 June 2019. On 31 January 2020, the government purged seven inactive and uncontactable citizens, a motion which had been proposed since early January, in order to stay within the convention. In August, the government of New Eiffel made the decision to stop counting gross domestic product (GDP) all together per the convention, and the Council of New Leeds instead began requesting businesses to report only their total assets or budgets where precise financial reports were unavailable.

Statistics

GUM Quarterly Statistical Reports

In the fourth GUM Quarterly Statistical Report for July–September 2019, conducted by the Secretariat for Statistical Research Tomáš Falešník of the Gymnasium State, New Eiffel was in the 61.5 percent of micronations which were either a constitutional or semi-constitutional monarchy; 25 percent with a bicameral system, and New Eiffel had the second largest number of political parties at 12, behind Millania with 14. New Eiffel was ninth of ten by territorial size, eighth by population and seventh by number of citizens. New Eiffel also had the second-highest adjusted gross income at $676.48.

In the fifth and last report between October–December (also by Falešník), New Eiffel was in the 63.6 percent of GUM members which were either a constitutional or semi-constitutional monarchy; 27.3 percent with a bicameral system; and New Eiffel had the most political parties at 12, now ahead of Millania (who placed third) with 10. Posaf was second with 11 parties. New Eiffel was fifth of seven by territorial size, seventh of eight by population and had the second most (out of seven) honorary citizens at 25, behind the Empire of Austenasia with 448.

Quorum attendance

New Eiffel had been in attendance at 29 of 33 quorums—giving a high attendance rate of 87.8 percent—though on occasion the delegate for New Eiffel had arrived late. Skye represented New Eiffel in every quorum except for 4 October 2020, wherein New Eiffel was represented by Björk. New Eiffel was not present at the sessions held on 20 November 2019, 1 February 2020 (due to Skye being at an acquaintance's residence), 8 April or 26 April. Both Skye and Dickson were present at the fourth 24 Hour Quorum held between 1–2 May 2020.

Elections

During the June 2019 election, New Eiffel voted for Bradley, Duke of Dullahan of the Kingdom of Wyvern. Skye was an official member of both Bradley and Jaax's campaigns; ultimately, New Eiffel's vote for Bradley dismayed Jaax. Bradley won the election with 13 votes (50 percent) against Jaax and Thomas I of Hrafnarfjall. During the December 2019 election, New Eiffel voted for Thomas I, who eventually also won with 17 votes (58.6 percent) against three other candidates. As Skye was the running mate for Lycon's June 2020 campaign, New Eiffel voted for him. Lycon ultimately lost the election to Newton von Uberquie of the Uber-Essian Union, who won with 26 votes—83.9 percent.

GUM Member States Positivity Survey

The GUM Member States Positivity Survey was a survey conducted by Skye on behalf of his company, Statistic-Dime, that asked participants to rank full member states of the GUM on a scale of 1 to 5 based on how positively said participant viewed them. It was held in two instalments between 7–8 and 9–10 July 2020 respectively. Skye's eight survey (induing joint-ones), the survey was not affiliated with the GUM nor Skye's position within it. The first survey received 20 respondents, and the second a further 20 for a total of 40. As part of this survey, New Eiffel was ranked first out of 42 members in the first survey with a score of 4.5, and tied first in the second survey—alongside Posaf and Essexia—with a score of 4.2.

See also