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Foreign relations of Überstadt
The foreign relations of the Kingdom of Überstadt are implemented primarily by the reigning monarch, who is constitutionally authorized to act as the primary representative of the Kingdom abroad. Überstadt recognizes all micronations which fulfill to the extent possible the sovereignty criteria enumerated in the Montevideo Convention. Überstadt is a moderately influential nation within the MicroWiki sector, ranking sixteenth on the November 2012 MicroWiki Influence Survey.
For the first nine months of its existence, Überstadt had no contact with other micronations. In December 2010, Adam I joined MicroWiki and first began to interact with other national leaders as a diplomat. The early foreign policy of Überstadt was focused on gaining a foothold in the intermicronational community, and was accordingly focused on obtaining recognition from as many governments as possible. Membership in the Organisation of Active Micronations commenced during this period. The foreign policy of the young nation soon incorporated ideas of pacifism, greatly influenced by Niels I of Flandrensis and the ideals of the Union Against Micronational War. Überstadt firmly believed in multilateral diplomacy in the context of United Nations-style organizations, and voted against the OAM's dissolution.
After the fall of the OAM, Überstadti foreign policy shifted away from maximizing recognition and the emphasis of large-scale multilateral relations and began to tend toward a more independent view of diplomacy. Alignment with any major bloc of the community was avoided, and most intermicronational organizations decried as "useless." The level of development in other MicroWiki nations, however, encouraged Überstadti internal development. To spread its own influence throughout the sector, the Kingdom began to become more active and opinionated in its foreign relations. On the Sector, the national blog of foreign policy and analysis, began to be published. In mid-2012, Überstadt applied for observership in Grand Unified Micronational in an effort to develop better relations with more developed micronations. The time spent in an observer seat changed King Adam's views regarding generalist micronational organizations, leading him to believe that such entities as the GUM can facilitate diplomacy among groups of nations in effective ways. This led to a formal policy change, with the Kingdom of Überstadt being granted provisional membership in November.
The pro-GUM policy and all involvement in the organization were abandoned amid the crisis beginning in late 2012 which emerged from the expulsion of Sandus and Juclandia. Faith in the institution was lost by the Überstadti leadership, and on 18 January 2013, the Kingdom, along with its ally Saint Luke and Amager, formally departed the GUM, and bilateralism once more became the primary focus of Überstadti diplomacy, with an emphasis on maximizing mutual benefit of diplomatic partners through the exchange of useful information, rather than participation in international political intrigue.
The rise of socialism beginning in September 2013 saw the strengthening of ideas of cooperation toward mutual goals with other states, particularly leftist ones. The official attitude toward multilateralism came to focus on proletarian internationalism with the success of the December 2013 conference of the Citizens' Communist Party of Sandus, in which King Adam delivered a well-received address to other leftist micronational leaders.
In 2014, policies of strengthening relationships with other leftist states continued, but trade relations with the Saint Josephsburg Economic Pact became a priority upon its foundation, most of the Kingdom's close allies being members of the bloc.
Institutions and actors
The constitution defines the Monarch as being primarily responsible for the promulgation of foreign policy, who is required to publish at least annually documents outlining their policy plans. The approval of the Monarch is all that is required for treaties to be ratified or for other states to be recognized. Parliament, however, is granted the right to repeal any treaty, reverse any recognition, or modify any aspect of the Monarch's policy. Constitutionally, diplomacy must be conducted on the basis of "peace, rationality, and sovereignty."
The only current sovereignty dispute involving Überstadt is with the United States, which asserts sovereignty over all Überstadti territory. Although never formally informed of the Kingdom's claims to independence, this dispute exists de facto. The only other dispute of significance was that with the Band Room Realms when King Franklin began to assert his sovereignty over a portion of the Kingdom's then-capital, Hawk City. This was resolved by the conclusion of the Treaty of the Band Room, by which the disputed territory was ceded away.
Überstadt recognizes all micronations which, according to its perception, fulfill the definition of sovereignty under the Montevideo Convention and conduct themselves as a sovereign state. Control over at least some part of the nation's claimed territory is required for recognition. Those states with only virtual claims or no control over physical territory, or those which are purely simulationist, are not recognized. Only Antarctic claims approved by the Antarctic Micronational Union are accepted. The Band Room Realms are recognized as a sovereign entity with extraterritorial control over the physical band room for which they are named, rather than as a sovereign state; this is considered akin to the sui generis status held by the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, which is also recognized as a sovereign subject of international law.
The following non-micronational states are recognized by the Kingdom:
- All member states of the United Nations
- Vatican City State (the Holy See by extension being recognized as a sovereign subject of international law)
- Republic of Kosovo
- Republic of China (Taiwan) (solely over the island of Taiwan
- State of Palestine
Prior to its dissolution, Saint Luke and Amager was Überstadt's closest ally, and the two states were described by internal and external observers as a "special relationship." This relationship arose due to shared policies, the frequent exchange of information, and the friendship between King Adam and Amatine leader Luke Albertschine. The planning of a cultural and economic organization called Unicus, in which Überstadt and Amager were the most influential states, was interrupted by the secession of Albertine's home region, Hobartstown and Victoria, from the confederation. The Kingdom recognized its independence while reaffirming its intention to see Unicus to fruition. These plans failed when Amager experienced a total collapse.
After the dissolution, formal relations were not maintained with any of Amager's successor states, although informal dialogue continued with some, and attempts were made to formalize ties with Victoria. Albertschine's gradual vacation of intermicronationalism ended communication with the original heartland of Amager. In January 2014, however, the Kingdom became an observer state of the Amagerian Union, placing Überstadt back into official involvement with former Amatine nations.
In late 2013, Überstadti dialogue with the Ashukov Federation began to increase. Diplomatic relations between the two were established in February 2014. A virtual embassy was established on Skype and has been used from time to time when the King has wished to speak to the leaders of the Federation as a group. Friction was felt when Ashukovo threatened to alienate states holding Sociliva agreements with Sandus from SJEP in response to the Denton Protocol. This was later dismissed as a bluff, and Ashukov foreign minister Joseph Kennedy later apologized. With Überstadt's subsequent increased involvement in SJEP, trade relations came to be a key talking point between Ashukovo and Überstadt, until the Tsardom was established and fell out of contact with the Überstadti government.
Überstadt's relations with the Empire of Austenasia have always been positive. Austenasia did not originally recognize the sovereignty of the Kingdom, but later began to upon the annexation of Rosewood and its appointment as Überstadti capital. Besides being the seat of Überstadt's government, Rosewood is now the seat of Austenasian representation to the US state of Washington, beginning with the appointment of King Adam as Austenasian Consul to Washington on 26 April 2014.
Relations between the states grew when Überstadt diplomatically supported Austenasia in the 2014 New South Scotland crisis, helpting encourage the Zealandian and Austenasian monarchs towards their final dialogue on the matter. Around this time, the Kingdom proposed the establishment of an Austenasian Crown Dependency adjacent to Creekbed Colony to facilitate trade. Oregonia was thus established on 30 June 2014, and now contributes raw materials to products being shipped from Überstadt to Austenasia proper.
Band Room Realms
In June 2012, Franklin of the Band Room crowned himself atop a pyramid of chairs and was acclaimed as king of the band room of Mountlake Terrace High School, known then as the Überstadti capital of Hawk City. It was not until February 2013 that he began to assert a claim of actual sovereignty over the room and its periphery. Because plans had been made to ultimately cede Hawk City back to the United States, the Treaty of the Band Room was concluded on 21 February, which ceded the claimed territories to the Band Room Realms, recognized Franklin's sovereignty, and established strict border crossing and demilitarization rules. The latter provisions were more of a symbolic than a practical inclusion on Überstadt's part, owing to suspicion of the actual intentions of Franklin, who referred to himself at the time as Supreme God-King.
The existing friendship between the two monarchs, along with a trip to an instrumental music festival in which they performed together and shared the front seats of their entourage's box in the auditorium, soon led to a soothing of relations between the states, although the treaty's harsh terms remained in place. Franklin named Seth, Second Baron Ballinger his heir at Adam's request, and the Überstadti noble became king on 4 June 2013. Later that summer, Überstadt altered its recognition of the Realms to that of an extraterritorial sovereign entity, which the king did not contest. Despite the amicability of Seth and Adam's personal relationship and the accreditation of an ambassador to the Realms, the Bandish relationship suffered during Seth's reign, owing to his lack of seriousness about his political and cultural roles, even talking of dissolving his dominion. This issue became a mild diplomatic conflict, as Überstadt supports the revival and continuation of the Band Room Realms.
Today, under King Jacob, relations have improved significantly.
The Grand Duchy of Flandrensis was one of Überstadt's first diplomatic partners, signing a treaty of friendship in early 2011. The similar foreign policies of the two states, especially regarding micronational conflict, contributed to the early strengthening of relations. The two states cooperated on matters relating to the UAMW and engaged in frequent discourse. King Adam later became a Flandrensisian citizen, and the bond between the two governments increased. Grand Duke Niels has characterized Flandrensisian relations with the Kingdom as the best with all micronations based in the United States.
After the State of Sandus ended its isolationism and became fully involved in community diplomacy, Überstadt was often critical of Sandum policies involving the level of professionalism of other states. The states periodically disputed each other's foreign policy through mid-2012, with an increase in dialogue later leading to reconciliation and a recognition of similar goals and ideas. During the GUM leadership scandal, Überstadt, which was a provisional member of the organization, vocally opposed the expulsion of Sandus and Juclandia and the ladership of Yaroslav Mar, leading it to depart out of protest.
The Sandum and Überstadti monarchs collaborated on multiple projects in 2013, including publications for Sandus's Collegio Sacerdae and the beginnings of a shared legal code (although the latter project never came to fruition). King Adam was a speaker at the 2013 Party Conference of the Citizens' Communist Party of Sandus, which led to an increase in solidarity between the leftist states of the MicroWiki community.
Über-Sandum relations reached their new height with King Adam I's state visit to Sandus on 10 July 2014. This visit was the culmination of months of increased cooperation and negotiation. In Kremlum Sandus, the King and S8gm8 signed a treaty granting Überstadt the status of a Socilivo state of Sandus, a special alliance granting Überstadtis the right to partial Sandum citizenship and to do business in Sandus, and by extension through the Saint Josephsburg Economic Agreement, the rest of SJEP. Four months later, King Adam once again spoke at the 2014 Citizens' Party of Sandus Conference.
Überstadt is currently a member of the Union Against Micronational War, for which it has produced graphics and a website, and is an observer of the Amagerian Union and the Saint Josephsburg Economic Council. It is generally a policy to avoid generalist intermicronational organizations. King Adam has stated that no organization that lacks an attainable purpose of benefit to the kingdom will be joined.
In the past, Überstadt has been a member of:
- Intermicronational Blue Cross and Blue Crescent Movement, December 2010 - June 2013
- Organisation of Active Micronations, January 2011 - December 2011
- Grand Unified Micronational, Observer and Provisional, ended 18 January 2013
Membership in the Blue Cross was withdrawn upon the conclusion that it provided no real benefit to any of its members. Membership was maintained in the OAM until it collapsed. Provisional membership in the GUM was resigned in response to the leadership scandal.