- Where did they come from? A brief history excursion
- What is the reason for their longevity
- What is their economy based on?
- San marino
It is often customary to consider the fact of the existence in the territory of the European continent of several microscopic states as nothing more than a historical misunderstanding. Many people call microstates of Europe fake and operetta ones. But is such scorn towards small state entities always justified? Take a closer look at them.
Where did they come from? A brief history excursion
States are like people - they are born, live and die. But the microstates of Europe include both those that have existed for centuries and even millennia, as well as random geopolitical entities, such as Kosovo, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. According to the school course of geography, the European continent stretches from the Atlantic to the Urals, and these newborn formations, of course, are included in it. This is also a microstate of Europe. It is even possible that a great future awaits them, but this is not yet known to us. Therefore, we will focus our attention on the phenomenon that microstates of foreign Europe represent.
They originated in the era of the early Middle Ages, which was characterized by feudal fragmentation. And some of them have safely survived to our days.
What is the reason for their longevity
The microstates of foreign Europe, the list of which is by no means so long, are obliged, in the first place, to the fact of their existence to their neighbors. Near and slightly more distant. There is no doubt that if the strong neighboring states needed to devour these dwarfs, they would have found a reason to do this for several centuries. But this has not happened yet. And if the well-known micro-states of Europe exist and flourish, the geography is the reason. More precisely, their favorable geographical location at the intersections of traditional trade routes. And those preferences that they are able to offer their neighbors precisely as independent states.
What is their economy based on?
The microstates of Europe, whose list consists of six units, flourish mainly through trade. It is either not taxed at all, or tax rates are low. At the same time, five microstates of Europe are located in its continental part. These are Liechtenstein, San Marino, Monaco, Andorra and the Vatican. The sixth state is Malta, located on the island of the same name in the Mediterranean. Gambling and offshore financial rules bring in some good income. But the basis of the economy is tourism. There are many people around the world who want to visit the micro-states of Western Europe and leave some of their savings there. Traditional countries such as agriculture and winemaking bring good income to these countries.
Microstates of foreign Europe are usually proud of their ancient origins and eventful history. And they have every reason to. The sovereignty of the principality of Liechtenstein, located on the picturesque Alpine slopes between Austria and Switzerland, originates in 1507.
Here it is customary to take care of historical and architectural monuments that attract tourists to a small country. But the basis of its welfare is the industry - metalworking, the production of precision mechanics, medical equipment and medicines. The microstates of Europe, the list of which does not contain poor countries, are justifiably proud of the high standard of living. But the subjects of the principality of Liechtenstein have earned a level of well-being with their own hands. The country's economy is largely integrated with the Swiss.
The microstates of Europe are countries with different forms of government, from monarchy to democracy. The small country of San Marino, surrounded on all sides by the territory of Italy, is one of the oldest parliamentary republics on the continent. Moreover, it is the oldest country in Europe, whose borders remained unchanged. Its history began in ancient times.
And today it is one big tourist attraction. It is tourism that forms the basis of its economy. For a significant portion of tourists traveling to Italy, a visit to the Republic of San Marino is a must-see point of the program.
The Principality of Monaco, located on the Ligurian coast of the Mediterranean, has a very peculiar reputation. For many people in the European continent, this country is primarily associated with casinos and gambling houses. It is this circumstance that ensures the flow of tourists on this coast who want to part with their money. Citizens of the Principality of Monaco are completely satisfied with this situation. Sovereign microstates of Europe rarely have economic independence.
And the financial well-being of Monaco is provided by lovers of playing roulette. They are sent in large numbers here from Europe and other continents. They can be understood - it is more pleasant to part with money on the picturesque Ligurian coast, in the luxurious interiors of casinos and restaurants, the walls of which are remembered by many prominent people, from monarchs to uncrowned kings of the criminal world inclusive. Moreover, in other European countries, such games are at least not welcome.
The secluded position of the principality of Andorra, located in the Pyrenees Mountains between France and Spain, for many centuries provided him peace and stability. The conquerors showed no interest in him and avoided it. The country was closed and its population led a patriarchal way of life, limited to agriculture, viticulture and winemaking. The situation changed only in the second half of the twentieth century. The Principality has opened its borders, and today tourism is the unconditional basis of the economy of this microstate.
Its natural conditions to this quite have. Over the past decades, world-class tourism infrastructure has been built up on the picturesque slopes of the eastern Pyrenees. In the principality gladly stop tourists heading to the resorts of the Gold Coast of Spain. Only one and a half hundred kilometers separate the country from the Mediterranean coast, which takes about an hour to drive along the modern highway.
When enumerating the micro-states of Europe, this country is not always remembered. And it's not about neglect, no one can deny the value of the Vatican in the history of Europe and all of humanity, just the territory of the country is scanty and not visible on every map. But the Vatican is noticeable in the world by its spiritual greatness. Located a few blocks of the Italian capital, the country, officially recognized as a member of the UN, is the smallest country in the world by territory.
The city-state of the Vatican is the residence of the supreme leadership of the Roman Catholic Church. A very large number of historical, religious, cultural and architectural monuments are concentrated on a very small area. Many artists, sculptors and architects recognized by the Renaissance titans lived and worked here. The most striking embodiment of their work was the grandiose Cathedral of St. Peter. It provides an endless stream of pilgrims and tourists from all over the world to the Vatican. According to its state system, the Vatican is an absolute theocratic monarchy. The head of the Vatican is the Pope. It’s pointless to talk about the country's economy, for the complete lack thereof.
The Republic of Malta is the only island country among the small states of Europe. It is located on the archipelago, consisting of the title island and several small islands in its immediate vicinity. This place from ancient times was at a busy intersection of trade routes. In the port of Malta moored ships caravans, en route from the African coast to Europe and from west to east. The successful geographical position, in the very center of the Mediterranean, for many centuries provided the island with economic prosperity at the expense of trade, and the constant attention of various conquerors. But since 1530, Malta is considered a sovereign state, even though later in its history there were periods of occupation by Napoleon Bonaparte and Great Britain. English rule lasted until the seventies of the twentieth century, but it was mostly of a formal nature. Currently, Malta is a prosperous country with a high standard of living.
The basis of its economy is tourism. The Maltese coast today is a fashionable world-class beach resorts, equipped with all the necessary tourist infrastructure for a comfortable stay. In addition to the beaches, tourists are attracted by the numerous historical, cultural and architectural monuments that have accumulated on the island for its long and eventful history. The state pays considerable attention to the preservation of historical and cultural heritage.