Leaders' Summit - Opening Dinner & First Session
Ageits, Stiegae - The glittering lights of the Grand Royal Hotel fill the winding road emerging from the ring of trees that encompasses central Ageits. Royal guards line the approach, and as your car pulls into the entry way, a well dressed butler opens your door and welcomes you to the summit.
As you make your way inside, you are greeted by the sound of dozens of dignitaries and politicians deep in early evening conversation. As you make your way to your table, where the flag of your nation sits pride of place, you are greeted with a tray of drink options. Taking your preference, you move towards your table before being intercepted by an old friend from university. As you begin talking about all that has occurred in your respective nations, silence fills the room as a figure steps onto the stage.
"Good evening esteemed guests. My name is Noah Powell, and I am the Chairman of the IDC. It is an honour to welcome you all to this event, which we hope in the future will be the pinnacle of the Imperium's diplomatic calender. While this summit will involve a lot of heated discussion, I am sure, I hope that it will also contain many positive developments for our realm, which will go down in history. But enough waffle from me! I invite to the stage, His Most Gracious Highness, the Duke of Ageits!"
As applause fills the room, the heir to the throne of Stiegae steps onto the stage, smiling in his military uniform. His wife, the Duchess Ageits, sits with the other Stiegean delegates, who all watch the Prince intently.
Clearing his throat, the Duke begins reading from the paper he pulls out of his blazer. "On this fine evening, the representatives from the most noble nations of our Imperium come together. A sign of friendship, and of commitment, the Kingdom of Stiegae has been pleased to help fund this project. While His Majesty the King has been unable to attend, it is an honour for the Kingdom to host this summit. While we have faced difficult times over the last years, it is a symbol of our resilience in the face of adversity that Stiegae has been able to support this project with all its vigour. We open our arms to the world, and we hope that all of those present will join us in embracing progress."
As the Duke steps down from the stage, to the sound of polite applause, your Chief of Staff takes notes and begins networking immediately. As the first of six courses is brought out, you begin thinking about who to meet with first at the after-dinner drinks party.
Tomorrow will begin the first of the sessions, and you hope your nation will hold its own.
"Good morning fellow delegates -" begins Stiegae's Ambassador to the Imperium, Francine Besson - "Stiegae has long sought the positive development of tighter integration with its neighbours in regards to legislative projects. As a first step, a legislative council composed of one delegate from each member state who agrees to the treaty, with the power to recommend the adoption of common legislative protocols as components of the treaty, would be our strong preference. In addition, we would favour, as part of the treaty, protocols for the expansion of the council's powers in due course, as any concerns are ironed out."
Pavlo Furlan, Brihimia's Ambassador to Their Imperial Majesties, rises to the podium -
"On behalf of His Majesty Sebastian of Brihimia, I wholeheartedly thank Their Majesties, the International Diplomatic Corps, and Stiegae for arranging this summit between the leaders of our Imperium. Our nations will only benefit from discussions like this that fuel international cooperation.
I'm glad, Madam Ambassador, that you brought up the topic of a legislative council for our Imperium. While we support equal representation in this council, we believe that the nations of the council should be able to select more than one representative, for two reasons - one, we support the right of nations to determine how they select their representation, and allowing many representatives per nation would incentivize electing them - two, according to recent population estimates gathered by our nation's demographers and cartographers, the population of the Imperium sits at more or less one hundred forty-six million subjects (146,000,000) - if we allow one representative per signatory, then that would allow at maximum three million [~3,173,913] persons per representative.
Because of this, we'd like to propose that each signatory receives thirteen (13) seats, with a maximum capacity of five hundred ninety-eight (598) representatives. The Crown would appoint two representatives to chair sessions and only vote in the case of a tie, bringing the maximum total number of seats to six hundred (600). When representatives are sworn in, they will get to choose between eight ideological groupings: a leftist grouping, a social democratic grouping, an ecologically-focused grouping, a liberal grouping, a center-right grouping, a conservative right-wing grouping, a nationalist or far-right grouping, or a non-affiliated grouping. We also suggest that the council meet in the Parliament building located on the Danube in Stiegae and explore meeting in Vienna as well.
In addition to all of this, for the purposes of administration, we propose dividing our Imperium across six regions. The Rail Conference ongoing in Austria has already developed boundaries for these six regions, and I think that all we need to is codify these. Brihimia's demographers and cartographers are working on population estimates for each of the six regions. Thank you."
Furlan exits the stage and yields to other delegates who wish to speak.
Victor Rosen-Zengg, Cakavian Ambassador to the Majesties rises to the podium. He takes a sip of water, and begins to speak.
“Firstly, I would like thank the I.D.C and Stigae for organizing this summit that will bring the nations of our Imperium together on the behalf of Princ Istvan. We would like to further discuss the topic of integration. Now, of course the Imperium is not a country, however we think that rather than be a group of nations that really only have the fact that they can call themselves Imperial in common that the Imperium should be very clearly an alliance of nations.
So, along with what Mr. Furlan has proposed, that being a legislative council, we would like to propose both an open borders agreement and another agreement to bring the Imperium together as less of a loose coalition and more of a unified alliance of nations with common goals.
This agreement would be very simple, it reads:
“No nation of the Austro-Hungarian Imperium may aide militarily, financially or otherwise, any faction in a civil war active in another nation of the Imperium who’s end goal is to overthrow, imprison or kill the Head of State or Head of Government of said nation unless it is to restore the legitimate Head of State or Head of Government of said nation.”
This agreement would not only create a safer Imperium but we feel that such an agreement would create a bond of trust between the leaders of the Imperial nations. This agreement would not limit a Imperial nation’s ability to support the legitimate rulers of a nation in a civil war. As you probably know, the nation that I represent in in serious turmoil at the moment. After the murder of our president many people have become enthralled in radicalism. I hope to further discuss the political climate in Samostalan in the coming days.
The second proposal I have is one of open borders. We propose the creation of an Imperial Airline. This airline would fly internationally, but would mainly be a cheaper way to fly between the nations of the Imperium. This airline would prioritize Imperial citizens.
Secondly, we propose that the Imperium be treated as one single jurisdiction for travel purposes, abolished the need for passports to travel in-between Imperial nations and instituting a common visa policy. I would like to again thank the whole nation of Stigae for organizing this summit.”
Rosen-Zengg exits the stage
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As The Cakavian Delegate Leaves the stage, The wyno-saxish delegate Steps onto the stage.
He turns to the audience and starts to speak.
As A Representative of the wynish state. we as representatives are obligated to protect the integrity, stability, and prosperity of the realm. The delicate balance of ethnicities, coupled with the Flusserdorf protests that are still fresh in memory. Have made our decision to suspend immigrations to wynchester. this may seem primitive, but recent economic stats have shown a steady decline, which means fewer jobs, and by clogging up the job positions by letting immigrants in, would create anti-foreign sentiment. with these arguments, we are against a legislative council deciding what we can do. but we are not against an economic union tying our economies.
The representative steps off of the stage and comes back to sit down onto his seat.
Wibke Mariele Hoffman, a diplomat of the Volsenian delegation, steps up to the podium. She clears her throat, glancing nervously around the room. She begins:
“The people of Volsenia thank the I.D.C. and Stiegae for organising this summit. We hope this inaugural meeting will set a solid precedent for future cooperation between the nations of the Imperium.
Let me start by saying that Volsenia is not interested in becoming a member of the proposed legislative council. We believe it has a fundamental issue. If it would only encourage nations to enact its legislation, there is no reason for our membership - any laws deemed beneficial to our people can be legislated locally anyway; and should enacting the legislation become mandatory, it would allow a majority of nations to force laws on a minority. Therefore, we will not partake in activities of the council and we urge all other nations which care about their autonomy to do the same.
Now I’ll turn my attention to Mr. Rosen-Zengg’s proposals. I believe it will come as no surprise that we wholeheartedly support open borders - arbitrary lines cannot and should not decide who we are. The idea of an Imperial airline which prioritizes our citizens is not bad, however we would like to suggest focusing on the further development of rail travel, which can be considerably less dangerous to the environment - consider this a strong recommendation to join the ongoing rail conference in Austria.
Regarding the agreement on civil war non-involvement, I am curious - why not outright disallow all involvement in civil wars of Imperial nations? Currently, the proposal is only aimed at helping the Cakavian “leadership” defeat the freedom fighters and Imperial loyalists fighting against an oppressive and discriminatory government. While we condemn the murders of president Tito and Mr. Ljuba, we have no sympathy for a government which attempts to remove rights and protections for minorities and enable discrimination. In relation to the agreement, then, we propose either allowing all involvement in civil wars, or none at all.
That will be all. Thank you.”
Ms. Hoffman returns to the Volsenian delegation’s table.
Mr. Rosen-Zengg quickly walks up to the podium.
”To address the comments of Ms. Hoffman, these so-called freedom fighters are anti-Imperium. They wish to leave. If you claim that those fighting against Imperial interests are freedom fighters, I find it hard to understand why you are present at this summit. The bill I assume you are referring to, the Public Culture Bill, is to quote the Princ, “dead”. With all due respect, I find that these comments are wildly inappropriate to make at such an event.”
Mr. Rosen-Zengg walks back to his seat.
Mr von Hallmackenreuther, head of the Archducal group of diplomats, enters the stage with a wide smile on his face.
Dear fellow delegates,
it is an honour to speak to you in the name of the Archduchy of Austria. First of all, we wish to thank the Kingdom of Stiegae for its initiative and efforts to make this summit possible.
We were especially impressed by the quality of the buffet’s Kaiserschmarrn.
Let’s get to this day’s topics:
It does not happen very often that this many delegates from this many nations meet in an effort to cooperate. It is a very good sign for our Imperium that our members are so open to working together.
Naturally, we support the initiative of creating a legislative body for the entirety of the Imperium. We are regularly reminded – both by our geographic location as well as our political position – that it is vital to work together towards the betterment of our community. As outlined by Ms Hoffman, we must however pay close attention to find a middle ground between autonomy and harmonisation.
Mr Furlan’s proposal for the composition of this body is congruent with our ideas. The Ministry of Environment and Health – with its geographic and demographic institutions – offers its full support for all matters regarding the creation of a more detailed map of the Imperium. We are also very happy to see the Infrastructure zone map being taken up this positively.
With great pleasure do we also look at the interactions in the Rail Conference. It is our stated goal to bring our member nations closer together – literally; by excellent infrastructure. It is thus that we also support Mr Rosen-Zengg’s proposal of open borders. It appears to be a vital step in ensuring the continued cohesion within the Imperium.
Suggestions of a flight route network are currently subject to doubt; rail transport is superior in terms of capacity, cost and environmental impact. With the expansion of the newly created maglev network, the key argument for air travel – speed – loses substance, too.
We ask Mr Rosen-Zengg to work towards expedition of the rail works in his nation.
Naturally, we take note of the tense political situation and offer support for all peaceful measures.
The political situation in Mr Rosen-Zengg’s nation is too delicate a matter as to be subject of this summit. The Archduchy’s key position is neutrality on the inner politics of other nations, but reminds the members of the Imperium of their obligations: to ensure the stability and unity of the Imperium. Member nations are under protection from Their Majesties, but are also expected to keep loyalty to the Crown.
As long as these values are upheld, the interior politics of nations shall be subject to themselves only.
Francine Besson takes to the podium. "Stiegae commends and seconds the views expressed by the Austrian delegation relating to air travel - it is clear that it serves no purpose in the modern Imperium as a means of mass domestic transport, and investment in stronger rail links must be prioritised.
"On the issue of the legislative council, Stiegae would not be comfortable partaking in a council that was composed of ~600 representatives - the Kingdom is heavily in favour of a one nation-one vote system. For us, the internal processes of each nation for the selection of their Government must be respected. While there is an argument that overall democratic improvement can be effected by a parliamentary style council, we fear that the potential for petty parliamentary infighting so prevalent in national discourse would undermine the vital work that any council would perform should national representatives be present. In our view, such a council should be attended by legal experts and diplomats appointed by national governments, rather than political representatives pushing agendas that might shake the foundations of the Imperium itself. A far-right or far-left group of politicians in the proposed assembly by the representative from Brihimia might call for, and implement, policy that was so repugnant that it would lead to the withdrawal of many, more sensible nations. Such a chain of events would be a waste of time for those that have already committed themselves to developing stronger links within our grand empire.
"In addition, in relation to the comments from the Volsenian delegation, we commend their commitment to a stronger legislative council. Subject to our concerns outlined previously, Stiegae would be more than happy to sign up to an empowered legislative council with a fixed set of legislative competencies, if a sufficient number of our fellow nations would join us. One of those competencies, however, could not be a policy of open borders. The Kingdom of Stiegae has dealt with internal turmoil on an expansive scale in recent years, and we cannot support the idea that travelling trouble makers from tumultuous territories might threaten the stability of our nation, or of any others. We might support a relaxation of inter-state labour and residency laws, but complete freedom of movement would be of concern.
"Lastly, we commend the work of assembled delegations here today to find common ground. Stiegae does not expect this project to be agreed to in one summit, or in one negotiation, but rather to be built upon gradually. We hope you will join us in that vision."
The Stiegean Director of International Civil Law takes to the podium after folders are passed to all delegations containing a hefty set of legal documentation. On the front page, bold letters read Treaty on Imperial Cooperation.
"The best minds in the Kingdom have been working on a comprehensive set of international regulations that make up this first proposed treaty. In it, we outline the following:
- A legislative council, in which all signatories receive an equal vote. The legislative council is given the power to enforce legislation on border controls, international flights, extradition, and trade law. Further, the council is given the power to recommend domestic law to all nations in any category. Both of these actions require the consent of 60% of signatories, and the powers of the council may later be expanded with unanimous consent.
- An international court of justice, which is given the power to enforce laws of the council in the areas listed, levy fines pursuant to that of up to 0.25% of national GDP of the offending nation, and order a nation to take criminal action against any person(s) within their borders who have violated the laws of other nations.
- A collection of other regulations to ensure compliance with the above, and an additional annex allowing additional powers and provisions to be added with the consent of signatories.
We believe this presents a strong middle ground based on discussion here, and (assuming we receive no amendment suggestions) we will deposit the treaty for signing after a ceremony in which any nations interested in signing early may do so for 72 hours."
Rosen-Zengg applauds the words of the Director of International Civil Law and walks on to the stage to make a closing statement.
”Firstly, I would once again like to thank the government and people of the great robust nation of Stigae for hosting me so gracefully and genuinely. Samostalan supports the proposals of the Director sincerely. In fact, we would like to sign this agreement early to show our support for your motions.
While the summit may have had some hiccups” Rosen-Zengg glances at Hoffman accusingly, ”Overall we do believe the summit has preformed its purpose of ensuring long lasting Imperial unity, although some nations seem to be more willing than others do. What is happening in my country back home is a perfect example of why in these increasingly turbulent times unity is most important. Although like in my nation’s Time of Troubles and the Unity of the Imperium, some nations seem to be on the wrong side.” Rosen-Zengg once again directs his gaze at Ms. Hoffman. “Overall, I am amazed at this act of great friendship and look to many more in future years. Once again, thank you Stigae!”
Rosen-Zengg takes his seat once again.
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