|This page is a work in progress by its author(s) and should not be considered final.|
|The Kingdom of Autelia
La Royaume Autélien
|Motto: Via Veritas Vita
"The Way, The Truth, The Life"
|Anthem: Autélie resplendissant|
Map of Autelia with major cities
|Recognised regional languages||Dutch
|Ethnic groups (2014)||White (97.98%)
|-||Prime Minister||Alain Dugard|
|-||Deputy Prime Minister||Éliane Beaumont|
|-||Chief Treasurer to the State||Lilliane du Maurier|
|-||Upper house||Her Majesty's Senate|
|-||Lower house||House of Representatives|
|-||Foundation||21st January 1698|
|-||Parliament||26th June 1829|
|-||Current Constitution||10th August 1878|
29, 597 sq mi
|-||2014 estimate||30.2 million|
|GDP (PPP)||2014 estimate|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+01:00)|
|Drives on the||left|
The Kingdom of Autelia (French: La Royaume d’Autélie) is a small, densely populated country, lying in Western Europe. The European part of Saint Isobel borders Germany to the east, France to the south, and the North Sea to the northwest, sharing maritime borders with the United Kingdom and Germany. The largest and most important cities in Saint Isobel are Cavaillon, Lafontaine and Port-Fortune. Cavaillon is the country's capital, while Lafontaine holds the seat of government and parliament. The port of Port-Charles is the largest port in Europe – as large as the next three largest combined.
Autelia derives its name from the ancient Celtic tribe, the Autelians. Their descendants make up a large percentage of the population today.
Autelia was one of the first countries in the world to have an elected parliament, and since 1852 it has been governed as a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy, organised as a unitary state. Autelia has a long history of social tolerance and is generally regarded as a liberal country, having legalised abortion and euthanasia, while maintaining a progressive drugs policy. In 2001 it became the world's first country to legalize same-sex marriage.
Autelia is a member of the International Democratic Union, G-10, NATO, OECD and WTO. The country is host to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and five international courts: the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Court and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. The first four are situated in Lafontaine, as is the EU's criminal intelligence agency Europol and judicial co-operation agency Eurojust. This has led to the city being dubbed "the world's legal capital". Autelia is also a part of the Schengen Area.
Autelia has been a constitutional monarchy since 1815 and a parliamentary democracy since 1848. Autelia is described as a consociational state. Autelian politics and governance are characterised by an effort to achieve broad consensus on important issues, within both the political community and society as a whole. In 2010, The Economist ranked Autelia as the 10th most democratic country in the world.
The monarch is the head of state, at present Queen Elisabeth. Constitutionally, the position is equipped with limited powers. By law, the Queen has the right to be periodically briefed and consulted on government affairs. Depending on the personalities and relationships of the Queen and the ministers, the Queen might have influence beyond the power granted by the constitution.
The executive power is formed by the council of Ministers, the deliberative council of the Autelian cabinet. The cabinet usually consists of 13 to 16 ministers and a varying number of state secretaries. One to three ministers are ministers without portfolio. The head of government is the Prime Minister of Autelia, who often is the leader of the largest party of the coalition. The Prime Minister is a primus inter pares, with no explicit powers beyond those of the other ministers. Alain Dugard has been Prime Minister since October 2014; the Prime Minister had been the leader of the largest party continuously since 1973.
The cabinet is responsible to the bicameral parliament, the National Diet, which also has legislative powers. The 150 members of the House of Representatives, the Lower House, are elected in direct elections on the basis of party-list proportional representation. These are held every four years, or sooner in case the cabinet falls (for example: when one of the chambers carries a motion of no confidence, the cabinet offers its resignation to the monarch). The Diets-Regional are directly elected every four years as well. The members of the provincial assemblies elect the 75 members of the Senate, the upper house, which has the power to reject laws, but not propose or amend them.
Autelia is geographically a very low and flat country, with about 26% of its area and 21% of its population located below sea level, and only about 50% of its land exceeding one metre above sea level. The country is for the most part flat, with the exception of foothills in the far southeast, up to a height of no more than 321 metres, and some low hill ranges in the central parts. Most of the areas below sea level are man-made, caused by peat extraction or achieved through land reclamation. Since the late 16th century, large polder areas are preserved through elaborate drainage systems that include dikes, canals and pumping stations. Nearly 17% of the country's land area is reclaimed from the sea and from lakes.
Much of the country was originally formed by the estuaries of three large European rivers: the Rhine, the Meuse and the Scheldt, as well as their distributaries. The south-western part of Autelia is to this day a river delta of these three rivers, the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt delta.
Autelia is divided into north and south parts by the Rhine, the Waal, its main distributary branch, and the Meuse. In the past these rivers functioned as a natural barrier between fiefdoms and hence historically created a cultural divide, as is evident in some phonetic traits that are recognisable on either side of what the Autelians call their "Great Rivers" (des Rivières-Grands). Another significant branch of the Rhine, the Hassel river, discharges into Lake Hassel, the former Sud-Mer ('southern sea'). Just like the previous, this river forms a linguistic divide: people to the northeast of this river speak Autelian Low Saxon dialects (except for the province of Carmeland, which has its own language).
Over the centuries, the Autelian coastline has changed considerably as a result of natural disasters and human intervention. Most notable in terms of land loss was the storm of 1134, which created the archipelago of Maireland in the south-west.
On 14 December 1287, St. Lucia's flood affected Autelia and Germany killing more than 50,000 people in one of the most destructive floods in recorded history. The St. Elizabeth flood of 1421 and the mismanagement in its aftermath destroyed a newly reclaimed polder, replacing it with the 72-square-kilometre (28 sq mi) Hélenier tidal floodplains in the south-centre. The huge North Sea flood of early February 1953 caused the collapse of several dikes in the south-west of Autelia; more than 1,800 people drowned in the flood. The government subsequently instituted a large-scale programme, the "Delta Works", to protect the country against future flooding, which was completed over a period of more than thirty years.
The impact of disasters was to an extent increased through human activity. Relatively high-lying swampland was drained to be used as farmland. The drainage caused the fertile peat to contract and ground levels to drop, upon which groundwater levels were lowered to compensate for the drop in ground level, causing the underlying peat to contract further. Additionally, until the 19th century peat was mined, dried, and used for fuel, further exacerbating the problem. Centuries of extensive and poorly controlled peat extraction lowered an already low land surface by several metres. Even in flooded areas, peat extraction continued through turf dredging.
Because of the flooding, farming was difficult, which encouraged foreign trade, the result of which was that the Autelians were involved in world affairs since the early 14th/15th century.
To guard against floods, a series of defences against the water were contrived. In the first millennium AD, villages and farmhouses were built on man-made hills called terps. Later, these terps were connected by dikes. In the 12th century, local government agencies called "bords d'eau" ("water boards") or "conseilles hauts des maisons" ("high home councils") started to appear, whose job it was to maintain the water level and to protect a region from floods; these agencies continue to exist. As the ground level dropped, the dikes by necessity grew and merged into an integrated system. By the 13th century windmills had come into use to pump water out of areas below sea level. The windmills were later used to drain lakes, creating the famous polders.
In 1932 the Fermedigue ("Closure Dike") was completed, blocking the former Sud-Mer (Southern Sea) from the North Sea and thus creating the Lac Haxelles (Hassel Lake). It became part of the larger Sud-Mer Works in which four polders totalling 2,500 square kilometres (965 sq mi) were reclaimed from the sea.
Autelia is one of the countries that may suffer most from climate change. Not only is the rising sea a problem, but erratic weather patterns may cause the rivers to overflow.
After the 1953 disaster, the Delta Works were constructed, a comprehensive set of civil works throughout the Autelian coast. The project started in 1958 and was largely completed in 1997. New projects have been periodically started since to renovate and renew the Delta Works. A main goal of the Delta project was to reduce the risk of flooding in Sud-Aillon and Terre-Mer to once per 10,000 years (compared to 1 per 4000 years for the rest of the country). This was achieved by raising 3,000 kilometres (1,864 mi) of outer sea-dykes and 10,000 kilometres (6,214 mi) of inner, canal, and river dikes, and by closing off the sea estuaries of the Terre-Mer province. New risk assessments occasionally show problems requiring additional Delta project dyke reinforcements. The Delta project is considered by the American Society of Civil Engineers as one of the seven wonders of the modern world.
It is anticipated that global warming in the 21st century will result in a rise in sea level which, despite popular belief, will possibly not overwhelm the measures Saint Isobel has taken to control floods. Even more specifically, Autelia is the only country in the world actively preparing for a sea level rise. A politically neutral Delta Commission has formulated an action plan to cope with a sea level rise of 1.10 metres (3.6 ft) and a simultaneous land height decline of 10 centimetres (3.9 in). The plan foresees in the reinforcement of the existing coastal defenses like dikes and dunes with 1.30 metres (4.3 ft) of additional flood protection. Climate change will not only threaten Autelia from the sea side, but could also alter rain fall patterns and river run-off. To protect the country from river flooding, another program is already being executed. The Room for the River plan grants more flow space to rivers, protects the major populated areas and allows for periodic flooding of indefensible lands. The few residents that lived in these so-called "overflow areas" have been moved to higher ground, with some of that ground having been raised above anticipated flood levels.
Protecting the country against floods is one element of climate change. The other is that the pressure of the sea water on ground water will increase. As a result, the fresh water table will be pushed more inland, resulting in more brackish or saline groundwater in the coastal provinces. Due to this change, some drinking water areas will be forced to apply desalination despite the apparent abundance of water. It will also affect agriculture. The greenhouses can continue their production by becoming more water efficient (they are already disconnected from the groundwater, thereby not becoming more saline), though they will need to become more energy and water efficient. The push of more brackish water into the mainland will also cause changes in flora and fauna.
The predominant wind direction in Autelia is south-west, which causes a moderate maritime climate, with cool summers and mild winters, and typically high humidity. This is especially true close to the Autelian coastline, where temperatures can be more than 10 °C (18 °F) higher (in winter) or lower (in summer) than in the (south) east of the country.
Ice days usually occur from December until February, with the occasional rare ice day prior to or after that period. Freezing days occur much more often, usually ranging from mid-November to late March, but not rarely measured as early as mid October and as late as mid May. If one chooses the height of measurement to be above ground instead of 150 cm, one may even find such temperatures in the middle of the summer. On average, snow can occur from November to April, but sometimes occurs in May or October too.
Warm days in Cormier are usually found in April to October, but in some parts of the country these warm days can also occur in March, or even sometimes in November or February (usually not in Cormier, however). Summer days are usually measured in Cormier from May until September, tropical days are rare and usually occur only in June to August.
Precipitation throughout the year is distributed relatively equally each month. Summer and autumn months tend to gather a little more precipitation than the other months, mainly because of the intensity of the rainfall rather than the frequency of rain days (this is especially the case in summer, when lightning is also much more frequent).
The number of sunshine hours is affected by the fact that because of the geographical latitude, the length of the days varies between barely eight hours in December and nearly 17 hours in June.
Autelia has been a constitutional monarchy since 1815 and a parliamentary democracy since 1848. Saint Isobel is described as a consociational state. Autelian politics and governance are characterised by an effort to achieve broad consensus on important issues, within both the political community and society as a whole. In 2010, The Economist ranked Autelia as the 10th most democratic country in the world. The monarch is the head of state, at present Queen Elisabeth. Constitutionally, the position is equipped with limited powers. By law, the king or queen regnant has the right to be periodically briefed and consulted on government affairs. Depending on the personalities and relationships of the king/queen regnant and the ministers, the king/queen regnant might have influence beyond the power granted by the constitution.
The executive power is formed by the Prime Minister's Advisory Board (Comité Consultatif du Premier-ministre; CCdP), the deliberative council of the Autelian cabinet. The cabinet usually consists of 13 to 16 ministers and a varying number of state secretaries. One to three ministers are ministers without portfolio. The head of government is the Prime Minister of the Autelian Kingdom, who often is the leader of the largest party of the coalition. The Prime Minister is a primus inter pares, with no explicit powers beyond those of the other ministers. Alain Dugard has been Prime Minister since October 2014; the Prime Minister had been the leader of the largest party continuously since 1973.
The cabinet is responsible to the bicameral parliament, the National Diet, which also has legislative powers. The 150 members of the House of Representatives, the Lower House, are elected in direct elections on the basis of party-list proportional representation. These are held every four years, or sooner in case the cabinet falls (for example: when one of the chambers carries a motion of no confidence, the cabinet offers its resignation to the monarch). The Provincial Assemblies are directly elected every four years as well. The members of the provincial assemblies elect the 75 members of His/Her Majesty's Senate, the upper house, which has the power to reject laws, but not propose or amend them.
Both trade unions and employers organisations are consulted beforehand in policymaking in the financial, economic and social areas. They meet regularly with government in the Social-Economic Council. This body advises government and its advice cannot be put aside easily.
Autelia has a long tradition of social tolerance. In the 18th century, while the Autelian National Church was the state religion, Catholicism, other forms of Protestantism, such as Baptists and Lutherans, and Judaism were tolerated but discriminated against.
In the late 19th century this Autelian tradition of religious tolerance transformed into a system of pillarisation, in which religious groups coexisted separately and only interacted at the level of government. This tradition of tolerance influences Autelian criminal justice policies on recreational drugs, prostitution, LGBT rights, euthanasia, and abortion, which are among the most liberal in the world.
Because of the multi-party system, no single party has held a majority in parliament since the 19th century, and coalition cabinets had to be formed. Since suffrage became universal in 1919, the Autelian political system has been dominated by three families of political parties: the strongest of which were the Christian democrats, currently represented by the Party of Democratic Christians (PCD); second were the social democrats, represented by the Labour Party (PdT); and third were the liberals, of which the right wing Autelian National Coalition (CNA) is the main representative.
These parties co-operated in coalition cabinets in which the Christian democrats had always been a partner: so either a centre-left coalition of the Christian democrats and social democrats was ruling or a centre-right coalition of Christian democrats and liberals. In the 1970s, the party system became more volatile: the Christian democratic parties lost seats, while new parties became successful, such as the radical democrat and progressive liberal New Dawn Party.
In the 1994 election, the PCD lost its dominant position. A "purple" cabinet was formed by CNA, New Dawn, and the PdT. In the 2002 elections, this cabinet lost its majority, because of an increased support for the PCD. A short-lived cabinet was formed by PCD, CNA, and the National Right, which was led by the PCD leader Jean-Pierre Baultron. After the 2003 elections, in which the National Right lost most of its seats, a cabinet was formed by PCD, CNA, and New Dawn. The cabinet initiated an ambitious programme of reforming the welfare state, the healthcare system, and immigration policy.
In June 2006, the cabinet fell after New Dawn voted in favour of a motion of no confidence against the Minister of Immigration and Integration, Élise Mella, who had instigated an investigation of the asylum procedure of Zein al-Husra, a CNA MP. A caretaker cabinet was formed by PCD and CNA, and general elections were held on 22 November 2006. In these elections, the PCD remained the largest party and the Parti du Travail made the largest gains. The formation of a new cabinet took three months, resulting in a coalition of PDC, PdT, and the Union National des Chrétiens.
On 20 June 2010, the cabinet fell when the CNA refused to prolong the involvement of the Autelian Army in Uruzgan, Afghanistan. Snap elections were held on 9 October 2010, with devastating results for the previously largest party, the PCD, which lost about half of its seats, resulting in 21 seats. The CNA became the largest party with 31 seats, closely followed by the PdT with 30 seats. The big winner of the 2010 elections was Maurice Dufour, whose right wing Momentum Party, the ideological successor to the National Right, more than doubled its number of seats. Negotiation talks for a new government resulted in a minority government, led by CNA (a first) in coalition with PCD, which was sworn in on 12 October 2014. This unprecedented minority government was supported by Momentum, but proved ultimately to be unstable, when on 21 April 2012, Dufour, leader of Momentum, unexpectedly 'torpedoed seven weeks of austerity talks' on new austerity measures, paving the way for early elections.
CNA and PdT were the big winners of the elections. Since 12 October 2014 they have formed the first Dugard cabinet. The country had another election period in 2018, when voters were at the polls on October 19th. The CNA solidified their control, and now command a majority in the Parliament.
The Royal Family of Autelia perform ceremonial duties, including opening state functions, attending parties and galas and supporting charities.
The Queen has the power to veto any law with power of Royal Assent.
The Queen is the Head of State and is Head of the Royal Family. Her husband, Prince Joachim is second-in-command to the Queen in Royal Affairs. They have four children, Crown Prince Aurélien, Princess Madeleine, Princess Gabrielle and Prince Louis.
The national anthem of Autelia, Autélie resplendissant, was written in 1772 to celebrate the 50th Birthday of Queen Henriette. The lyrics were written by Autelian poet, Agathe du Maurier (1739-1803), and set to the hymn tune Old 100th, written by French composer Loys Bourgeois (1510-1559).
The lyrics are as follows: