The microstates of Europe

A glance at the map speaks volumes: they are easy to overlook. Sandwiched between the continent’s big players, they eke out an existence seemingly without the opportunity to develop, ridiculed for their helplessness. But they know how to preserve their very own traditions and protect the animals and plants that have become rare. Their exceptional location in often extreme mountain or coastal environments provides refuges for endangered species. This series not only celebrates the beauty of nature in the “micros” – it also aims to highlight environmental problems and present solutions.


Each episode features a microstate: Andorra, Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco and San Marino. They are shaped by their location: Malta at the crossroads of Europe and Africa, Monaco with its “back to the wall” and a view out to sea, Andorra hemmed in between mountains and neighbours, San Marino tolerated by an overpowering Italy and Liechtenstein as a fortress in the border triangle between Germany, Austria and Switzerland and Luxembourg. But the topography also creates the backdrop for grandiose natural spectacles.

The stories of the “Micronesians” tell of the courageous efforts to preserve their natural characteristics and cultural independence.

Episode Liechtenstein: by Anja Glücklich
Episode Monaco: by Michael Gregor
Episode Andorra: by Michael Gregor
Episode Luxembourg: by Susanne Utzt
Episode Malta: by Anne Wigger
Episode San Marino: by Sabine Bier


Broadcast date:in 2021 auf arte
Length:Je Folge 52'
Written and directed by:Sabine Bier, Anja Glücklich, Michael Gregor, Susanne Utzt, Anne Wigger
Camera:Jasper Engel, Alexander Hein, Moritz Schwarz
Editor:Matthias Fey, Fabian Teichmann, Ramon Urselmann, Sven Voß
Production:Alex Busch, Christin Gumpert, Marius Meckl
Line producer:Ulrike Schwerdtner
Producer:Jasmin Gravenhorst