For the most current version of this Note, see Background Notes A-Z.
Principality of Monaco
Area: 1.95 sq. km. (0.8 sq. mi); about the size of New York City's Central Park.
City: Capital--Monaco, pop. 32,020 (2000).
Nationality: Noun and adjective--Monegasque.
Annual growth rate (2001 est.): 0.46%.
Ethnic groups (2000 census): Monegasque 19%, French 32%, Italian 20%, other 29%. Religions: Roman Catholic 90%, other 10%.
Languages: French (official), English, Italian, and Monegasque (a blend of French and Italian).
Education: Years compulsory--10, ages 6-16. Attendance--99%. Literacy--99%.
Health (2001 est.): Infant mortality--5.83/1,000. Life expectancy--75.04 yrs male; 83.12 yrs female. Number of births per year (July 2001 est.)--310. Number of deaths per year (July 2001 est.)--414.
Work force (2000, 38,595): Private sector--35,168. Public sector--3,427. Services--46%. Banking--7%. Tourism and hotel--17%. Retail--12%. Construction and public works--7%. Industry--11%.
Type: Constitutional monarchy.
Constitution: December 17, 1962 (amended in April 2002).
Branches: Executive--Prince Albert, Crown Prince, Regent (chief of state). Legislative--National Council (24 members). Judicial--Court of First Instance, Court of Appeal, High Court of Appeal, Criminal Court, Supreme Court.
Subdivisions: Four quarters (quartiers)--Monaco-Ville, La Condamine, Monte-Carlo, Fontvieille.
Political parties: Union pour Monaco (UPM), National and Democratic Union (UND), Parti Mon�gasque (PM).
Suffrage: Universal adult at age 18.
GDP: Monaco does not publish economic figures such as gross domestic product, though estimates placed GDP at $870 million in 1999.
Avg. annual growth rate: Not available.
Per capita GDP (1999 est.): $27,000.
Industry: Types--tourism, construction, chemicals, food products, plastics, precision instruments, cosmetics, ceramics.
Trade: Imports (2000)--about $472 million. Exports (2000)--about $492 million.
Currency: Monaco, along with France and the other 11 members of the European Monetary Union (EMU), adopted the euro as its official currency on January 1, 2002. As in other EMU states, Euros minted in Monaco have special Monegasque features on one side of the coin.
The Principality of Monaco is the second-smallest independent state in the world, after the Holy See (Vatican City). It is located on the Mediterranean coast, 18 kilometers (11 mi.) east of Nice, France, and is surrounded on three sides by France. Monaco is divided into four sections: Monaco-Ville, the old city on a rocky promontory extending into the Mediterranean; La Condamine, the section along the port; Monte-Carlo, the principal residential and resort area; and Fontvieille, a newly constructed area reclaimed from the sea.
The principality is noted for its beautiful natural scenery and mild, sunny climate. The average minimum temperature in January and February is 8oC (47oF); in July and August the average maximum temperature is 26oC (78oF).
French is the official language; English, Italian, and Monegasque (a blend of French and Italian) also are spoken. The literacy rate is 99%. Roman Catholicism is the official religion, with freedom of other religions guaranteed by the constitution.
Founded in 1215 as a colony of Genoa, Monaco has been ruled by the House of Grimaldi since 1297, except when under French control from 1789 to 1814. Designated as a protectorate of Sardinia from 1815 until 1860 by the Treaty of Vienna, Monaco's sovereignty was recognized by the Franco-Monegasque Treaty of 1861. The Prince of Monaco was an absolute ruler until a constitution was promulgated in 1911.
In July 1918, a treaty was signed providing for limited French protection over Monaco. The treaty, formally noted in the Treaty of Versailles, established that Monegasque policy would be aligned with French political, military, and economic interests.
A new constitution, proclaimed in 1962, abolished capital punishment, provided for female suffrage, and established a Supreme Court to guarantee fundamental liberties.
In 1993, Monaco became an official member of the United Nations with full voting rights. It joined the Council of Europe in 2004.
Prince Albert II acceded to the throne following the death of his father, Prince Rainier III, in April 2005.
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS
Monaco has been governed as a constitutional monarchy since 1911, with the Prince as chief of state. The executive branch consists of a Minister of State (head of government), who presides over a four-member Council of Government (cabinet). The Minister of State, who is a French citizen appointed by the Prince for a 3-year term from among several senior French civil servants proposed by the French Government, is responsible for foreign relations. As the Prince's representative, the Minister of State also directs the executive services, commands the police, and presides (with voting powers) over the Council of Government. The three other members of the Council are responsible for financial and economic affairs, internal affairs, and public works and social affairs, respectively.
Under the 1962 constitution, the Prince shares his power with the unicameral National Council. The 24 members of this legislative body are elected from lists by universal suffrage for 5-year terms. If the Prince dissolves the National Council, new elections must be held within 3 months. Usually meeting twice annually, the Council votes on the budget and endorses laws proposed by the Prince.
Ordinances passed by the National Council are debated in the Council of Government, as are the ministerial decrees signed by the Minister of State. Once approved, the ordinances must be submitted to the Prince within 80 days for his signature, which makes them legally enforceable. If he does not express opposition within 10 days of submission, they become valid.
Judicial power is invested in the Prince, who delegates judicial procedures to the various courts, which dispense justice in his name. The independence of the judges is guaranteed by the constitution. The Supreme Court is composed of five chief members and two assistant judges named by the Prince on the basis of nominations by the National Council and other government bodies. The Supreme Court is the highest court for judicial appeals and also interprets the constitution when necessary. Monaco's legal system, closely related to that of France, is patterned after the Napoleonic Code.
The principality's local affairs (the administration of the four quarters of Monaco-Ville, La Condamine, Monte Carlo, and Fontvieille) are directed by the Communal Council, which consists of 15 elected members and is presided over by the Mayor.
Just prior to Prince Rainier III's death on April 6, 2005, his son Albert assumed power.
Principal Government Officials
Chief of State--Prince Albert, Crown Prince
Minister of State--Patrick LECLERCQ
Council of Government
Finance and Economic Affairs--Franck BIANCHERI
Public Works and Social Affairs--Jos� BADIA
National Council President--St�phane VALERI
President of Supreme Court--M. Roland DRAGO
Director of Judicial Services--Alain GUILLOU
Monaco, located on the Mediterranean coast, has an economy primarily geared toward finance, commerce, and tourism. Low taxes have drawn many foreign companies to Monaco and account for around 50% of the �593 million annual government income (2002). Similarly, tourism accounts for close to 25% of the annual revenue, as the Principality of Monaco also has been a major center for tourism ever since its famed casino was established in 1856.
Customs, postal services, telecommunications, and banking in Monaco are governed by an economic and customs union with France. The official currency is the euro.
Though official economic statistics are not published, 1999 estimates place the national product at $870 million and the per capita income at $27,000. The unemployment rate is low, at 3.1% (1998).
Monaco is noted for its activity in the field of marine sciences. Its Oceanographic Museum, formerly directed by Jacques Cousteau, is one of the most renowned institutions of its kind in the world. Monaco imports and exports products and services from all over the world. There is no commercial agriculture in Monaco.
Monaco actively participates in the United Nations, which it joined in 1993. Monaco joined the Council of Europe on October 4, 2004. Monaco also is a member of many international and intergovernmental organizations, including Interpol, the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and the World Health Organization (WHO). The International Hydrographic Bureau (IHB) is headquartered in Monaco.
The Principality of Monaco is a sovereign and independent state, linked closely to France by the Treaty of July 1918, which was formally noted in Article 436 of the Treaty of Versailles of 1919. The foreign policy of Monaco is one illustration of this accord: France has agreed to defend the independence and sovereignty of Monaco, while the Monegasque Government has agreed to exercise its sovereign rights in conformity with French interests. Since then, the relations between the sovereign states of France and Monaco have been further defined in the Treaty of 1945 and the Agreement of 1963.
In 2004, Monaco renegotiated its treaty with France. The revised treaty has not yet been ratified by the French Senate and entered into force. The terms of the new treaty would:
- Upgrade France's representation in Monaco from Consulate General to that of an embassy;
- Permit, for the first time, other countries to accredit ambassadors to Monaco; and
- Formally recognize the succession scheme set out in the 1962 Constitution, which extends eligibility to the Prince's daughters and other family members.
Although not a member of the European Union (EU), Monaco is closely associated with the economic apparatus of the EU through its customs union with France and its reliance upon the euro as its official currency.
Monaco has 10 diplomatic missions in Western Europe and permanent representation at the United Nations and the Council of Europe. It maintains honorary consulates in 106 cities in 45 countries. Seventy-four countries have consulates general, consulates, or honorary consulates in or accredited to Monaco.
The United States and Monaco enjoy excellent relations, which both countries seek to maintain and strengthen. From 1956 until her death in 1982, the American-born Grace Kelly was married to Prince Rainier III, Prince Albert's father. The United States does not have a diplomatic mission located in Monaco. The U.S. Consul General in Marseille, France, under the authority of the U.S. Ambassador to France, is formally accredited to Monaco.
Principal U.S. Official
Consul General (Marseille, France)—Leslie W. McBee
The U.S. Consulate General at Marseille is located at Place Varian Fry, 13286 Marseille Cedex 6 (tel. -(4)-91-54-92-00).