Europe :: Andorra

Introduction ::Andorra

    The landlocked Principality of Andorra is one of the smallest states in Europe, nestled high in the Pyrenees Mountains between the French and Spanish borders. For 715 years, from 1278 to 1993, Andorrans lived under a unique co-principality, ruled by French and Spanish leaders (from 1607 onward, the French chief of state and the Spanish bishop of Seu d'Urgell). In 1993, this feudal system was modified, with the titular heads of state retained, but the government transformed into a parliamentary democracy. In the late 20th century, Andorra became a popular tourist destination. An estimated 10 million people visit each year drawn by the winter sports, summer climate, and duty free goods. Andorra has also become a wealthy international commercial center because of its banking facilities, low taxes, and lack of customs duties. However, recent economic hardships have required Andorra to start taxing foreign investments and to implement stricter economic policies. Andorra is not a member of the European Union, but enjoys a special relationship with it and uses the Euro as its national currency.

Geography ::Andorra

People and Society ::Andorra

Government ::Andorra

    conventional long form: Principality of Andorra
    conventional short form: Andorra
    local long form: Principat d'Andorra
    local short form: Andorra
    parliamentary democracy (since March 1993) that retains as its chiefs of state a coprincipality; the two princes are the president of France and bishop of Seu d'Urgell, Spain, who are represented in Andorra by the coprinces' representatives
    name: Andorra la Vella
    geographic coordinates: 42 30 N, 1 31 E
    time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
    daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
    7 parishes (parroquies, singular - parroquia); Andorra la Vella, Canillo, Encamp, Escaldes-Engordany, La Massana, Ordino, Sant Julia de Loria
    1278 (formed under the joint sovereignty of the French Count of Foix and the Spanish Bishop of Seu d'Urgell)
    Our Lady of Meritxell Day, 8 September (1278)
    Andorra's first written constitution was drafted in 1991; approved by referendum 14 March 1993; effective 28 April 1993
    mixed legal system of civil and customary law with canon (religious) law influences
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: French Coprince Francois HOLLANDE (since 15 May 2012); represented by Christian FREMONT (since September 2008) and Spanish Coprince Archbishop Joan-Enric VIVES i Sicilia (since 12 May 2003); represented by Nemesi MARQUES i Oste (since 30 July 2003)
    head of government: Head of Government (or Cap de Govern) Antoni MARTI PETIT (since 12 May 2011)
    cabinet: Executive Council of nine ministers designated by the Head of Government
    (For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
    elections: Head of Government elected by the General Council (Andorran Parliament) and formally appointed by the coprinces for a four-year term; election last held on 3 April 2011 (next to be held in April 2015)
    election results: Antoni MARTI PETIT was elected Head of Government; percent of General Council vote - 79%; note - the leader of the party which wins a majority of seats in the General Council is usually elected Head of Government
    unicameral General Council of the Valleys or Consell General de las Valls (a minimum of 28 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote, 14 from a single national constituency and 14 to represent each of the seven parishes; to serve four-year terms); note - each voter casts two separate ballots - one for the national list, one for the parish list
    elections: last held on 3 April 2011 (next to be held in April 2015)
    election results: percent of vote by party - DA 55%, PS 35%, Andorra for Change 7%, VA 3%; seats by party - DA 22, PS 6; note - numbers of votes and percentages are for the respective national list; number of seats include seats won by the parish lists
    highest court(s): Supreme Court of Justice of Andorra or Tribunal Superior de la Justicia d'Andorra (consists of the court president and 8 judges organized into civil, criminal, and administrative chambers); Constitutional Court or Tribunal Constitucional (consists of 4 magistrates)
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court president and judges appointed by the Supreme Council of Justice, a 5-member judicial policy and administrative body appointed 1 each by the Coprinces, 1 by the General Council, 1 by the executive council president, and 1 by the courts; judges serve 6-year renewable terms; Constitutional magistrates appointed 2 by the Coprinces and 2 by the General Council; magistrates' appointments limited to two consecutive 8-year terms
    subordinate courts: Tribunal of Judges or Tribunal de Batlles; Tribunal of the Courts or Tribunal de Corts
    there are four political parties at the national level:
    Andorra for Change or ApC [Eusebio NOMEN CALVET]
    Democrats for Andorra or DA [Antoni MARTI PETIT], coalition including Liberal Party (PRA) and Reformist Coalition
    Greens of Andorra or VA [Isabel LOZANO MUNOZ]
    Social Democratic Party or PS [Jaume BARTUMEU CASSANY]
    note: there are also several smaller parties at the Parish level (one is Lauredian Union)
    chief of mission: Ambassador Narcis CASAL de Fonsdeviela
    chancery: 2 United Nations Plaza, 25th Floor, New York, NY 10017
    telephone: [1] (212) 750-8064
    FAX: [1] (212) 750-6630
    the US does not have an embassy in Andorra; the US Ambassador to Spain is accredited to Andorra; US interests in Andorra are represented by the US Consulate General's office in Barcelona (Spain); mailing address: Paseo Reina Elisenda de Montcada, 23, 08034 Barcelona, Spain; telephone: [34] (93) 280-2227; FAX: [34] (93) 280-6175
    three vertical bands of blue (hoist side), yellow, and red, with the national coat of arms centered in the yellow band; the latter band is slightly wider than the other two so that the ratio of band widths is 8:9:8; the coat of arms features a quartered shield with the emblems of (starting in the upper left and proceeding clockwise): Urgell, Foix, Bearn, and Catalonia; the motto reads VIRTUS UNITA FORTIOR (Strength United is Stronger); the flag combines the blue and red French colors with the red and yellow of Spain to show Franco-Spanish protection
    note: similar to the flags of Chad and Romania, which do not have a national coat of arms in the center, and the flag of Moldova, which does bear a national emblem
    name: "El Gran Carlemany" (The Great Charlemagne)
    lyrics/music: Joan BENLLOCH i VIVO/Enric MARFANY BONS
    note: adopted 1921; the anthem provides a brief history of Andorra in a first person narrative

Economy ::Andorra

    Tourism, retail sales, and finance are the mainstays of Andorra's tiny, well-to-do economy, accounting for more than three-quarters of GDP. Andorra's duty-free status for some products and its summer and winter resorts attract millions of visitors annually, although the economic downturn in neighboring countries has curtailed tourism activity. The banking sector also contributes substantially to the economy. Andorra's comparative advantage as a tax haven eroded when the borders of neighboring France and Spain opened; its bank secrecy laws have been relaxed under pressure from the EU and OECD. Agricultural production is limited - only 2% of the land is arable - and most food has to be imported, making the economy vulnerable to changes in fuel and food prices. The principal livestock activity is sheep raising. Manufacturing output and exports consist mainly of perfumes and cosmetic products, products of the printing industry, electrical machinery and equipment, clothing, tobacco products, and furniture. Andorra is a member of the EU Customs Union and is treated as an EU member for trade in manufactured goods (no tariffs) and as a non-EU member for agricultural products. Andorra uses the euro and is effectively subject to the monetary policy of the European Central Bank. Slower growth in Spain and France has dimmed Andorra's economic prospects. Since 2010, a drop in tourism contributed to a contraction in GDP and a sharp deterioration of public finances, prompting the government to begin implementing several austerity measures to reduce the budget deficit, including levying a special corporate tax. To bring in new revenue and diversify future sources of economic growth, the government approved in July 2012 a new foreign investment law opening investment to foreign capital.
    $3.163 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 180
    $3.214 billion (2011 est.)
    $3.227 billion (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    $4.8 billion (2012 est.)
    -1.6% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 205
    -0.4% (2011 est.)
    -1.9% (2010 est.)
    $37,200 (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 36
    $37,700 (2010 est.)
    $37,900 (2009 est.)
    agriculture: 14%
    industry: 79%
    services: 6% (2011 est.)
    small quantities of rye, wheat, barley, oats, vegetables; sheep
    tourism (particularly skiing), banking, tobacco, cattle raising, timber, furniture
    36,060 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 201
    agriculture: 0.4%
    industry: 4.7%
    services: 94.9% (2010)
    2.9% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 23
    1.9% (2011 est.)
    NA% (2008)
    lowest 10%: NA%
    highest 10%: NA%
    revenues: $403 million
    expenditures: $470 million (2011)
    8.4% of GDP (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 209
    -1.4% of GDP (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 67
    calendar year
    1.1% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 14
    -2.5% (2011 est.)
    $70 million (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 192
    $72 million (2011 est.)
    tobacco products, furniture
    $1.43 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 173
    $1.501 billion (2011 est.)
    consumer goods, food, electricity
    euros (EUR) per US dollar -
    0.7778 (2012 est.)
    0.7185 (2011 est.)
    0.755 (2010 est.)
    0.7198 (2009 est.)
    0.6827 (2008 est.)

Energy ::Andorra

Communications ::Andorra

    38,400 (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 169
    65,000 (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 197
    general assessment: modern automatic telephone system
    domestic: modern system with microwave radio relay connections between exchanges
    international: country code - 376; landline circuits to France and Spain (2012)
    1 public TV station and 2 public radio stations; about 10 commercial radio stations; good reception of radio and TV broadcasts from stations in France and Spain; upgraded to terrestrial digital TV broadcasting in 2007; roughly 25 international TV channels available (2012)
    28,383 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 109
    67,100 (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 171

Transportation ::Andorra

    total: 320 km (2008)
    country comparison to the world: 203

Military ::Andorra