Background Notes:  Monaco, January 1999 

Released by the Bureau of European Affairs
U.S. Department of State

OFFICIAL NAME:  Principality of Monaco



Area:  1.95 sq. km. (0.8 sq. mi); about the size of New York City's 
Central Park.
Cities:  Capital--Monaco-Ville, pop. 1,151 (1990).
Terrain:  Hilly.
Climate:  Mediterranean.


Nationality:  Noun and adjective--Monegasque.
Population (1995):  30,744.
Annual growth rate (1996 est.): 0.59% .
Ethnic Groups (1995): Monegasque 22%, French 35%, Italian 18%, other 
Religion:  Roman Catholic 95%, other 5%.
Languages:  French (official), English, Italian, and Monegasque                                                     
(a blend of French and Italian).
Education:  Years compulsory--10, ages 6-16. Attendance--99%. Literacy-
Health (1997): Infant mortality--7/1,000.  Life expectancy--74.18 male; 
81.8 female.  
Number of births (1997): 713
Number of deaths (1997): 485
Work force (32,691): Private sector--29,311; public sector--3,380. 
Services--46%, banking--7%, tourism and hotel--17%, retail--12%, 
construction and public works--7%, industry--11%.


Type:  Constitutional monarchy.
Constitution:  December 17, 1962.
Branches:  Executive--Prince Rainier III (chief of state). Legislative-
-National Council (18 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:  National and Democratic Union (UND), Campora List, 
Medecin List.
Suffrage:  Universal adult at age 25.

Flag:  Top band red; bottom white.


GDP:  Monaco does not publish economic figures such as gross domestic 
product, though estimates placed GDP at $788 million in 1994.
Average annual growth rate: Not available.
Per capita GDP: Estimated at $25,000.
Agriculture: None.
Industry:  Types--tourism, construction, chemicals, food products, 
plastics, precision instruments, cosmetics, ceramics.
Trade: Imports--about $415,272;  Exports--about $415,272. 
Currency:  Monaco used the French franc as its currency until January 
1999, when Monaco switched to the Euro with others of the European 
Union.  As in the past, special Monegasque coins will continue to 


In 1995, Monaco's population was estimated at 30,744, with an estimated 
average growth rate of 0.59%.  Monaco-Ville has a population of 1,151.

French is the official language; English, Italian, and Monegasque (a 
blend of French and Italian) are also spoken.  The literacy rate is 
99%.  Roman Catholicism is the official religion, with freedom of other 
religions guaranteed by the constitution.


The Principality of Monaco is the second-smallest independent state in 
the world, after 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 8o C (47o F); in July and August the average maximum temperature is 
26o C (78o F).


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, written into the Treaty of 
Versailles, established that Monegasque policy would be aligned with 
French political, military, and economic interests.

Prince Rainier III, the current ruler of Monaco, acceded to the throne 
following the death of his grandfather, Prince Louis II, in 1949.  The 
current heir apparent, Prince Albert, was born in 1958.

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.


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 18 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.

Legal power is invested in the Prince, who delegates legal 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 (i.e., 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.

Principal Government Officials

Chief of State--Prince Rainier III
Minister of State--Michel Leveque
Council of Government:
		Interior--Jean Aribaud
		Finance and Economic Affairs--Henri Fissore
		Public Works and Social Affairs--Michel Sosso
		National Council President--Jean-Louis Campora
		President of Supreme Court--Rene-Jean Dupuy
		Director of Judicial Services--Noel Musieux


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 $586 
million annual government income (1997).  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.  Although 
Monegasque coins are minted and circulated, the official currency is 
the euro (as of January 1999).

Though official economic statistics are not published, 1994 estimates 
place the national product at $788 million and the per capita income at 
$25,000.  The unemployment rate is low, at 3.1% (1994).

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 is also a member of many international and 
intergovernmental organizations, including Interpol, UNESCO, and 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 1918, the text of which has 
international recognition because it is confirmed by Article 436 of the 
Treaty of Versailles of 1919, which instituted a contractual, 
bilateral, and reciprocal regime between the two states.  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.

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 French franc (euro as of 
January 1999) as its official currency.

Monaco has 10 diplomatic missions in Western Europe and a permanent 
representation at the United Nations.  It maintains honorary consulates 
in 106 cities in 45 countries.  Sixty-one 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 Grace Kelly was married to Prince Rainier III.  
The United States does not have a diplomatic mission located in Monaco.  
The U.S. Consul General in Marseille, France, is formally accredited to 

Principal U.S. Official

Consul General (Marseille, France) Joyce Leader

The U.S. Consulate General at Marseille is located at 12 Boulevard Paul 
Peytral, 13286 Marseille Cedex (tel. [33]-(4)-91-54-92-00).

The U.S. Department of State's Consular Information Program provides 
Travel Warnings and Consular Information Sheets. Travel Warnings are 
issued when the State Department recommends that Americans avoid travel 
to a certain country. Consular Information Sheets exist for all 
countries and include information on immigration practices, currency 
regulations, health conditions, areas of instability, crime and 
security, political disturbances, and the addresses of the U.S. posts 
in the country. Public Announcements are issued as a means to 
disseminate information quickly about terrorist threats and other 
relatively short-term conditions overseas which pose significant risks 
to the security of American travelers. Free copies of this information 
are available by calling the Bureau of Consular Affairs at 202-647-5225 
or via the fax-on-demand system: 202-647-3000. Travel Warnings and 
Consular Information Sheets also are available on the Consular Affairs 
Internet home page: and the Consular Affairs 
Bulletin Board (CABB). To access CABB, dial the modem number: 301-946-
4400 (it will accommodate up to 33,600 bps), set terminal 
communications program to N-8-1(no parity, 8 bits, 1 stop bit); and 
terminal emulation to VT100. The login is travel and the password is 
info. (Note: Lower case is required). The CABB also carries 
international security information from the Overseas Security Advisory 
Council and Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security. Consular 
Affairs Trips for Travelers publication series, which contain 
information on obtaining passports and planning a safe trip abroad, can 
be purchased from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government 
Printing Office, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954; telephone: 
202-512-1800; fax 202-512-2250.
Emergency information concerning Americans traveling abroad may be 
obtained from the Office of Overseas Citizens Services at (202) 647-
5225. For after-hours emergencies, Sundays and holidays, call 202-647-
Passport Services information can be obtained by calling the 24-hour, 
7-day a week automated system ($.35 per minute) or live operators 8 
a.m. to 8 p.m. (EST) Monday-Friday ($1.05 per minute). The number is 1-
900-225-5674 (TDD: 1-900-225-7778). Major credit card users (for a flat 
rate of $4.95) may call 1-888-362-8668 (TDD: 1-888-498-3648).
Travelers can check the latest health information with the U.S. Centers 
for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia. A hotline at 
(404) 332-4559 gives the most recent health advisories, immunization 
recommendations or requirements, and advice on food and drinking water 
safety for regions and countries. A booklet entitled Health Information 
for International Travel (HHS publication number CDC-95-8280) is 
available from the U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 
20402, tel. (202) 512-1800.
Information on travel conditions, visa requirements, currency and 
customs regulations, legal holidays, and other items of interest to 
travelers also may be obtained before your departure from a country's 
embassy and/or consulates in the U.S. (for this country, see 
"Principal Government Officials" listing in this 
U.S. citizens who are long-term visitors or traveling in dangerous 
areas are encouraged to register at the U.S. embassy upon arrival in a 
country (see "Principal U.S. Embassy Officials" listing in 
this publication). This may help family members contact you in case of 
an emergency.
Further Electronic Information
Department of State Foreign Affairs Network. Available on the Internet, 
DOSFAN provides timely, global access to official U.S. foreign policy 
information. Updated daily, DOSFAN includes Background Notes; Dispatch, 
the official magazine of U.S. foreign policy; daily press briefings; 
Country Commercial Guides; directories of key officers of foreign 
service posts; etc. DOSFAN's World Wide Web site is at
U.S. Foreign Affairs on CD-ROM (USFAC). Published on an annual basis by 
the U.S. Department of State, USFAC archives information on the 
Department of State Foreign Affairs Network, and includes an array of 
official foreign policy information from 1990 to the present. Contact 
the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, P.O. 
Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954. To order, call (202) 512-1800 or 
fax (202) 512-2250.
National Trade Data Bank (NTDB). Operated by the U.S. Department of 
Commerce, the NTDB contains a wealth of trade-related information. It 
is available on the Internet ( and on CD-ROM. Call the 
NTDB Help-Line at (202) 482-1986 for more information.

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