Allo' Expat Andorra - Connecting Expats in Andorra
Main Homepage
Allo' Expat Andorra Logo


Subscribe to Allo' Expat Newsletter
 
Check our Rates
   Information Center Andorra
Andorra General Information
 
History of Andorra
Andorra Culture
Andorra Cuisine
Andorra Geography
Andorra Population
Andorra Government
Andorra Economy
Andorra Communications
Andorra Transportations
Andorra Military
Andorra Transnational Issues
Andorra Healthcare
Andorra People, Language & Religion
Andorra Expatriates Handbook
Andorra and Foreign Government
Andorra General Listings
Andorra Useful Tips
Andorra Education & Medical
Andorra Travel & Tourism Info
Andorra Lifestyle & Leisure
Andorra Business Matters
  Sponsored Links


Check our Rates

Andorra Government
 
 
 

General

Andorra is a parliamentary representative democratic country, whereby the Head of Government of Andorra is the chief executive, and of a multi-party system. Before 1993, Andorra's political system had no clear division of powers into executive, legislative and judicial branches. A constitution was ratified and approved in 1993 which establishes Andorra as a sovereign parliamentary democracy that retains as its heads of state a co-principality (or duumvirate), but the head of government retains executive power. The two co-princes serve coequally with limited powers that do not include a veto over government acts. They are each represented in Andorra by a delegate.

The fundamental impetus for this political transformation was a recommendation by the Council of Europe in 1990 that, if Andorra wished to attain full integration in the European Union (EU), it should adopt a modern constitution that guarantees the rights of those living and working there. A Tripartite Commission – made up of representatives of the co-princes, the General Council, and the Executive Council – was formed in 1990 and finalised the draft constitution in April 1991, making the new Constitution of Andorra a fact.

Under the 1993 constitution, the co-princes continue as heads of state, but the head of government retains executive power. The two co-princes serve coequally with limited powers that do not include veto over government acts. Both are represented in Andorra by a delegate, although since 1993, both France and Spain have their own embassies. As co-princes of Andorra, the President of France and the Bishop of Urgell maintain supreme authority in approval of all international treaties with France and Spain, as well as all those which deal with internal security, defence, Andorran territory, diplomatic representation, and judicial or penal cooperation. Although the institution of the co-princes is viewed by some as an anachronism, the majority sees them as both a link with Andorra's traditions and a way to balance the power of Andorra's two much larger neighbours. The way in which the two princes are chosen makes Andorra one of the most politically distinct nations on earth. As neither prince lives in Andorra their role is almost entirely ceremonial.

In 1981, the Executive Council, consisting of the Cap de Govern (head of government) and seven ministers, was established. Every 4 years, after the general elections, the General Council elects the head of government, who, in turn, chooses the other members of the Executive Council.

Andorra's main legislative body is the 28-member General Council (Parliament). The sindic (president), the subsindic and the members of the Council are elected in the general elections to be held every 4 years. The Council meets throughout the year on certain dates set by tradition or as required.

At least one representative from each parish must be present for the General Council to meet. Historically, within the General Council, four deputies apiece from each of the seven individual parishes have provided representation. This system allowed the smaller parishes, who have as few as 350 voters, the same number of representatives as larger parishes which have up to 2,600 voters. To correct this imbalance, a provision in the new constitution introduces a modification of the structure and format for electing the members of the Council; under this new format, half of the representatives are to be chosen by the traditional system, while the other half are selected from nationwide lists.

A sindic and a subsindic are chosen by the General Council to implement its decisions. They serve 3-year terms and may be reappointed once. They receive an annual salary. Sindics have virtually no discretionary powers, and all policy decisions must be approved by the Council as a whole.

The judicial system is independent. Courts apply the customary laws of Andorra, supplemented with Roman law and customary Catalan law. Civil cases are first heard by the Court of Batlles – a group of four judges, two chosen by each co-prince. Appeals are heard in the Court of Appeals. The highest body is the five-member Superior Court of Justice.

One remaining, though symbolic, legacy of Andorra's special relationship with France and Spain, is that the Principality has no postal service of its own – French and Spanish postal services operate side by side, although each of them issues separate stamps for Andorra, instead of using their own.


See more information on the next page... (next)


 

 
 

   



 


copyrights © AlloExpat.com
2014 | Policy