Country profile for Andorra

The Andorra map

Between France and Spain in the high Pyrenees mountains is the tiny principality of Andorra.

The tourism industry, which accounts for about 80% of GDP, is the backbone of this extremely prosperous economy. An estimated 10 million people travel there annually attracted by duty-free shopping, warm summers, and winter sports.

The nation's banking industry is classified as a partial tax haven.

Together with the bishop of Urgell from Spain, the ruler of France ruled Andorra for more than 700 years.

The first Andorran Constitution, which established parliamentary rule, was ratified in 1993. Then it joined the Council of Europe and the United Nations.

Although the positions are honorary, the French president and the bishop of Urgell are still joint co-princes and heads of state.

Despite not belonging to the EU, Andorra has a special relationship with it and uses the euro.

  • : capital. La Vella, Andorra.
  • Area:. 467 sq km.
  • Population:. 77,500.
  • Language:. Catalan.
  • Expected lifespan: (Men) 80 years; (Women) 84 years.

The president of France and the bishop of Urgell, Spain, are co-heads of state.

The ruler is Xavier Espot Zamora.

Andorra's head of government, Xavier Espot Zamora

Following the general elections in April 2019, Xavier Espot Zamora became the new prime minister.

The government has implemented numerous reforms in recent years. It also legally guaranteed freedom of assembly and religion and legalized political parties and labor unions.

The criteria for Andorran citizenship have also changed, which is a big problem in a place where only a small portion of the populace is a legitimate citizen.

Legislators unanimously agreed to allow same-sex couples to enter into civil unions in July 2022.

The proximity to France and Spain has influenced the media landscape in Andorra to some extent.

Both countries' broadcasts are available to Andorrans, and Sud Radio, a potent station that served southwest France for many years, was based in Andorra.

Several radio stations are run by Radio Nacional d'Andorra, and there is a public service TV station called TVA.

A view of Andorra's capital Andorra la Vella
A view of Andorra la Vella, the country's capital.

Several significant dates in Andorra's history are:.

AD 803. - Emperor Charlemagne allegedly grants the inhabitants of present-day Andorra a charter after liberating the region from the Moors. Charles II, Charlemagne's grandson, grants Andorra to Spain's Count of Urgell after his death.

1133 . Count of Urgell grants Urgell Bishop control of Andorra.

1278. - Following disagreements between the Spanish bishops of Urgell and the French heirs to the Urgel countship, Andorra adopts joint allegiance to a French and a Spanish prince under the terms of a "pareage" agreement.

1419. - The Council of the Land, an elected body, is created to address local problems.

1607. - A royal decree from France designates the bishop of Urgell and the head of state of France as co-princes.

1936-39. - French troops sent to guard Andorra from Spanish Civil War repercussions.

1939-45. - During the Second World War, Andorra remained neutral and developed into a significant smuggling route from Vichy France into neutral Spain.

1970. - Voting rights for women.

1982 . - The Catalan word for the executive branch of government is "Govern.". The Land's Council chooses its leader.

1990 . - Andorra joins the EU in a customs union.

1993 . - The first constitution was approved through a vote. Two princes' feudal authority is reduced by a document. The government's new executive, legislative, and judicial branches are established. UN membership is granted to Andorra. Spain and France open embassies.

2005. - Implementation of the EU cooperation agreement.

2009. - Andorra consents to relax banking secrecy regulations so that other nations can more easily pursue tax evaders and money launderers.

2013 . - In response to pressure from the European Union to combat tax evasion, Andorra introduces personal income tax for the first time.

2016 . - Plans to end the confidentiality of bank accounts held by EU citizens are approved by the parliament.

Women wearing face masks as a precaution against the spread of Covid-19, walk along Meritxell avenue in Andorra la Vella in 2021
Despite not being a part of the EU, Andorra uses the euro.

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