Andorra was founded on September 8, 1278. With 78,000 inhabitants and 468 km², it is the largest of the six European dwarf states . It is the only country in the world where two foreign officials jointly act as head of state . The Bishop of Urgell and the President of France (succeeding the Counts of Foix ) rule as co-princes in a symbolic dual power . In addition, an Andorran head of government is elected. Andorra is counted among the so-called tax havens . A significant number of day visitors come for the cheap alcohol and tobacco products . The name Andorra was famous in the region because of the two competing radio stations based in Andorra, Radio Andorra and Sud Radio , which were operated by foreign licensees until 1981 and broadcast advertising-financed, mostly French-language entertainment programs. The tourism , in particular in connection with the winter sports , is the most important economic factor.
Origin of name
The origin of the name Andorra is unknown. However, there are various attempts to explain it:
- According to one theory, the country's name comes from the Navarro-Basque word andurrial , which means "land covered with bushes".
- Others associate it with a word anorra, which is supposed to contain the Basque word ur for " water ".
- A third theory is that the name derives from the Arabic word ad- darra.
- The explanation according to which Charlemagne named the region with reference to the biblical valley En Dor or Andor in Canaan , where the Midianites were defeated, is legendary .
Andorra is located in a high valley of the Pyrenees . The formation of the valley goes back to the Ice Age, when glaciers widened the originally narrow valleys and deposited the debris they carried with them as moraines. More than a third of Andorra lies above the tree line. In the areas below, mainly pine forests alternate with meadows and pastures. The country is very mountainous. 65 mountain peaks exceed the 2000 meter limit. The highest mountain is Coma Pedrosa with 2942 meters. The lowest point is 840 meters high and is at Sant Julià de Lòria on the Spanish border. The border with France is 56.6 km long and that with Spain 63.7 km.
Two arms of the Valira river , the Valira del Nord and the Valira d'Orient , unite in the middle of the country to form the Valira, which flows on to Spain. The Valira supplies part of the country's energy through hydropower plants on the river. Other important rivers are the Arinsal and the Riu Madríu .
Andorra has a high mountain climate with Mediterranean influences . The mean monthly average temperatures range from 0.7 ° C in January to 16.6 ° C in July. The mean monthly amount of precipitation is between 41.6 millimeters in February and 97.4 millimeters in May.
Climate data from Andorra
Source: Departament d'Estadística
Flora and fauna
The lowest layers are influenced by the Mediterranean, they are characterized by evergreen oak stocks and changing wasteland and heathland. This is followed by a zone of oak and pine forests , and firs thrive in shady areas . In the subalpine zone between 1,600 and 2,000 meters, forests with pines and spruces predominate, and here and there also birch , ash , box trees , juniper , rhododendron and heather grow . Alpine mats spread out above the tree line . Andorra has a rich flora with over 1150 recorded species. In the past, the vegetation was mostly kept low by grazing animals and the south-facing valley sides were used for terraced agriculture.
The fauna is essentially the same as that of the Central European fauna - hedgehogs , moles , squirrels and numerous species of birds, foxes , badgers , pine martens , wild boars and rabbits are at home here and are hunted. A relative of the mole, the Pyrenees Desman , can be found on the banks of a stream, where it searches for food in the clear water. In higher mountain areas there are chamois , mouflons , marmots and wood grouse , but also golden eagles , geese , Egyptian and bearded vultures have their habitat here.
Landscape and nature protection
The Vall del Madriu-Perafita-Claror was included as a cultural landscape in the UNESCO World Heritage in 2004 . According to UNESCO, it gives an impression of how people have used the scarce resources of the High Pyrenees over the past millennia to create a sustainable living environment that is in harmony with the mountainous landscape. The reserve extends over an area of 4247 hectares over the municipalities of Encamp , Escaldes-Engordany , Andorra la Vella and Sant Julià de Lòria .
There are two natural parks in Andorra. The Parc Natural de la Vall deorteny has an area of 1080 hectares and is located in the municipality of Ordino . The Parc Natural Comunal de les Valls del Comapedrosa , which belongs to the municipality of La Massana , includes the Comapedrosa mountain range and is 1542 hectares in size.
The country's population is concentrated in the Principality's largest valley, through which the Gran Valira River flows and where two municipalities are located, including the capital, Andorra la Vella.
Andorra's population has long been low due to the small country's limited agricultural potential. The population growth was offset by constant emigration. For a long time the population was around 3,000, but rose to 5,000 to 6,000 in the 19th century. Towards the end of the 19th century, the population approached 6000, but fell again in the first decade of the 20th century. Between 1860 and the 1930s, emigration was significant. At first, Andorrans sought seasonal work in Spain and France, and later settled there too. During the Spanish Civil War and World War II , Andorra remained neutral and became the target of numerous refugees. In 1950 the population had reached 6,000 again. In the following decades, Andorra experienced a strong increase in population. Between 1950 and 2015, the population developed as follows:
The population growth is mainly due to immigration, especially from Spain and later also from Portugal and partly France. There are also migrant workers from countries such as Argentina, Morocco or the Philippines. Another group of immigrants consists of wealthy foreigners, including from Great Britain, Germany and the Netherlands, who are attracted by the low tax liability. In 2017, 53.5% of the population were born abroad.
In 2017, of the country's 80,208 inhabitants, 35,526 were Andorran citizens. Andorra has one of the lowest fertility rates in the world: Andorran women bear an average of 1.39 children. Infant mortality is 0.6% and child mortality 0.4%. The average life expectancy is 82.4 years, making it one of the highest in the world.
- 15.6% of the population are under 15 years of age (6799 male and 6440 female).
- 71.4% are 15 to 64 years old (thereof 31,545 male and 29,037 female).
- 13.0% are 65 years of age or older (5502 male and 5502 female).
88% of the population live in cities. A quarter of the population lives in Andorra la Vella , another quarter in the neighboring municipality of Escaldes-Engordany , which has grown together with the capital.
The official language of Andorra is Catalan , the native language of the autochthonous Andorrans. According to a 2005 survey by the Andorran Center for Social Research (Center de Recerca Sociològica) , 38.8% of Andorra's residents speak Catalan, 35.4% Spanish , 15.0% Portuguese and 5.4% French as their mother tongue . When asked which language they use most to communicate, 58.3% of respondents said Catalan, 37.3% Spanish, 3.5% Portuguese and 2.2% French. There were several possible answers to the last question. 902 people were interviewed.
|native language||Everyday language|
|Source: Institut d'Estudis Andorrans|
Although Catalan is officially the official language of Andorra, the national language is coming under pressure from the Spanish and French schools, immigration from Spain and France and the media. The establishment of an official language council Servei de Política Lingüística and the strengthening of Catalan in Andorran schools and in adult education are intended to counteract this displacement. Catalan lessons are now also offered in the Spanish and French school systems in Andorra.
Article 11 of the constitution guarantees freedom of religion, there is no official religion or state church. Point 3 of the article recognizes the traditional role of the Roman Catholic Church , its right to public celebrations and the legal status of its institutions and their internal rules. The Catholic Church in Andorra is part of the Diocese of Urgell . The bishop, who is also co-prince of Andorra, has his seat in the town of La Seu d'Urgell , in the north-western part of Catalonia.
Origins and the Middle Ages
The earliest finds of human life in Andorra go back to the last Ice Age . The first Neolithic farmers can be caught in the necropolis of Feixa del Moro and at the Abri Balma de la Margineda . Ceramic pieces, chains and other objects are evidence of settlement before the Bronze Age . Other archaeological finds are the stone engravings by Ordino and cave drawings by La Roca de les Bruixes .
The inhabitants of the valleys of Andorra were probably mentioned for the first time in a text by the Greek historian Polybius (2nd century BC). Polybius describes how Hannibal crossed the Pyrenees and mentions the Andosin tribes in this context . Under Augustus , the Pyrenees and the north of the Iberian Peninsula finally became part of the Roman Empire . It is considered certain that in the Andorran valleys in late antiquity remains of displaced Basques mixed with Romans, Visigoth conquerors and the Celtic-Iberian indigenous population. The valleys of Andorra were successively and partly indirectly subject to the influence of the Roman Empire , the Visigoths , Moors and Franks . Under the Frankish rule the Hispanic border was established, the "Ularea", which delimited the Andorran area.
Legend has it that Charlemagne founded Andorra in 788 as thanks for the help of its inhabitants in the fight against the Moors. He is said to have granted the people of Andorra independence. In fact, however, the land belonged to the Spanish Mark founded by Charlemagne , an area that he had wrested from the Moors. In fact, the parishes of Andorra were first mentioned in 839 in the deed of sanctioning Urgell as a fiefdom of the Count of Urgell . In a letter from Charles the Bald to Sunifred I of Barcelona dated 843, the Andorran area is defined as the property of the Count of Urgell, and in the deed of dedication of the Cathedral of La Seu d'Urgell , signed in 860, it is mentioned that the area Andorras is ecclesiastically subordinate to the diocese of Urgell .
On January 27, 1133 Count Ermengol VI waived . von Urgell after a payment of 1200 sous (solidi) on his sovereign rights in the valleys of Andorra in favor of the bishop of Urgell. The bishops of Urgell then entrusted the defense and jurisdiction of Andorra to the noble Caboet family, who came from Cabó , south of Urgell . The Caboet received their own fiefs from the bishop in the valley of Andorra and Sant Joan, which they administered as vassals of the bishops. The last heiress of the Caboet, Arnaua, married the Vice Count of Castelbon , Arnau , in 1185 . This was an avowed Cathar and tried in league with the count Raimund Roger von Foix, who lived on the northern slopes of the Pyrenees, to strip off his vassal status to the Bishop of Urgell. For this purpose Arnau of Castelbon married his heir, Ermesende, in 1202 to the future Count Roger Bernard II of Foix , whereby the possessions of the Caboet in Andorra fell to this powerful family. Since the Counts of Foix refused to enter into a vassal relationship to the Bishops of Urgell, a permanent conflict between the two parties smoldered in the 13th century, which was often fought as a war.
The conflict could not be resolved until 1278. At a meeting on September 8th in Lleida , Bishop Pere d'Urtx and Count Roger Bernard III. the so-called Pareatges Treaty, which provided for a division of power over the disputed area. The two parties recognized each other as equal masters over Andorra. This contract marks the beginning of the condominium , which existed until 1993, and thus also the de facto establishment of the cofounded principality of Andorra; In 1288 it was expanded to include several articles. While the Bishop of Urgell retained his contractual rights, these passed on the side of the Counts of Foix in 1594 through the accession of the last Count, Henry of Bourbon, to the French crown, whose legal successors are the French presidents .
Development since the 15th century
In 1419 the Consell de la Terra was created, a kind of original parliament and the most important representative body of the Andorran population. He was the forerunner of today's Consell General de les Valls (General Council of the Valleys) and gathered the heads of the most important Andorran families. The political structure that emerged in the Middle Ages stabilized in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. The political and economic power of the country's most important families also consolidated.
At the beginning of the 18th century, Andorra found itself in an economically and institutionally difficult situation, which was due, among other things, to conflicts within Spain. In the course of a forced centralization policy, Spain, which emerged in the 15th century from a union of the kingdoms of Castile and Aragon, destroyed all Catalan institutions and threatened the application of the Decretos de Nueva Planta of 1714 to all third countries that imported goods into Spain. The decree provided for a tax to be levied on all products imported into Spain; it corresponded to 10% of the product value. The Andorrans had to negotiate for years until they reached a special agreement , the Sentència Manutenció of 1738. This text established a tax exemption for Andorran products. At the end of the 18th and 19th centuries, Andorra was rife with conflicts and disputes, and the situation was unstable, both economically and socially and at the institutional level.
The French Revolution led to the non-recognition of the status of cofinership, a condition that paralyzed the development of Andorra in the following years. The country lost all privileges with regard to France, including tax exemption, the neutrality of its judiciary, and control over internal affairs and trade. At the request of the Andorrans, Napoleon restored the status quo ante in 1806 and renewed all the privileges and institutions that had linked Andorra to the French king. The office of French co-principle has since then been exercised by the respective head of state of France.
Fundamental change in the 20th century
The establishment of traffic and communication routes in the 20th century fundamentally changed the face of the previously largely isolated country. The construction of a first paved road to Spain in 1913 and another road to France and into the interior of the Andorran valleys in 1933, electrification , the connection to the Spanish and French post offices, the introduction of radio from 1935 and the opening of a ski station in 1934 decisive factors. From an institutional standpoint, democracy made significant progress in 1933 with the introduction of the right to vote for all men of age. However, the age of majority was only reached at the age of 27. Active women's suffrage was not to be introduced until April 14, 1970, and passive women's suffrage on September 5, 1973.
A curiosity in the history of Andorra occurred in 1934. At that time, a Russian nobleman, Boris Skossyrev , gained influence in Andorra and was proclaimed King Boris I on July 7th by the General Council. His reign lasted until July 21, when, on intervention by the Bishop of Urgell, he was arrested and expelled from the country.
For a long time, the population had been denied greater participation rights. Although Andorra had a representative body in the form of the General Council of the Valleys, it did not have direct legislative power. It was not until the 1990s that the institutional arrangement changed. Plans to reform the Andorran institutions had already begun at the end of the 1970s, which in 1981 led to the creation of an executive body, the government. At the same time, the General Council was created as a legislative body. The rights of the two co-princes were exercised by two non-Andorra delegates in the early 20th century. They sent a bailiff to Andorra, who oversaw the legislation and administration and took a symbolic tribute, mostly in kind, for the co-princes every year. On January 25, 1981, the General Council of Valleys passed the first constitution after 703 years of independence. This provided for the formation of an executive council and an administrative reform.
Since the constitution was introduced
Up until 1993 there was no clear separation of legislative , executive and judicial powers in Andorra . It was not until the constitution of May 4th 1993 that Andorra was established as a sovereign state with a parliamentary-democratic system in the modern sense. The two foreign patrons and co-princes remained heads of state , but they only have a purely representative function. The executive power was delegated to a prime minister responsible to parliament.
Today Andorra is a member of the United Nations (UN), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Council of Europe and the European Monetary Union , but not the European Union .
According to the 1993 constitution, Andorra is a parliamentary co-principality (Article 1 of the constitution).
The joint heads of state are the Spanish Bishop of La Seu d'Urgell, Monseigneur Joan Enric Vives i Sicília , and the French President Emmanuel Macron . Your office is purely representative, but you have a veto right in foreign affairs. The unicameral parliament elects the head of government (Cap de Govern), who heads the executive. The current head of government has been Antoni Martí Petit since May 12, 2011 . The government directs Andorran domestic and foreign policy and heads the administration.
The Cos de Policia d'Andorra was founded in 1931 as Servei d'Ordre with seven employees. Today the police corps employs around 280 people.
The General Council, the Consell General de les Valls , exercises legislation, approves the state budget and promotes and controls the government's policies. It currently comprises 28 councils, which are elected for four years. 14 councils are elected at regional level (two councils for each municipality), the rest at national level. The MPs elect a Síndic and a Subsíndic as Presidents and Vice-Presidents of Parliament (Consell) who, together with two secretaries, who are also elected from the Consell, make up the Parliament's office. The current President of Parliament is Vicenç Mateu Zamora , and Vice-President Mònica Bonell Tuset .
In the 2009 parliamentary elections, the Coalició Reformista (CR), the new conservative coalition made up of the PLA and CDA-S21, only received 32.3% of the votes (loss of around 20% of the votes). The Partit Socialdemòcrata (PSD), on the other hand, received 45% and thus won half of the mandates. The Andorra pel Canvi (ApC), a successor party to the social-liberal Renovació Democràtica (RD), won three seats in parliament with 18.9% of the vote. With 3.2%, the Greens missed out on the General Council for the second time since 2005. With this, the PSD, under the leadership of Jaume Bartumeu Cassany, replaced the CR in government for the first time - however, it was dependent on at least one other vote or it had to enter into a coalition with the new ApC.
After repeated boycotts of approving a state budget, Bartumeu dissolved parliament at the beginning of 2011 and scheduled new elections for April 3, 2011. In this election, the liberal-conservative Democrats won per Andorra with 55.2% of the vote and received 20 seats. The Partit Socialdemòcrata was the second strongest party with 34.8% with six seats. The remaining two seats were given to the Unió Laurediana , which is only listed in the constituency of Sant Julià de Lòria. There she received 61.6% of the vote. Converted to the ratio of eligible voters in the whole of Andorra, that is 8.6%. The Andorra pel Canvi with 6.7% and the Greens with 3.3% did not move into the General Council , which is the third time since 2005 and 2009 that they missed this target. The turnout was 74.12%. Of the 28 elected representatives, 15 seats are held by women (54% of the seats). This makes Andorra the first European country in which women have a majority in parliament, and after Rwanda (since 2008) the second country in the world. The Demòcrates per Andorra provide the head of government with Antoni Martí .
In the 2015 election, the DPA and PSDA lost massively, but the DPA was able to hold an absolute majority. The PLA came in at 27%. This time the UL entered in coalition with PSDA.
The DPA lost its majority in the 2019 election and has to find a coalition partner, but remained the strongest party with slight losses. The Andorran Social Democrats gained significantly to just under 30%, while the Liberal Party was the clear loser in the election; It lost over half of the votes from the last election and only achieved 12.5% of all votes. Unió Laurediana competed nationwide for the first time and reached over 10%, the populist party AS also competed for the first time and achieved 4.6%. The left SiP lost significantly and only came in at 5.9%.
Andorra has a multi-party system that is dominated by a right-left axis. Traditionally, the right side is represented by the Partit Liberal d'Andorra and the left side by the Partit Socialdemòcrata . There are other parties, including the environmental party Verds d'Andorra , the Andorra pel Canvi (ApC - For Change in Andorra) and the locally represented party Unió Laurediana from Sant Julià de Lòria. Government power in Andorra is mostly in conservative hands, with the exception of the cabinet from 2009 to 2011 when the Social Democrats ruled.
There are currently three parties represented in the General Council. These include the Demòcrates per Andorra (DA - Democrats for Andorra), the Partit Socialdemòcrata (PS - Social Democratic Party) and the Unió Laurediana .
Citizenship and Right to Vote
The ius sanguinis is primarily used, i.e. H. Children of Andorran citizens are entitled to citizenship.
In ancient times, naturalization took place according to customary law ( cotoume ) by sovereign decision of the codominants. Since May 23, 1775, the General Council decided, in the case of moderately important cases, the respective municipal council. Foreign women marrying in had the option of declaring to the notary within one year after the marriage whether they wanted to take on the citizenship of their husband.
A first citizenship law was passed on June 17, 1939. The only possibility for men to acquire citizenship was to marry an Andorran woman. The conditions were that the marriage had to be catholic and ecclesiastical in order to be valid. The woman had to be the owner of an inherited property ( pubilla ). The reason for naturalization was not marriage, but the acquisition of land by the new husband (who owned the land before equal rights) and the resulting acceptance into community citizenship. The approval of the codominants was always necessary; the new citizen only had limited political rights.
Resident descendants of foreigners without real estate were only naturalized in the third generation until the second half of the 20th century ("Ersitzung"), provided that all three were of good repute. However, the law of 1939 was amended on December 26, 1941 to the effect that good repute and good Catholic children who had been resident for at least twenty years without interruption could be naturalized.
Reasons for loss were u. a. Acceptance of foreign citizenship and long-term residence abroad. A child of an Andorran who does not live in the country lost his citizenship one month after his 21st birthday if he did not take up his residence in the country. Women who marry foreigners could choose their husbands citizenship.
Reformed law since 1995
Andorran citizenship and thus - depending on age - the right to vote and stand as a candidate is relatively difficult to obtain. The strict citizenship law places high demands on naturalization. Multiple citizenship is still not allowed. Only a minority of Andorra's population is also a citizen of the country.
Children of foreigners born in Andorra who were either born in Andorra themselves or have lived there for at least ten years can also become citizens. If you are born in Andorra without citizenship , you can obtain it under certain conditions. However, naturalization is only possible after giving up your existing citizenship and a certain length of stay in Andorra. This is 20 years and can be reduced to 15 years if the grandparents were from Andorra, and to ten years if the school and education were attended in Andorra.
An exception to these regulations applies to the two heads of state.
In the 19th and 20th centuries
The French Cour des Cassation was already at the judgment on May 9, 1845 of the opinion that Andorra was inland procedurally and that France was entitled to police powers. This claim, e.g. B. on pursuit , was extended by judgment on May 12, 1859 and confirmed by the Tribunelle correctionelle de Toulouse on November 22, 1905.
Traditionally, the municipal councils were also responsible for the police. With the decree of July 11, 1931, a real police force was created for the first time. For each community there was a full-time policeman, as well as six auxiliary policemen who came if necessary.
Functioning of the judiciary
The constitution is the supreme norm of the legal system. It is binding on all batlles (first instance judges), judges and courts who speak the law and apply the law in accordance with the principles of the constitution. Batlles and judges from all judicial organs and the Supreme Court are independent in exercising their jurisdiction .
Traditionally, two batlles were appointed for three years to deal with civil law issues . Criminal cases were judged by the bailiffs in the first instance. The codominants took turns to appoint a judge responsible for appeal matters for life. Two assessors without voting rights took part in its negotiations. As a third, d. H. A judge appointed by him acted as a revision instance to the bishop, for France that has been the court of appeal in Perpignan since 1888.
Today's courts are:
- the Batllia d'Andorra (court of first instance for minor offenses),
- the Tribunal de Corts (court of appeal for minor offenses as well as court of first instance for more serious cases),
- the Tribunal Superior d'Andorra (Supreme Court).
The Constitutional Court is the Tribunal Constitucional d'Andorra.
The administration of justice is carried out by the Consell Superior de la Justicia d'Andorra (Supreme Judicial Council), the prosecution by the public prosecutor.
The Ombudsman has been defending and monitoring the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution since 1998. It deals with private lawsuits and complaints relating to the violation of rights by the public administration. He can also make recommendations, remind you of duties and legal obligations and make suggestions for the implementation of new measures.
Membership in organizations
Andorra is a member of the following international organizations:
- United Nations , since July 28, 1993
- World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), since October 28, 1994
- Council of Europe , since November 10, 1994
- Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), since April 24, 1996
- World Health Organization (WHO), since January 15, 1997
- World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), since February 5, 1996
- International Telecommunication Union (ITU), since November 12, 1993
- European Broadcasting Union (EBU), until November 2011
- World Organization for Animal Health (OIE)
- Consejo de Cooperación Aduanera (CCD)
- UN Economic Commission for Europe (ECE)
- International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (IFRCS)
- International Olympic Committee (IOC)
- International Criminal Court
- Observer status at the World Trade Organization (WTO)
Andorra has diplomatic relations with all European countries with the exception of Belarus . Embassies are located in Paris , Madrid , Brussels and Lisbon . Diplomatic missions are in Strasbourg at the Council of Europe, in Geneva for the United Nations agencies , in New York at the headquarters of the United Nations and in Vienna for the international organizations located there.
Relations between Andorra and Germany have traditionally been friendly and problem-free. In 1994, Germany was the fourth state to finally recognize Andorra as sovereign and independent after the new constitution of 1993 was passed. The German ambassador to Spain is also accredited in Andorra. Consular support is provided by the German Consulate General in Barcelona.
In 1961, Switzerland concluded an agreement for passenger traffic with Andorra. The Swiss ambassador in Madrid is responsible for diplomatic business. Consular affairs are handled from Barcelona. Since 2001, Switzerland has also been represented in Andorra by an honorary consul . The permanent diplomatic mission to the United Nations in Geneva is not an embassy, but the ambassador of Andorra, accredited for Switzerland, Lluís Viu Torres, is based there. He is also accredited as ambassador for Liechtenstein , Monaco and San Marino .
Andorra also traditionally maintains friendly relations with Austria . The Austrian ambassador in Madrid is also accredited in Andorra. In December 2009 Andorra signed a bilateral tax information agreement with Austria. The Andorra diplomatic mission responsible for Austria is located in Vienna . Marta Salvat is accredited as an attachée and also represents Andorra at international organizations in Vienna.
Outside Europe, Andorra has diplomatic relations with numerous countries, but only a few countries have accredited ambassadors. In Africa it is Morocco , Asia is represented only by Russia's share of the continent, and in North America it is the United States , Canada and Mexico , but there is only one embassy in New York . The ambassador based there, Narcís Casal de Fonsdeviela, is an accredited ambassador for the USA, Canada and Mexico as well as Andorra's representative to the United Nations.
The trans-Pyrenean regional cooperation body Communauté de travail des Pyrénées, in which the French regions of Occitania and Nouvelle-Aquitaine and the Spanish autonomous regions of Catalonia , Aragon , Navarra and the Basque Country cooperate with Andorra, is responsible for the development of transport infrastructure, energy and numerous other sectors of Meaning. The collaboration began in 1983.
Some associations have condemned the current rules that are applied to the control of immigrants. They say that a work permit will be denied to those who suffer from alcoholism or are dependent on other substances, as well as those who suffer from diseases that are subject to quarantine according to WHO criteria . It is also denied to people suffering from psycho-mental illnesses that pose a threat to public safety and order, or carriers of infectious diseases such as hepatitis or HIV / AIDS, which pose a threat to public health. It will also be denied to people who, due to a physical or mental disability, are unsuitable for the type of work for which a work permit is being applied for. The prostitution is illegal.
The laws on homosexuality in Andorra are liberal, the social climate in the country allows homosexuals to develop freely in public life. The criminality of homosexuality was lifted in 1970. The age of consent is uniformly 14 years. In Andorra there are anti-discrimination laws to protect sexual identity in labor and civil law. Andorra has legally recognized same-sex partnerships nationwide through the introduction of registered partnerships since 2005. An opening of the marriage as in neighboring Spain or Catalonia has not yet taken place. The Partit Socialdemòcrata , which ruled from 2009 to 2011, announced in its 2009 election campaign that it would open marriage to same-sex couples. Andorra is one of the generally tolerant states when it comes to homosexuality. Homosexuality is largely respected and accepted in the population. An LGBT community can only be found on a small scale in the capital Andorra la Vella due to the country's small population.
National symbols and awards
Blazon : "square, in one in red a gold, silver gebordete Mitra, engaging, an obliquely left golden crosier in 2 red gold three piles reinforced blue, 3 red gold four poles and four in gold pile, two, depending on a blue Red cows wearing a bell collar. ”The escutcheon is set in a golden shield frame decorated with voltsute, which bears the motto Virtus Unita Fortior (Latin: united bravery (is) stronger ) under the coat of arms .
Declaration of the coat of arms: The miter and the crosier represent the Bishop of Urgell , the three red posts for the Counts of Foix , the four red posts come from the coat of arms of Catalonia and the two red bulls from the coat of arms of Béarn .
El Gran Carlemany (Catalan "The great Charlemagne") is the national anthem of Andorra. The text is by Joan Benlloch i Vivo (1864–1926), the music by Enric Marfany Bons (1871–1942). In 1914 it was declared the national anthem.
The white narcissus , also called poet's narcissus (botanical name Narcissus poeticus, Catalan grandalla ) grows wild and is considered a national flower. The flowers have six petals, which is the number of original parishes in the country.
In 2007 the government founded the Orde de Carlemany ("Order of Charlemagne"), together with the Premi Carlemany ("Charlemagne Prize") for Catalan literature, literature in general, art, science and humanitarian work.
Andorra consists of seven parròquies (Sg. Parròquia , literally parishes , actually parishes). Some parròquies are further subdivided into quarters or neighborhoods . The Comuns are the bodies that represent and administer the municipalities, approve and execute the municipal budget, decide and implement their public policy and administer all municipal property. They receive funding from the general state budget to ensure their financial independence.
The education system of Andorra includes an Andorran, a Spanish and a French school system as well as a private English school (Elians). There is also a denominational school system that follows the Spanish training program, but is neither financially nor institutionally dependent on the Spanish state system, but is financed by the Andorran state.
The school attendance rate in Andorra is almost 100%. Attending school in the Andorran, Spanish and French systems is free, and schooling is compulsory up to the age of 16 . Only the private English school is not free of charge. The school system consists of the preschool , the elementary school and the secondary schools collegiate and grammar school . The education system also includes special branches for vocational training, specialist training (a school for nurses, a school for computer science , a business school for small and medium-sized enterprises and industry) and for adult education. The State University Universitat d'Andorra was founded in 1997. Alongside the Universitat Oberta de la Salle in La Massana, it is the only public university in the country and is based in Sant Julià de Lòria . It offers bachelor's degrees in computer science, nursing, economics and educational sciences. In 2008, the law granted permission for a private university. The Universitat de les Valls is based in Andorra la Vella and specializes in dentistry . It accepts a maximum of 30 students a year and began its studies in September 2012.
The state awards needs-based training grants and has set up training subsidies for higher education. Various types of scholarships are awarded for study abroad. The national study award (Premi nacional d'estudi) gives annual scholarships to the best students from the three school systems represented in the country. The state also has student residences in Toulouse and Paris .
In the 2016 ranking according to the Human Development Index , Andorra is 32nd out of 188 countries evaluated with a value of 0.858 and thus in the highest evaluation group “ very high human development ”.
The small principality has practically no natural resources, at most water and (for domestic needs) granite slate. In the past, Andorra was an agricultural country despite its mountainous location , but over the years agriculture has been largely limited to livestock , tobacco cultivation and processing as well as potato cultivation for domestic needs . Only 2% of Andorra's undeveloped land is suitable for agricultural use. The Principality has long been Europe's showcase for Spain, but when Spain joined the European Economic Community in 1986 , economic policy had to be changed.
The country lives mainly from tourism (more than three million visitors in 2016), for example from winter sports . Around 700 hotels as well as sports and holiday centers are available. In addition, the sale of electricity generated by hydropower to the neighboring region of Catalonia is an important source of income. The 1929 concession to use this resource for power supply led to the construction of major roads and the establishment of an electricity network. Also, the banking is very well developed. Another source of income is the license fees paid by local broadcasters. Andorra grants its residents largely tax exemption.
Due to the low sales tax , the country is attractive for luxury items (gold, jewelry, leather goods, clothing, cosmetics). Andorra is a country that lives mainly from services and tourism. There is little industry, but the new strategy of diversifying the economy may mean that high-performing and specialized small and medium-sized companies , for example in the pharmaceutical or optical sector ( glass eyes ), will settle in Andorra in the future .
Relations with the European Union are regulated by a trade agreement signed on June 28, 1990, which provides for a customs union for industrial products and special regulations for agricultural products. This open-ended framework agreement entered into force on January 1, 1991. The customs regulations, which are also unlimited in time, have been in effect since July 1, 1991. The agreement was extended in 1995 when Andorra applied for the unlimited privilege with regard to the direct reimbursement of the common external tariff. Above all consumer goods of all kinds are imported, electrical energy, cattle, sheepskins , ceramics , wood are exported . The Andorran economy is highly dependent on Spain. In 2014, Andorra imported mainly from Spain (61.74% share of the total value of imports), followed by France (15.53%), the People's Republic of China (4.14%) and Germany (3.85%). Spain was also the main buyer of Andorran products in 2014 (58.98% of the total value of exports), followed by France (17.86%) and Norway (5.53%).
Andorra was known as a tax haven ; until the end of 2014 there was no general income or inheritance tax . In 2011 a corporate income tax of 5% came into effect. A tax of the same amount is levied on the profits of companies. Since January 1, 2006, VAT has been charged on most goods and services. As of 2019, the standard rate is 4.5%. For certain industries there are different tax rates of 1%, 2.5% and 9.5%. The favorable tax conditions are also used by " letterbox companies ". Even tourists are enjoying lower prices for spirits, tobacco and cosmetics, as all goods in Andorra are duty free. Anything that is not intended for direct consumption should be declared when purchasing, as otherwise there may be difficulties with the export of the products.
The state budget in 2009 comprised expenditures equivalent to US $ 650 million , which was offset by revenues equivalent to US $ 513 million. This results in a budget deficit of 3.6% of the gross domestic product .
National debt in 2009 was $ 1.189 billion, or 31.3% of GDP.
In 2006, government spending corresponded to the following areas, as a percentage of GDP:
- Health : 7.4%
- Education : 2.3%
- Military : 0.0% (Andorra has no military, national defense is taken over by France and Spain)
Andorra generates part of its own electricity. However, the production is not sufficient to meet the country's own needs. That is why electricity is imported in addition to petroleum products.
1929 approved the Consell General society Forces Hidroelèctriques d'Andorra , represented the Franco-Spanish interests, the construction of a hydroelectric power station. In return, the company undertook to build several roads. Construction of the Encamp plant began in 1931 and went into operation in 1934. The electricity was exported to France and Spain. Now that domestic consumption has also increased, the state's own production can no longer meet the demand for electricity. While domestic electricity generation totaled 101,011 MWh (85% from hydropower) in 2009, 497,732 MWh had to be imported. Andorra's own energy production covers 17% of consumption. The energy company was taken over by the Andorran government in 1988 and renamed the Forces Elèctriques Andorra . Since then it has been responsible for the generation and distribution of electricity in the country.
Andorra is not a member of the European Union, but it enjoys a special status in relation to the EU. The country does not have its own currency. During the Spanish Civil War from 1936 to 1939, Andorra briefly had its own currency, the pesseta . Before January 1, 2002, the French franc and Spanish peseta were the only official currency. Afterwards these were replaced by the euro , as in France and Spain . At first, Andorra did not have its own euro coins , but according to the currency agreement made with the EU on June 30, 2011, after ratification of the agreement, it will be able to issue national euro coins with an initial face value of EUR 2.342 million per year from July 1, 2013. The first coins were issued at the end of 2014.
The Servei d'Emissions de la Vegueria Episcopal (mint of the episcopal co- prince) issues coins in the artificial currency diner (1 diner = 100 cèntims) [ els diners in Catalan for “money”], mainly for collector purposes . These have been available since 1983 in values from 1 cèntim to 250 diners. The conversion rate is ESP 100 (0.60 EUR) or 5 FRF (~ 125 ESP or 0.75 EUR) to a dinner. In Andorra, amounts of money are usually shown twice, in Diners and in euros.
Tourism and the trade involved are the main pillars of the Andorran economy (≈ 80% of GDP). Andorra's duty-free shops attract millions of tourists each year. Most of the tourists are day visitors. However, the number of overnight stays and day tourists has declined in recent years.
Tourists are attracted by Andorra's low tax rates and free trade opportunities. In 2009 57% of the visitors came from Spain, 40% were French. Duty free tourism was of particular concern before Spain joined the EU in 1986, but visitors returning to France and Spain can still enjoy a free amount of tobacco, alcohol, perfume, groceries and industrial products (especially Small electronics), which are larger than in many countries outside the EU (as of 2007). This means that trade plays a huge role in Andorra in terms of employment and sales.
Most of the visitors (80%) are day trippers from Spain and France. The country has hundreds of hotels and other places to stay, as well as thermal springs in Escaldes-Engordany . In 2009, Andorra had 720 hotels and restaurants, and 1.8 million guests stayed in the country. The tourist industry is in high season in both summer and winter. Andorra is the largest winter sports destination in the Pyrenees .
Andorra has 269 kilometers of roads, 198 kilometers of which are paved and 71 kilometers are unpaved. The state road network consists on the one hand of six main roads ( Catalan carreteres generals , abbreviation CG) and on the other hand of secondary roads ( Catalan carreteres secundàries , abbreviation CS). All border crossings are on main roads. The main connection to Spain is via the CG 1 through the Valira Valley south of Sant Julià de Lòria , further border crossings are located on the CG 4 in the direction of the Spanish village of Tor and on the CG 6 . This is the only street that leads to Os de Civís in Spain , a functional exclave . The only border crossing to France is to the east of Pas de la Casa on the CG 2 , which leads over Port d'Envalira , the highest Pyrenees pass at 2408 meters . The 2850 m long Tùnel d'Envalìra has been an alternative to the pass since 2002 .
In the 1980s, the construction of a second road connection with a tunnel (Port du Rat) to France began, which ends today northwest of El Serrat , as work on the French side was stopped due to environmental concerns.
The country does not have an "internal" airport and there is no rail transport. However, Andorra - La Seu d'Urgell Airport has been recognized as Andorra Airport since 2014 . International bus connections exist to L'Hospitalet-près-l'Andorre (from there there are train connections to Toulouse , Paris and Barcelona ), to Toulouse-Blagnac Airport and to Barcelona. The Clipol intermunicipal bus network connects the municipalities with the main cities of Andorra. Eight bus routes run from Andorra la Vella during the day. There are only taxi stands in Andorra la Vella and Escaldes-Engordany. About Taxifunk can from all over Andorra taxis are ordered.
Right-of-way applies, except on main roads, and in the mountains, uphill traffic has priority over downhill traffic. Most traffic roundabouts give the vehicle right of way on the roundabout. Traffic to the roundabout has right of way if there is a white, triangular traffic sign with a red border and three black arrows in a circle in front of it. Using a mobile phone in the car is prohibited (except with a hands-free system).
The general speed limit is 40 km / h in urban areas and 90 km / h outside of urban areas. There are no motorways in Andorra.
Telecommunication and internet
In Andorra there are around 40,000 telephone connections and over 70,000 cell phones. The internet is used by over 80% of the population.
The national holiday is September 8th (day of the Verge of Meritxell , the patron saint of Andorra); Constitution Day is March 14th. Other public holidays are January 1st (New Year) and December 25th (Christmas). Andorran culture is very much influenced by the Catalan culture; she has made some significant contributions to Catalan culture.
One of the first writers in the country was Antoni Fiter i Rossell from Ordino. He described the settlement and feudal history of the country in 1748 and called the work Digest manual de las valls neutras de Andorra . In 1763 the pastor Antoni Puig published an edited short version which he called Politar Andorrà . Both works are described as significant.
Andorran fiction of its own did not develop until the second half of the 20th century. These include authors such as Antoni Morell , who has published novels as well as prose, Robert Pastor i Castillo , who has published Catalan poetry and essays but also many books in Castilian , as well as the poets Josep Enric Dallerès and Albert Salvadó . The younger generation of authors include Joan Peruga Guerrero (novels), Albert Villaró (novels and essays), Manel Gibert Vallès (poetry), the author and diplomat Juli Minoves Triquell , and the poet Teresa Colom . The beginning of modern Andorran literature can be set with independence in 1993. Morell, Salvadó and Villaró won the Andorran Prize for Catalan Literature Premi Carlemany , and Salvadò, Guerrero and Triquell the literary prize Premi Fiter i Rossell de novella . Both prizes were launched by the Andorran government.
There are no travel guides in German specifically for Andorra, but DuMont has published books on the Pyrenees that describe the country in detail. Kurt Tucholsky also addressed Andorra in his book on the Pyrenees .
music and dance
In 2004 Andorra took part in the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time . The song caused quite a stir, especially among the Catalan media, as it was the first song in the history of the competition that was sung entirely in Catalan. However, the song was eliminated in the semifinals, as well as the contributions from 2005 to 2009. The best place went to the band Anonymous , which narrowly missed the final in 2007.
Above all, the International Jazz Festival in Escaldes-Engordany is known, in which stars like Miles Davis , Fats Domino and BB King have already participated. Typical dances are the Marratxa and the Contrapàs , which are mainly celebrated at festivals.
The chamber orchestra Orquestra Nacional de Cambra d'Andorra was founded in 1992 and renamed the Orquestra Nacional Clàssica d'Andorra (ONCA) in 2006 .
Andorra has a national boys' choir, Cor Nacional Dels Petits Cantors d'Andorra , which was founded in 1991.
Andorra has preserved rich architectural treasures throughout its millennial history, as well as its traditions that help give the country its identity and testify to its origins. Most of the architectural heritage consists of monuments of a religious nature, in the form of buildings, sculptures and paintings. Well-known structures are:
- The church in Santa Coloma ( Andorra la Vella )
- Margineda Bridge ( Sant Julià de Lòria )
- Sant Antoni ( La Massana )
- Sanctuary of Meritxell ( Canillo )
Andorra has numerous museums that document the history of this small country. The Casa de la Vall (Andorra la Vella), seat of the General Council of the Valleys, was built in 1580. There the courtroom, the meeting room of the General Council, the noble hall and the kitchen equipped with traditional furniture can be visited. In the meeting room of the General Council is the cabinet with the seven keys, in which the Council's documents were once kept. Outside the building, in addition to the garden, there are several monuments, including one by Josep Viladomat . Other museums are:
- The Carmen Thyssen Andorra Museum in Escaldes-Engordany
- The Josep Viladomat Museum (in Escaldes-Engordany)
- The Museum of Models of Romanesque Art (in Escaldes-Engordany)
- The Sant Jordi Museum (in Ordino)
- The National Museum of the Automobile (in Encamp)
- The tobacco museum in the old Reig factory (in St. Julià de Lòria)
Andorran cuisine has its roots in Catalan and has been influenced by both French and Spanish. Mainly products from the agriculture of the three valleys are used, such as bacon, fish, meat (especially rabbit, lamb and goat), vegetables, cereals and fruits. Typical dishes are:
- Rabbit with tomatoes (conill amb tomàquet)
- Grilled lamb (xai rostit)
Other dishes are more typical of the capital Andorra la Vella. Some of them are representative of the whole of Andorra or even Catalan cuisine.
- Grilled and herb snails (Caragols a la llauna)
- Duck with winter pear (ànec amb pera d'hivern)
- Eberschweinragout (civet de porc fer)
- Goat lamb in the oven with chopped dried fruits (cabrit al forn amb picada de fruits secs)
- Andorran river trout (truita de riu a l'andorrana)
- Warm and flambéed wine (vi calent e cremat)
Andorra was the seat of the private broadcasting companies Radio Andorra and Sud Radio until 1981 , which operated high-performance transmission systems in the medium and short wave range in Encamp and on the Pic Blanc until April 7, 1981, and they could be received throughout Europe. The broadcasting systems were later taken over by the public broadcaster Ràdio i Televisió d'Andorra . There are a total of eight radio stations (including five private ones ) and the public television station Andorra Televisió (ATV) in Andorra. Spanish and French channels can also be received.
In the 2020 Press Freedom Ranking, published by Reporters Without Borders , Andorra was ranked 37th out of 180 countries.
Andorra's Olympic Committee was established in 1971 and recognized by the International Olympic Committee in 1975 . The country's athletes first took part in the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck and the Summer Olympics in Montreal . So far, however, no Andorran participant has won an Olympic medal.
Andorra hosted the European Small State Games in 1991 and 2005 . It was also Soldeu host the Alpine World Cup in February 2012. There was a giant slalom and a slalom instead. The basketball club BC River Andorra competed in the European Cup in 1995/96 and has been back in the top Spanish league, the ACB league , since 2014 .
In addition to winter sports, especially alpine skiing and cross-country skiing , there are practically two national sports . One is rugby and the other is roller hockey , in which Andorra was among the best in the world for years.
Andorra's Football Association ( Federació Andorrana de Futbol ), founded in 1994, joined FIFA and UEFA in 1996 . The Andorran national football team plays their home games at the Estadi Comunal d'Aixoval , which is located in Sant Juliá de Lòria and is the largest stadium in the country. The national team made their international debut in November 1996 in the international match against Estonia, which the Andorrans lost 6-1. In the FIFA world rankings , the country is currently 135th with 1,082 points, second to last, ahead of San Marino in a European comparison .
The highest football league in Andorra is the Primera Divisió , which was founded in 1995. Eight teams are currently playing for the championship in the league. Since the small country with the Camp d'Esports d'Aixovall and the Estadi Comunal d'Andorra la Vella only has two stadiums available for the entire game of the first and second division, the game days are often spread over the weekends. The Copa Constitució was introduced as a national football cup back in 1990 . With six league titles and nine in the cup, FC Santa Coloma is the country's record champions and cup winners.
The Andorran champions qualify for the first round of the Champions League qualification , while the runner-up enters the first round of the Europa League qualification . The winner of the Copa Constitució also competes there.
One of the bigger football clubs in Andorra is FC Andorra from Andorra la Vella. In contrast to the other Andorran clubs, the club does not play in its own national championship, but is represented in the Spanish league system. In the 1980s and 1990s he played in the Segunda División B , the third highest Spanish division, before being relegated to a total of five league levels in the following years.
Andorra has been a stage in the Tour de France (1964, 1993, 1997, 2009 and 2016) and the Vuelta a España (1967, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1991, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2015 and 2019). A special feature was the 11th stage of the Tour of Spain 2015. This took place entirely on the territory of Andorra and led over 138 km and 6 mountain classifications. The stage was won by the Spaniard Mikel Landa .
Personalities from Andorra
- Manuel Anglada i Ferran (1918–1998), Catalan-Andorran writer and author of non-fiction books on the culture of Andorra and the Pyrenees
- Rossend Marsol Clua (1922-2006), Catalan journalist and Andorran writer
- Antoni Morell i Mora (1941-2020), writer
- Josep Enric Dallerès (* 1949), writer
- Albert Salvadó i Miras (* 1951), writer
- Joan Peruga Guerrero (born 1954), writer
- Marc Bernaus Cano (* 1977), football player
- Àlex Antor i Seignourel (* 1979), ski racer
- Laurent Recouderc (* 1984), French-Andorran tennis player
- Laure Soulié (* 1987), biathlete
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