Geographic and Governmental Profile of Andorra

Background
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. For decades Andorra enjoyed its status as a small refuge of fiscal and banking freedom and benefitted from Spanish and French tourists attracted to the country's duty-free shopping. The situation has changed in recent years as Andorra started to tax foreign investment and other sectors. Tourism accounts for over 80% of Andorra's gross domestic product.
Location
Southwestern Europe, Pyrenees mountains, on the border between France and Spain
Geographic coordinates
42 30 N, 1 30 E
Continent / Subcontinent
Europe
Area
total:
468 sq km
rank:
195
land:
468 sq km
water:
0 sq km
Area - comparative
2.5 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries
total:
120.3 km
border countries:
France 56.6 km, Spain 63.7 km
Coastline
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims
none (landlocked)
Climate
temperate; snowy, cold winters and warm, dry summers
Terrain
rugged mountains dissected by narrow valleys
Elevation extremes
lowest point:
Riu Runer 840 m
highest point:
Pic de Coma Pedrosa 2,946 m
Natural resources
hydropower, mineral water, timber, iron ore, lead
Land use
arable land:
2.13%
permanent crops:
0%
other:
97.87% (2005)
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Irrigated land
NA
Natural hazards
avalanches
Environment - current issues
deforestation; overgrazing of mountain meadows contributes to soil erosion; air pollution; wastewater treatment and solid waste disposal
Environment - international agreements
party to:
Biodiversity, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified:
none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
landlocked; straddles a number of important crossroads in the Pyrenees
Country name
conventional long form:
Principality of Andorra
conventional short form:
Andorra
local long form:
Principat d'Andorra
local short form:
Andorra
Government type
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
Capital
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
Administrative divisions
7 parishes (parroquies, singular - parroquia); Andorra la Vella, Canillo, Encamp, Escaldes-Engordany, La Massana, Ordino, Sant Julia de Loria
Independence
1278 (formed under the joint sovereignty of the French Count of Foix and the Spanish Bishop of Seu d'Urgel)
National holiday
Our Lady of Meritxell Day, 8 September (1278)
Constitution
Andorra's first written constitution was drafted in 1991; approved by referendum 14 March 1993; effective 28 April 1993
Legal system
mixed legal system of civil and customary law with canon (religious) law influences
International law organization participation
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Suffrage
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
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:
Executive Council President (or Cap de Govern) Antoni MARTI PETIT (since 12 May 2011)
cabinet:
Executive Council of seven ministers designated by the Executive Council president
elections:
Executive Council president 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 Executive Council president; percent of General Council vote - NA; note - the leader of the party which wins a majority of seats in the General Council is usually elected president
Legislative branch
unicameral General Council of the Valleys or Consell General de las Valls (a minimum of 28 and maximum of 42 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 cast 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%, Andorran Green 3%; seats by party - DA 20, PS 6, Lauredian Union 2; note - numbers of votes and percentages are for the respective national list; number of seats include seats won by the parish lists
Judicial branch
higher judicial bodies:
Supreme Council of Justice or Consell Superior de la Justicia (coprinces appoint the members); oversees and administers the entire justice system; Supreme Court of Justice of Andorra or Tribunal Superior de Justicia d'Andorra (5 members)
three lower courts:
Tribunal of Judges or Tribunal de Batlles; Tribunal of the Courts or Tribunal de Corts; Constitutional Tribunal or Tribunal Constitucional (coprinces appoint the members)
all judges elected for a 6-year term renewable term
Political parties and leaders
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 [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)
International organization participation
CE, FAO, ICAO, ICRM, IFRCS, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ITU, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, Union Latina, UNWTO, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WTO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the US
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
Diplomatic representation from the US
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
Flag description
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
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
National anthem
name:
"El Gran Carlemany" (The Great Charlemagne)
lyrics/music:
Joan BENLLOCH i VIVO/Enric MARFANY BONS
adopted 1921; the anthem provides a brief history of Andorra in a first person narrative
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

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