Monaco State Structure

Monaco State Structure

The Principality of Monaco operates under a form of government known as a hereditary constitutional monarchy, with some secondary characteristics of dualism. The head of state is the Prince, who signs and ratifies all treaties.

The throne is inherited by the direct and legitimate descendant based on the right of primogeniture, with male offspring being given priority. In the absence of a legitimate heir, the throne may pass to an adopted son.

The heir can only assume their duties upon reaching the age of 21. Until then, a Regent governs in place of the Prince.

The country's political structure is governed by the Constitution, which was enacted on December 17, 1962. Legislative power is divided between the head of state, who has legislative initiative, and the parliament, which enacts laws.

The Parliament of Monaco (National Council) consists of 24 members elected by universal suffrage for a term of five years. Members of parliament enact laws and distribute the principality's budget; a minimum of two-thirds of votes is required to amend the constitution. The National Council can be dissolved by the head of state with the consent of the Government Council, but new elections must be promptly called. The government is not accountable to the National Council.

Executive Power

Under the Constitution of Monaco, executive power rests with the Prince, the head of state. He initiates legislative proposals, represents the principality in relations with other states, and has the rights of pardon, amnesty, awarding honors, and granting Monegasque citizenship.

In practice, the Government Council exercises executive power, led by the Minister of State. According to the 1918 treaty between Monaco and France, two of the four places in the Government Council are occupied by French representatives, including the position of Minister of State.

The Prince appoints the Minister of State from a list of three candidates proposed by the President of France. The Prince also appoints other members of the Government Council: the Advisor for Internal Affairs, the Advisor for Social Affairs and Health, and the Advisor for Finance.

Legislative Power

According to the 1962 Constitution, legislative power in the country belongs to the Prince and the National Council. Following the 2002 reform, this council comprises 24 deputies elected for five years. A candidate for the National Council must be a Monegasque citizen of at least 25 years of age and have held citizenship for more than five years.

It is noteworthy that since 2002, the parliament has had the right of legislative initiative, previously held solely by the Prince. The Council can amend government proposals, approve the introduction of taxes, and ratify international treaties that alter existing domestic legislation.

Judicial Power

Judicial power in Monaco rests entirely with the Prince, who delegates its exercise to the judicial organs and the Supreme Court. The Directorate of Judicial Services performs the functions of the Minister of Justice, as this position does not exist in the principality.

Judges are independent, and the organization of the judiciary is fully implemented by the Supreme Court, which resolves constitutional issues, contentious administrative matters, and conflicts that may arise in the exercise of judicial functions.

The judicial system includes justices of the peace, first instance courts, the Court of Appeal, and the Court of Cassation. There is also a Supreme Court, composed of five members and two deputies, appointed by the Prince for four years.

Management System of the Principality

Council for Communal Matters

This council consists of 15 members elected for four years based on direct universal suffrage. Its work is related to urban planning, reconstruction of the principality's districts, and the continuation of Monaco's traditions.

Crown Council

Formed by the Prince, it consists of seven members who must hold Monegasque nationality. The President and three members are appointed directly by the Prince. The remaining members are appointed upon the recommendation of the National Council. The council must meet at least twice a year and addresses issues related to the state's highest interests. Its opinion is mandatory in cases such as signing international treaties, dissolving the National Council, considering naturalization applications, and issues related to pardons or amnesties.

State Council

This advisory body consists of 12 individuals appointed by the Prince. The State Council's role is to inform the Prince about legislative and decree projects within the ruler's competence, upon his request.

Economic Council

Comprising members appointed by the Prince based on recommendations from the Government, the Business Federation, and the Workers' Union, the Government may consult the Economic Council on matters of economic importance to the state. The Council's primary function is to facilitate negotiations between social partners.

National Council

Consisting of 18 members elected for a five-year term based on direct universal suffrage, any Monegasque citizen over 21 years of age is eligible. This body is responsible for laws and the budget. The National Council's meetings are held twice a year, with additional sessions convened at the request of the Prince or two-thirds of its members. Meetings are public, and reports on the debates are published in the official Monaco journal.

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