U.S. Department of State Country Report on Human Rights Practices 1997 - Andorra
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Publication Date||30 January 1998|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State Country Report on Human Rights Practices 1997 - Andorra, 30 January 1998, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6aa3010.html [accessed 1 February 2015]|
Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, January 30, 1998.
ANDORRAThe Principality of Andorra became a parliamentary democracy in 1993 when its Constitution was approved by popular referendum. Two princes with joint authority representing secular and religious authorities have governed since 1278. Under the constitution, the two princes--the President of France and the Spanish Bishop of Sue D'urgell--serve equally as heads of state and are each represented in Andorra by a delegate. Elections were held in February to choose members of the Consell General (the Parliament), which selects the head of government. The judiciary functions independently. Andorra has no defense force. The national police, under effective civilian control, have sole responsibility for internal security. The market-based economy is dependent on those of its neighbors France and Spain. With creation of the European Union internal market, Andorra lost its privileged duty-free status and is suffering an economic recession. Tourism is still an important source of income. Because of banking secrecy laws, the financial services sector is growing in importance. The Government respected the human rights of its citizens, and the law and the judiciary provide effective means of dealing with instances of abuse.