Co-Princes of Andorra

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Co-Princes of Andorra
Coprínceps d'Andorra (Catalan)
Coat of Arms of High Authorities of Andorra.svg
Incumbent
Mons. Vives (30612833490).jpg
Joan Enric Vives i Sicília
since 12 May 2003
Co-incumbent
Zustrich Prezidenta Ukrayini z prezidentami Frantsiyi ta Rumuniyi, a takozh golovami uriadiv Nimechchini ta Italiyi 76 (cropped).jpg
Emmanuel Macron
since 14 May 2017
Details
Style His Excellency
First monarch Pere d'Urtx
Roger-Bernard III
Formation1278;745 years ago (1278)
Residence La Seu d'Urgell Cathedral (Spain)
Élysée Palace (France)
AppointerThe Holy See (for the Episcopal Co-Prince)
French citizens (five years, renewable once consecutively) (for the French Co-Prince)

The co-princes of Andorra are jointly the heads of state (Catalan : cap d'estat) [1] of the Principality of Andorra, a landlocked microstate lying in the Pyrenees between France and Spain. Founded in 1278 by means of a treaty between the Bishop of Urgell and the Count of Foix, this unique diarchical arrangement has persisted through medieval times to the 21st century. Currently, the Bishop of Urgell (Joan Enric Vives Sicília) and the president of France (Emmanuel Macron) serve as Andorra's co-princes, following the transfer of the count of Foix's claims to the Crown of France and, thence, to the president of France. Each co-prince appoints a personal representative, the episcopal co-prince by Josep Maria Mauri and the French co-prince currently being represented by Patrick Strzoda. [2]

Contents

Origin and development of the co-principality

Tradition holds that Charlemagne granted a charter to the Andorran people in return for their fighting against the Moors. The feudal overlord of this territory was at first the Count of Urgell. In 988, however, the count, Borrell II, gave Andorra to the Diocese of Urgell in exchange for land in Cerdanya. [3] The Bishop of Urgell, based in Seu d'Urgell, has ruled Andorra ever since. [4]

Before 1095, Andorra did not have any type of military protection, and since the Bishop of Urgell knew that the Count of Urgell wanted to reclaim the Andorran valleys, [4] he asked for help from the lord of Caboet. In 1095, the lord and the bishop signed a declaration of their co-sovereignty over Andorra. Arnalda, daughter of Arnau of Caboet, married the viscount of Castellbò, and both became viscounts of Castellbò and Cerdanya. Their daughter, Ermessenda, [5] married Roger Bernat II, the French count of Foix. They became, respectively, count and countess of Foix, viscount and viscountess of Castellbò and Cerdanya, and also co-sovereigns of Andorra (together with the Bishop of Urgell).[ citation needed ]

In the 11th century, a dispute arose between the Bishop of Urgell and the Count of Foix. The conflict was mediated by Aragon in 1278, and led to the signing of the first paréage, which provided that Andorra's sovereignty be shared between the count [4] and the bishop. This gave the principality its territory and political form, and marked the formal commencement of Andorra's unique monarchical arrangement.[ citation needed ]

Through inheritance, the Foix title to Andorra passed to the kings of Navarre. After King Henry III of Navarre became King Henry IV of France, he issued an edict in 1607 establishing the king of France and the Bishop of Urgell as co-princes of Andorra. In 1812–13, the First French Empire annexed Catalonia and divided it into four départements, with Andorra forming part of the district of Puigcerdà (department of Sègre). Following the defeat of Napoleon I, a royal decree reversed this annexation, and Andorra reverted to its former independence and political state. [6] [7] [8] The French head of statewhether king, emperor, or presidenthas continued to serve as a co-prince of Andorra ever since.[ citation needed ]

Recent history

On 12 July 1934, Andorra's monarchical system was challenged by an adventurer named Boris Skossyreff, who issued a proclamation in Urgell declaring himself "Boris I, King of Andorra". [9] Though initially enjoying some support within Andorra's political establishment, he was ultimately arrested by Spanish authorities on 20 July 1934 after declaring war on the Bishop of Urgell (who had refused to relinquish his own claim to the principality). Skossyreff was expelled, and was never considered to have been the Andorran monarch in any legal sense.

Before 1993, Andorra had no codified constitution, and the exact prerogatives of the co-princes were not specifically defined in law. In March 1993, a Constitution was approved by a vote of the Andorran people and signed into law by the two reigning co-princes at the time: Bishop Joan Martí Alanis and President François Mitterrand. It clarified the continuance of the unique Andorran diarchy, and also delineated the precise role and prerogatives of the two co-princes. Prior to adoption of the Constitution, Andorra paid in odd-numbered years a tribute of approximately $460 to the French ruler, while on even-numbered years, it paid a tribute of approximately $12 to the Spanish bishop, plus six hams, six cheeses, and six live chickens. This medieval custom was subsequently abandoned in 1993. [10]

In 2009, French president Nicolas Sarkozy threatened to abdicate as French co-prince if the principality did not change its banking laws to eliminate its longstanding status as a tax haven. [11]

In 2014, Joan Enric Vives i Sicília said that he would abdicate as bishop of Urgell and co-prince of Andorra if the Andorran Parliament passed a law legalizing abortion. The bishopric would then be held in abeyance at least until the law had been promulgated, so that no cleric would have to sign it. [12] This would make Andorra the second country (after Belgium) where a head of state refused to sign a law legalizing voluntary interruption of pregnancy without preventing the law's promulgation.

Contemporary political role

The Constitution of Andorra carefully defines the exact role and prerogatives of the co-princes of Andorra today. The constitution establishes Andorra as a "parliamentary coprincipality", [13] providing for the Bishop of Urgell and the president of France to serve together as joint heads of state. [14] The constitution distinguishes between which powers they may exercise on their own (Article 46), and which require the countersignature of the head of the Andorran government, or the approval of the "Síndic General", the Andorran legislature (Article 45).

Powers the co-princes may exercise on their own include: [15]

Powers the co-princes may exercise in conjunction with the head of government include: [16]

Each co-prince is granted an annual allowance by the General Council to dispose of as he or she sees fit. [18] Each appoints a personal representative in Andorra, [19] and in the case of incapacitation of one of them, the constitution provides for the other prince to govern in his or her absence, with the concurrence of the Andorran head of government or the General Council. [20]

Certain treaties require the participation of the co-princes (or their designated representatives) in their negotiation process as well as their final approval; these are detailed in Articles 66 and 67 of the constitution.

The co-princes jointly retain the right to propose amendments to the constitution; this same right rests with the General Council. [21] They have no veto power over legislation passed by the General Council, though they do retain a veto over certain international treaties, as described above.

List of rulers

See also

Related Research Articles

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Andorra, officially the Principality of Andorra, is a sovereign landlocked microstate on the Iberian Peninsula, in the eastern Pyrenees, bordered by France to the north and Spain to the south. Believed to have been created by Charlemagne, Andorra was ruled by the count of Urgell until 988, when it was transferred to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Urgell. The present principality was formed by a charter in 1278. It is headed by two co-princes: the bishop of Urgell in Catalonia, Spain and the president of France. Its capital and largest city is Andorra la Vella.

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Prince-bishop</span> Bishop who is also the ruler of a secular principality

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Politics of Andorra</span>

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Roman Catholic Diocese of Urgell</span> Diocese of the Catholic Church in Spain and Andorra

The Diocese of Urgell is a diocese in Catalonia (Spain) and Andorra in the historical County of Urgell, with origins in the fifth century AD or possibly earlier. It is based in the region of the historical Catalan County of Urgell, though it has different borders. The seat and Cathedral of the bishop are situated in la Seu d'Urgell town. The state of Andorra is a part of this diocese.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Coat of arms of Andorra</span>

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Constitution of Andorra</span> Supreme law of the Principality of Andorra

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Andorra–France relations</span> Bilateral relations

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Listed below are articles about or related to Andorra, arranged alphabetically:

The first Paréage of Andorra was a feudal charter signed in Lleida on 8 September 1278. It codified a lay and ecclesiastical agreement between the Count of Foix, Roger-Bernard III, and the Bishop of Urgell, Pere d'Urtx, establishing their joint sovereignty over the territory of Andorra. The paréage established the system of condominium in Andorra, placing it under suzerainty of both lords. This system was later ratified in 1993 by the signing of the Constitution of Andorra.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Executive Council of Andorra</span>

The Executive Council of Andorra is the chief executive body of Andorra.

Pere d'Urtx was Bishop of Urgell from 1269 to 1293. He became the first Episcopal Co-Prince of Andorra when he signed the paréage establishing joint-sovereignty over the territory with Roger-Bernard III, Count of Foix in 1278.

The Andorran Revolution, also known as the Revolution of 1933, was a democratic uprising led by the Young Andorrans that called for political reforms, universal suffrage for all Andorrans and acted in defense of the rights of local and foreign workers during the construction of FHASA's hydroelectric power station in Encamp. On April 5, 1933, the Young Andorrans seized the Andorran Parliament. These actions were preceded by the arrival of Colonel René-Jules Baulard with 50 gendarmes and the mobilization of 200 local militias or sometent led by the Síndic Francesc Cairat.

References

  1. "The constitution of the Principality of Andorra". www.andorramania.com.
  2. "Why is the President of France Co-Prince of Andorra?". Royal Central. 7 October 2019. Retrieved 9 November 2019. The President of France, Emmanuel Macron, serves as Co-Prince of Andorra in addition to his duties as French President and is one of the few examples of a democratically elected leader serving in a royal capacity in another country. Since 2003, the other Co-Prince is the bishop of Urgell from Spain, Joan-Enric Vives i Sicília.
  3. "La formació d'Andorra". Gran Enciclopèdia Catalana . Enciclopèdia Catalana.(in Catalan) English version
  4. 1 2 3 Things about the history of Andorra Archived 9 February 2010 at archive.today French Co-prince (in Catalan)
  5. "Ermessenda de Castellbò". Gran Enciclopèdia Catalana . Enciclopèdia Catalana.(in Catalan) English version
  6. Armengol Aleix 2009, p. 172.
  7. Guillamet Anton 2009, p. 172.
  8. Armengol Aleix 2009, p. 342, 343.
  9. Events, Issues 19-24, page 46, 1938
  10. Andorra: Septicentennial for a Ministate, from Time, 30 October 1978.
  11. Sarkozy threatens to renounce Andorran title.
  12. Jesús Bastante (22 September 2014). "La aprobación de la ley del Aborto en Andorra podría llevar a Vives a Barcelona". Religión. Periodisto Digital (in Spanish). Retrieved 3 January 2023.
  13. Constitution of Andorra, 1:4.
  14. Constitution of Andorra, 43:1-2.
  15. Constitution of Andorra, Article 46.
  16. Constitution of Andorra, Article 45.
  17. Constitution of Andorra:45:1:E and 71:1-3.
  18. Constitution of Andorra, 47.
  19. Constitution of Andorra, 48.
  20. Constitution of Andorra, 45:3.
  21. Constitution of Andorra, 105.

Bibliography