By H. E. M. Gilles Tonelli Ambassador of the Principality of Monaco in Belgium and to the Kingdom of the Netherlands .
The Principality of Monaco has always adhered to the goals of peace, democracy and respect for human rights that the states of Europe are sharing. Monaco became the 46th member state of the Council of Europe on 5 October 2004.
Although already partly integrated into the Community legal order, Monaco is not part of the European Union. Monaco is among the small states, the only city-state (2 km²) in which national citizens are largely minority, representing less than a quarter of the total population or about 8,500 people on 37,000 people in more than 120 different nationalities.
Monaco is for the neighboring French and Italian regions, but also for EU nationals residing in the Principality, a labor pool and dynamic activities. In fact, over 95% of private sector employees are European citizens and over 80% of public contracts are awarded to European firms or Monegasque law and European shareholders.
Note an annual increase in the number of employees by more than 2% in recent years more than 1,500 jobs. Monaco’s economy is mainly based on commerce, services (including financial services and tourism), and a high value light industry. Monaco has a model of economic development that meet international requirements for fiscal transparency and fairness advocated by the OECD, as confirmed in its latest report that the Principality has received an overall score “Largely compliant” .The financial services represent 15% of the GDP of Monaco.
This sector plays a significant role in the national economy without, however, be essential. Monaco’s budget in balance since 2012, which amounts to more than a billion of revenue from 75% of the tax (value added tax (VAT), tax on corporate profits , transfer taxes, concessions …) and the balance of various receipts from state property. Finally, note that 25 to 30% of its annual budget is spent on investment, about 300 million per year. For the participation of the three small European third countries to the internal market and opening their cooperation in other areas such as justice and home affairs, research and education or fishing, the European Council should mandate the Commission and the European External Action Service in mid-December 2014 to start negotiations.
The agreement negotiated will in any event take explicit account of the specifics of Principality to allow to reach a result ensuring its sustainability. The challenge of the discussion with the European Union will share the one hand, that Monaco to survive must retain its specificity and, secondly, that Monaco is on its scale, useful for Europe dropoff economy.