Centre d'Information sur les Institutions Européennes

Centre d'Information sur les Institutions Européennes (CIIE)


  • Accession to the Council of Europe: 1978
  • Surface area : 160 km²
  • Population : 37 219 inhabitants (2014)
  • Capital : Vaduz
  • Official language : German
  • Religion principale : Catholic
  • Government type : Constitutional monarchy
  • Head of state : Prince Hans-Adam II
  • Head of government : Adrian Hasler since 27 th March 2013
  • Currency : Swiss franc
  • International code : +423
  • National holiday : August 15
The origin of Liechtenstein dates back centuries ago. Therefore, it is all the more impressive that such a small State has preserved its sovereignty despite the various historical challenges it faced. Since the mid-twentieth century, Liechtenstein has been an active partner of several international organizations and institutions, such as the Council of Europe, the World Trade Organization, and the United Nations, thus assuming the responsibilities of an international role. Since World War II (in which Liechtenstein remained neutral), the country’s low taxes have spurred outstanding economic growth. In 2000, shortcomings in banking regulatory oversight resulted in concerns about the use of financial institutions for money laundering. However, Liechtenstein has implemented anti-money-laundering legislation and has concluded various agreements with the European Union on that matter.

Source: CIA World Factbook
  • 1806 Sovereignty after accession to the Rhine Confederation
  • 1852 Customs union with Austria
  • 1868 Suppression of the Army 
  • 1914 Liechtenstein remains neutral during the First World War
  • 1919 Cancellation of the custom union with Austria 
  • 1921 Adoption of a new constitution
  • 1924 Customs union with Switzerland and introduction of the Swiss franc
  • 1939 Liechtenstein remains neutral throughout the Second World War
  • 1975 Member of the Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)
  • 1978 Accession to the Council of Europe 
  • 1989 Prince Hans-Adams II comes to power
  • 1990 Accession to the United Nations
  • 1991 Accession to the European Free Trade Association (EFTA)
  • 1995 Accession to the European Economic Area and to the World Trade Organization
  • 2003 Adoption of a new constitution
  • 2004 The Hereditary Prince Alois is put in charge of representing Prince Hans-Adams II
  • 2005 Start of taxation on savings (bilateral agreement with the EU)
  • 2008 Signing of the Schengen and Dublin agreements

Vaduz, the capital of Liechtenstein, is the seat of the national government, as well as the home of the princely family. Vaduz’s older neighborhoods, Mitteldorf and Oberdorf, are known for their gorgeous historical houses.
On top of the hill, the Vaduz castle overlook the city. It has been the residence of princes of Liechtenstein since 1712, and is over 700 years old. The princely family lived there until 1938. Even though the castle is not open to the public, one may enjoy the panoramic view over the valley of the Rhine from the “Kanzeli” view point.
The city of Vaduz has several museums: the Museum of Fine Arts, a masterpiece of architecture in the shape of a black cube; the National Museum, which invites visitors to discover the history of the Principality; and the Ski Museum.

Castle of Vaduz

The Princely House of Liechtenstein is one of the oldest noble families of Europe. In 1938, Prince Franz Josef II (1906-1989) was the first Prince of Liechtenstein to move his permanent residence to Vaduz. On November 13th, 1989, following the death of Prince Franz Joseph II, his son Prince Hans-Adam II assumed the regency.
On August.15th, 2004, Prince Hans-Adam II entrusted Hereditary Prince Alois, in preparation for succession of the Throne, as his representative with the exercise of the princely rights appertaining to him. Thus, the Hereditary Prince has been performing the duties of Head of State of the Principality of Liechtenstein, 
both nationally and internationally.
The coat of arms of the Principality of Liechtenstein is also the national coat of arms. It can be used only by the members of the princely family and the public power. The different symbols and the combined emblems in the national coat of arms are references to the history of the Prince dynasty.

Coat of Arms of the Princely House of Liechtenstein
© Government Spokesperson Office, Liechtenstein

Extraordinary Geography

Apart from Uzbekistan, Liechtenstein is the only landlocked country to be surrounded only by other non-coastal countries. In addition to its geographical situation, it is also one of the four smallest countries in Europe, the others being Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican. 

The Ruggeller Riet countryside

A matter of taste

The people in Liechtenstein love the traditionnal food of their country, such as “Kasknopfle”, made of gnocchi with cheese. But as gourmets of fine taste, they also appreciate the haute cuisine : no less than five restaurants received high marks in the Gault Millau 2008.

Additional sources: Communications and public relations office of Liechtenstein


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