The Principality of Monaco is an independent sovereign state with a surface area of 2 square kilometres. It is the second smallest country in the world, with a resident population of around 35,000 and a working population of nearly 50,000.
Monaco is a constitutional hereditary monarchy which is remarkable for its exceptional political stability over the past 700 years.
The House of Grimaldi has ruled the Principality since 1297. Prince Albert II, the latest in line, has been head of State since 2005.
The Constitution of 5 January 1911 introduced a constitutional democracy, based on democratic principles of organisation of public powers (an elected parliament, a government appointed by the Prince, elected municipal government and independent courts and tribunals). These principles were written in, and strengthened by the new Constitution drawn up in 1962 and revised in 2002.
The executive power is under the authority of the Prince, the Head of State, as laid down in the Constitution. The government is directed by the Minister of State, who heads a Council of Government composed of six members.
Legislative power is exercised jointly by the Sovereign and by the National Council.
The judicial power is independent. Justice is rendered in the name of the Prince, who delegates full power to the courts and tribunals. The independence of the judges is guaranteed.
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