Monaco National Council agrees on concrete reforms to legal system

Monaco’s National Council has voted unanimously on a series of new laws that would bring the Principality’s judicial processes up to date and in line with France, including mental health support for criminals and rights for victims.

The National Council met on Wednesday 30th November as part of a public legislative session. The bills on the table, all positive in their ability to improve and reform Monaco’s legislative system, were ushered through somewhat quicker than normal as the government pushed the National Council to meet the deadline of an evaluation by MONEYVAL, a permanent monitoring body that is currently assessing the Principality’s conformity to international standards.

Although the laws were accepted unanimously, the rush to complete the tasks at hand has led to tension in the National Council, with President Brigitte Boccone-Pagès saying she had “never seen a situation such as the one we have experienced in recent weeks” and held the government accountable for the pressure put on her and her fellow councillors. Minister of State Pierre Dartouthas accepted her criticism of the “difficult conditions” and thanked the members of the National Council for their “responsibility in seeing these procedures through to their conclusion”. He promised “better anticipation” and “planning” in the future. 

Five important texts were examined, ahead of a vote which saw unanimity across the room. Here is a breakdown of the new laws.

Bill No.1030 pertains to preliminary investigation and alternative measures to prosecution, introducing a third option – something between the dismissal of a case and public prosecution – to the Attorney General. This “alternative measure” could offer perpetrators support from a health, social or professional structure in the place of incarceration, and assist them in “regularising their situation” or indeed go some way to repairing the damage caused by the offence they committed.  

Bill No.1031 lays the ground for reform of the investigative and appeal stages by modernising the existing procedures set out by the Code. Part of the bill includes the creation of an “assisted witness” status similar to that of the French law. It also clarifies Monaco’s standpoint on criminal liability and the appeal process.  

“The National Council is fundamentally in favour of any progress in human rights in the Principality. We are not and never have been a repressive or authoritarian society, but on the contrary an integrative society,” said Counsellor Guillaume Rose. “The icing on the cake [of Bill No.1031] is that the defence will have the first right to speak last. For fans of certain TV series, this seems like routine, but in Monaco [this development has been] a delay that is being made up for: a National Council tirelessly at work, years of negotiations that lead here.” 

Bill No.1067 brings Monaco’s laws governing the “seizure and confiscation of instruments and proceeds of crime” in line with those of the European Parliament and European Council (Directive 2014/42/EU). It also absorbs recommendations made by MONEYVAL in its ongoing evaluation of Monaco.

Bill No.1068 provides new provisions for international legal assistance in an effort to “strengthen the Principality’s international cooperation in criminal matters” as well as do away with any ambiguity in the pre-existing legislation. 

Bill No.1072 offers an amendment to a law previously passed in 2009 that represents the Principality’s crackdown on money laundering, terrorist financing and corruption. The government says that by widening the scope of this law, it brings Monegasque legislation up to scratch with the “latest international standards”.  

Following the meeting, the National Council’s president, Brigitte Boccone-Pagès said, “The National Council has once again assumed its responsibilities to preserve the reputation of the Principality and to develop our legislation, in accordance with the requirements of the international organisations, which establish new standards for the regulation of our contemporary economies. I have no doubt that these advances will therefore contribute to strengthening our attractiveness.” 



Photo source: Monaco Communications Department

Monaco signs bilateral tax agreement with Andorra

Monaco and Andorra have finalised a bilateral tax convention that aims to eliminate double taxation and tax fraud between the two principalities.

1st December marked a new era of tax cooperation between the two states, with the bilateral tax agreement also representing another step forwards for Monaco in the journey towards improved international tax transparency and compliance with international economic standards.

Since 2009, following a review of tax policy instigated by Prince Albert II, Monaco has undertaken a series of measures and made multiple reforms in a meaningful effort to meet the international standards set out by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) regarding tax transparency and information-sharing between countries.

As part of this commitment, Monaco has successfully implemented tax cooperation agreements with a number of countries and has since been recognised by the OECD as having achieved a high compliance and tax-transparency ranking; a position equivalent to countries such as Germany and the United States.

Monaco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Isabelle Berro-Amadei and her Andorran counterpart Maria Ubach Font, were both photographed smiling and proudly displaying the agreement after having signed in Lodz, Poland, on the sidelines of the Ministerial Council of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OCSE) earlier this month.

This latest bilateral tax convention with Andorra marks the 37th tax agreement for the Principality of Monaco and is aimed at both avoiding double taxation on income tax, as well as fighting tax evasion and fraud. It was finalised as a result of constructive negotiation between the two states, and with an end goal of respecting the specific characteristics and interests of each.

Following the successful signing of the agreement, the Monaco Government released a statement saying, “The Principality of Monaco is pleased with the excellent ties with the Principality of Andorra, which have been strengthened in recent years, particularly in the context of negotiations with the European Union for the conclusion of an association agreement.”



Photo source: Monaco Communications Department

Christmas at the Marché de Monte-Carlo

Find all you need for your Christmas table, from sumptuous cheeses and fine wines to the extravagant treats of caviar, foie gras and truffles, at the Marché de Monte-Carlo this coming weekend.  

This special, one-off market is part of the Monaco town halls’ plans to revive and refresh the way the public thinks about the Principality’s marketplaces. and bring them back to the thriving community hubs that they deserve to be. 

Since September, visitors to the Marché de Monte-Carlo have enjoyed a Spanish-themed lunch replete with ochre-hued paella, blood-red sangria and other Iberian delicacies as well as a forager’s market – mushrooms, truffles and chestnuts galore – and a specialist wine and cheese event. Now Christmas festivities are in full swing and the latest Christmas-themed market day promises not to disappoint! 

In addition to the already wonderful array of regular traders onsite, the Christmas market will feature a lavish and sumptuous variety of festive food and products. The most luxurious and extravagant Christmas treats of creamy foie gras, mouth-watering salmon, glossy dishes of caviar, truffles, artisanal nougat and perfectly spiced gingerbread will all tempt the senses… Not to mention the heady and unmissable scent of traditional mulled wine that will be sure to fill the air!  

The market is taking place on Saturday 10th December from 7.30am to 1pm at 7 Avenue Saint Charles.  

Entry is free and open to everyone. 



Photo source: Katie Laine for Unsplash

Prince Albert honoured with prestigious German Sustainability Award

Prince Albert has been recognised for both his personal and his foundation’s work in sustainability at one of Europe’s largest awards ceremony for ecological and social commitment.

HSH Prince Albert II was in Düsseldorf on Friday 2nd November for the German Sustainability Awards (GSA), where he was presented with the most prestigious award of the event, the German Sustainability Award.

The Principality of Monaco, the second-smallest independent state in the world, is a big player when it comes to the environment and sustainability, and this is thanks in no small part to its monarch and leader, HSH Prince Albert II. Just one year after coming into sovereignty in 2005, he formed his namesake non-profit organisation, the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, and since then has made it his mission to create a more sustainable future for our planet.

The foundation itself has funded 720 separate initiatives since inception, while the Principality of Monaco itself boasts a wealth of sustainability efforts including electric boat, bicycle, and car-sharing systems, a process of converting garbage into fuel, the lofty goal of zero single-use plastic waste by 2030, and even the world’s first 100% organic Michelin-starred restaurant. Just to mention a few.

The German Sustainability Award is a national prize for top performance in sustainability in business, municipalities and research. With eight separate competitions and around 1,000 entries, it represents the highest and most prestigious award of them all.

This year’s event marks the 15th anniversary of the award, and the two-day congress, attended by around 2,000 participants, has evolved to become the leading sustainability event and largest of its kind across Europe.

Ahead of the ceremony, Prince Albert was joined by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at a welcome reception. The German Sustainability Award was then officially presented to him by Prof. Dr. Antje Boetius, German biologist and Director of the Alfred-Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research.

Just one week earlier, on Friday 25th November, the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation also celebrated the 15th anniversary of its own awards ceremony – the Planetary Health Awards – with three prize winners. Read more on that story here.



Photo credit: Gaetan Luci, Prince’s Palace

MEB Awards champion “spirit of innovation” in Monaco

At a ceremony last week, the collaborative Club Eco Monaco awards of the Monaco Economic Board and Nice-Matin group handed out seven gongs to the 2022 laureates.  

The 11th edition of the Club Eco Monaco Awards took place at the Grimaldi Forum’s Salle Camille Blanc on 29th November in the presence of numerous Monegasque dignitaries and decision makers from Minister of State Pierre Dartout and Minister for Economy and Finance Jean Castellini to President of the National Council Brigitte Boccone-Pagès.  

It was a moment in the spotlight for each of the seven 2022 winners, who were individually welcomed to the stage by CEO of the Monaco Economic Board (MEB) Guillaume Rose. After receiving their award, the dynamic collection of entrepreneurs and professionals were interviewed live by the editor-in-chief of the Nice-Matin group, Christian Huault.

The 2022 winners

The Sustainable Development Trophy went to Sylvia Ratkowski and Pierre Magnes of FGWRS, a start-up that began thanks to the support of MonacoTech and has created a grey water recycling system recently adopted by the European Space Agency.  

The International Trophy rewarded the Forté Pharma laboratory, a specialist in food supplements that has grown exponentially over the last few years following massive development outside of Monaco. The award was given to its dedicated export director, Cédric Rinaudo.  

The Made in Monaco gong went to Les Perles de Monte-Carlo and its founders Brice Cachia and Frédéric Rouxeville, who have worked tirelessly to create the first ever oyster nursery in the Mediterranean. Their home-produced seafood can be found on menus across the Principality’s spread of high-end restaurants.  

The Special Jury Prize was awarded to the International University of Monaco and its Managing Director Jean-Philippe Muller who, for the past decade, has developed the campus into a world class destination for international students and teaching staff. 

The International Standing Trophy was awarded to the Scientific Center of Monaco, a vibrant organisation at the forefront of countless inspirational projects.  

The Manager of the Year Trophy went to Jean-Victor Pastor who, among his other business activities, has established the Maya Collection of restaurants both in Monaco and further afield.  

The final award of the night, the Innovation Trophy, was awarded to the three founders of Carlo:  Antoine and Armand Bahri and Marta Mas Portas. This well-known mobile app gives customers in partner shops and boutiques cashback on their purchases. It has been widely adopted across the Principality.  

Monaco: a place for businesses to flourish and succeed

Launched in 2012, over 70 innovative companies and individuals who have “found in Monaco, the conditions to flourish and succeed” – the words of MEB President Michel Dotta – have now won one of these prestigious awards. 

“The [2022] winners illustrate the richness and diversity of the Monegasque ecosystem,” said the MEB in a statement following the event, while the managing director of the Nice-Matin group, Jean-Louis Pelé, said the awards “highlighted the dynamism, creativity and spirit of innovation” in Monaco.  



Photo source: MEB/Carte Blanche

Interview: “Football has a role in uniting values” says Jean-Emmanuel de Witt

Speaking to Monaco Life at last week’s Peace and Sport International Forum, AS Monaco CEO Jean-Emmanuel de Witt highlighted the role of sport in uniting values and communities.

The intertwining of sport, politics and societal outcomes is increasingly scrutinised, something felt particularly keenly during one of the most divisive major sporting tournaments in history: the Qatar World Cup, which has highlighted societal divides on issues such as LGBTQ+ rights and has rightfully led to questions on the role that football, and sport more widely, plays in either exacerbating or bridging those divides.

At a forum hosted during Peace and Sport by the director of the United Nations’ Communication Department, Maher Nasser, de Witt spoke to Monaco Life about the role football has in uniting values and communities from his perspective as the CEO of a club that is a leading partner of Peace and Sport.

Monaco Life: As a major partner of Peace and Sport, what are the major values that you both hold to heart?

Jean-Emmanuel de Witt: The values are those of tolerance, of kindness and of peace, which are promoted by Peace and Sport, the Principality and by extension, us. Our co-operation with Peace and Sport is very natural because we have common origins, common values and a common geography, so it was natural for us to associate ourselves with them.

How does AS Monaco as a club transmit these values? Is social media a major tool?

We have lots of tools. On the one hand there is the power of social media, then there is everything that we do with Peace and Sport, where we give visibility on the back of our shirt. That visibility is considerable. That then filters back into social media, where our followers ask themselves about Peace and Sport and that shows very strongly our commitment. There are then all the interviews that we do with our players, whether they be young players from the academy or professionals. There is, in certain cases, the support that we give to players that are themselves committed to a certain path. I’m thinking notably of Mamadou Coulibaly, who is our Junior Champion of Peace, and who himself is very engaged.

Do you expect players to be more vocal on social issues?

I think it is an inevitable trend. We are dealing with young communities because young people are very interested in football, and the players themselves are very young. Young people are increasingly committed to making a better world, and the fact that we have players committed to playing such a role is a result of the education that we offer them. At the academy, we are involved in around 50 societal [and] responsible actions shared with the players. There is a change of mentality and education on top of that and therefore more players will be more and more visible in making their voices heard.

Is this image element also a factor in recruitment?

When a club buys a player nowadays, the club pays special attention not only to his sporting qualities, but also his image. A club doesn’t want a player that can damage the image of the club. Image is indissociable from performance.

Would you say also that sport is also indissociable from politics?

There are multiple aspects to this. We are lucky to be a club in a country whose values we share and vice versa. There is for AS Monaco and the country of Monaco a total alignment. That’s very lucky because it’s not always the case. Then there is the role of football and of sport in its entirety, and that is to unite values, whilst politics fails to do so. And they fail either because they aren’t active enough or because there are political constraints that mean that they can’t bring about changes.

Is it your intention to intensify these commitments at AS Monaco?

It is something I have done throughout my career. I have lived through numerous phases. Initially, you did business and we profited from business to do something good, to play a role in society. We are now in an era where playing a role in society is necessary to do business.



Photo by Peace and Sport