Prince Albert I honoured as Constitution turns 110
By Stephanie Horsman - January 27, 2022
This year marks the 110th anniversary of the adoption of the Monegasque constitution and the subsequent creation of the National Council, the Principality’s elected legislative body. To mark the occasion, Prince Albert II, Stéphane Valeri and Professor Dominique Chagnollaud spoke at an assembled event to honour the institution and its founder, Prince Albert I.
The year was 1911 and Prince Albert I, at that time the Sovereign Prince, created the modern constitution of Monaco. As part of that historic text, he included the creation of an elected parliamentary body to give the people a voice in making laws and getting important issues heard, thus making Monaco a constitutional monarchy.
Constitutional monarchies were still something of a rarity in those days, and the progressive move was made even more so by the fact that Monaco’s sovereign was the head of an active and powerful political and social institution in its own right, though clearly not looking to be an absolute power.
This may seem normal in today’s parlance, but at the turn of the 20th century, it was quite remarkable.
It was not Monaco’s first stab at a constitution. In February 1848, an elective assembly was formed but was made invalid less than a week later when, on 2nd March, Roquebrune and Menton seceded from Monaco. This cut the territory of Monaco down from 25m2 to 1.5m2 and lowered the population to a manageable 1,200. This seemed, at the time, to eliminate a need for a formal elected body and was not revisited again until Prince Albert I.
In marking the National Council’s 110th anniversary on Tuesday 25th January, Council President Stéphane Valeri reminded the assembled council members that they share a special bond with the Princely family, and Prince Albert I specifically.
“Through this event, what will hold our attention today is the contribution of Prince Albert I to the Institutions of our country, through the granting of our first Constitution and therefore through the foundation of the National Council,” said the National Council president. “The attachment that we mentioned between Monegasques and their Princes was not born, as if by magic, from a constitutional text. Indeed, the symbiosis between Monegasques and their Sovereign has always been and will always be the strength of our country.”
The Prince expanded on this theme, saying, “We celebrate, in effect, in a way, a common ancestor. In fact, and as everyone knows, Prince Albert I is my great-grandfather, but he is also, as you have just recalled, Mr. President, the founding father of your institution.”
This sentiment was given more credence by the words of Professor Dominique Chagnollaud, President of the Cercle des Constitutionnalistes and Professor at the University Panthéon-Assas in Paris, who said, “This monarchy, instituted by the free will of the Prince, is unlike any other as its principles are so inherent in what I call the Monegasque constitutional identity, in a country, as the national anthem reminds us, where Monegasques are always linked to their Princes by a personal union.”
Prince Albert then unveiled a large photographic portrait of his great-grandfather at the newly-named Prince Albert I Library, saying, “I am very touched by your proposal – for which I thank you – to baptise the library of the National Council with the name of my great-grandfather, he who had founded the municipal library and reorganised that of the Palace.”
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[caption id="attachment_27896" align="alignnone" width="640"] 2018 Coface MEB Breakfast at Salon de Bellevue. Photo: Monaco Life[/caption]
The Monaco Economic Board (MEB), the Banque Populaire Méditerranée and Gramaglia Assurances, held a well-attended conference "Country Risk: Analysis and Business Opportunities" at the Salon Bellevue of the Café de Paris on Wednesday, January 31.
For this fourth edition, Julien Marcilly, Chief Economist of Coface, presented the major global economic trends discussed last week at the Symposium on Country Risk in Paris before 1200 experts.
More than 100 economic players were present in Monaco to hear the forecasts from Coface, a world leader in credit insurance. For companies that are members of the MEB, especially those with an international focus, this event was a great opportunity to hear about trends that might guide their investment strategies and future actions.
[caption id="attachment_27886" align="alignnone" width="640"] Michel Prost Dumont (Deputy Director Monaco Branch Banque Populaire Méditerranée, Julien Marcilly Chief Economist Coface, Michel Dotta, President Monaco Economic Board, Olivier Labédan Commercial Director Gramaglia. Photo: Michael Alési/MEB/Realis[/caption]
Mr Marcilly began by taking stock of 2017, a year that had some good economic surprises despite the protectionist threat that seemed to prevail. The notable performances of Europe, the US and some emerging countries, supported by the recovery of commodity prices, defied gloomy forecasts.
For 2018, Coface predicts a confirmation of global economic growth that could reach a peak during the year. But this favourable trend should not obscure the risks. Mr Marcilly pointed out three main ones: a risk of overheating that could lead to equipment shortages and recruitment difficulties, mainly in developed countries; a banking risk still present in China; and finally, and still, political risks with a busy year for elections, especially in Latin America.
After giving an overview, Julien Marcilly lent himself to the game of questions and answers, answering in detail the particular questions of Monegasque companies about their areas of activity with Dubai and Uganda. The participants were then able to walk away with the new Coface Country and Sectorial Risks Guide, a valuable tool that will allow them to deepen their knowledge.
The next MEB event, which is for members only, is a Russian Conference on February 9 at the Salon Théâtre, Hôtel Métropole, from 8:30 am to 10 am.
HE Mireille Pettiti, Ambassador of Monaco in Russia and Igor Yurgens, Consul of Monaco in Moscow and Vice-President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, will give an update on business opportunities in Russia, with an opportunity at the end of the event to exchange with Mr Yurgens.