Historic Document Replaces Franco-Monégasque Treaty of 1918

PARIS- On October 24, 2002, the Principality of Monaco signed an historic treaty with France entitled the "Treaty Designed to Adapt and Uphold the Friendly and Cooperative Relations Between the French Republic and the Principality of Monaco." The text, which replaces the Treaty of 1918, reaffirms the independence of Monaco and establishes equality of Franco-Monégasque relations.

According to H.S.H. Prince Rainier, the 1918 text was outdated and needed revision. Written at the end of the First World War when the Monégasque crown was threatened by a German branch of the Grimaldi clan, the 1918 treaty refers to Monaco as a quasi-subject of France. The language used in the document, which has often been distressing for the Principality, diminished Monaco's sovereignty in relation to its large neighbor. H.S.H. Prince Rainier explained that the new text centers around "modern international law, freedom of decision and mutual respect" and "creates a solid foundation for the development of privileged and friendly relations with France that are important to all of us for the future."

In general, two fundamental principles of international law formed the basis of the treaty revisions: Sovereignty and Reciprocity. Text referring to the "protective friendship" of France has been changed to "traditional friendship", thereby signifying that the two countries are equal.

The three main topics of the treaty concern political cooperation, questions of succession, and neighbor relations.

In terms of political cooperation, Article 1 of the 1918 treaty insures the defense of Monaco's independence and sovereignty and guarantees the integrity of Monaco's territory "as if this territory were part of/belonged to the French Territory." The 2002 Treaty insures the same but specifies that France "will do so under the same conditions it would do for itself." This revision makes clear that the means of defense are similar, but that the two territories are distinct and separate. In return, Monaco will regularly consult with France to make sure that its actions are in accordance with the interests of French politics, economics, security and defense. The 1918 clause of "preliminary agreement," whereby Monaco was required to obtain France's agreement before opening new embassies in foreign countries, choosing heads of missions and signing treaties or agreements with states other than France, has been omitted. The two countries now agree to consult each other on fundamental questions of international relations.

The new treaty also provides for the establishment of increased diplomatic relations. The new treaty gives France the option of opening an embassy in Monaco and gives Monaco the right to have formal diplomatic relations with other countries, including the establishment of foreign embassies in Monaco. Also, in a country where Monaco has no embassies or consulates, Monégasques can seek assistance from a French consular or diplomatic post.

Concerning the questions of succession to the Monégasque throne, the new treaty recognizes the new rules for succession as outlined in Monaco's constitution, which was revised in 2002. France will only be informed if there is a change in the succession order. The article allowing France to establish a protectorate over Monaco has been omitted.

In regards to neighbor relations, French forces are allowed on Monaco's territory in the event of a threat to the security of Monaco and France, however, the Prince must agree beforehand, unless the emergency threatens the sovereignty, independence or integrity of Monaco's territory and the functioning of the government has been interrupted.

Finally, a new article provides for regular consultations between Monaco and France on subjects of common interest, within the framework of the "Commission for Franco-Monegasque cooperation" (created in 1994).

For more information on the "Treaty Designed to Adapt and Uphold the Friendly and Cooperative Relations Between the French Republic and the Principality of Monaco," please call the Consulate General of Monaco at (212) 286-0500, email: or visit

Emily Lyons
Media Relations Officer
Tel: (212) 286-3330