H.E. Pierre Dartout, the Minister of State of the Principality of Monaco, paid an official visit to the Principality of Andorra on 2 and 3 March, at the invitation of H.E. Xavier Espot Zamora, the Prime Minister of Andorra. The Minister of State was accompanied on the trip by Isabelle Berro-Amadeï, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Isabelle Costa, High Commissioner for European Affairs, and Véronique Campana, Technical Advisor and Head of the EU Coordination Unit.
This official visit was an opportunity to strengthen the close links between the two principalities, which were recently given concrete expression with the signing of a memorandum of understanding on friendship and general cooperation on 22 September 2022, and a bilateral tax agreement on 1 December 2022. Discussions were initiated on deepening bilateral cooperation, especially in the fields of education, digital technology, tourism and preventing cybercrime.
Over the course of the two-day visit, the Minister of State highlighted joint actions in the field of international development, such as those carried out since 2009 to prevent malnutrition in Madagascar and on health issues in Mali. “Our co-funding means that we are able to support high-impact initiatives to improve living standards for the most vulnerable groups,” said Pierre Dartout.
Discussions also focused on the current negotiations to reach an association agreement with the European Union. “We share a determination to protect the things that make us unique. We do not want to become a European Union member state, we want to be an associated state. Like Andorra, we must ensure recognition for the differences which have arisen as a result of our history and geography, and which represent our strength,” said the Minister of State, highlighting the collaboration between the Monegasque and Andorran negotiating teams.
“Coordination, confidence and cooperation... These three ‘Cs’ sum up the spirit of our bilateral discussions,” said the Minister of State at the concluding press conference.