Foreign policy and defense
Liechtenstein is a nation in Western Europe. Its capital city is Vaduz. Liechtenstein has close cooperation with Switzerland. Since the 1920s, countries share currencies and postal services, and they have common duties to the outside world. Switzerland is also responsible for the defense, and stands for Liechtenstein’s official representation in several countries. However, the Principality has its own missions in neighboring countries as well as in Washington.
Liechtenstein also has representation at the Council of Europe headquarters in Strasbourg and at the UN headquarters in New York, after joining the international organizations in 1978 and 1990, respectively.
- Countryaah: Overview of business holidays and various national observances in Liechtenstein for years of 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024 and 2025.
The country is not a member of the EU but, unlike Switzerland, is covered by the EEA Agreement, which provides access to most of the EU’s internal market. When Switzerland voted no to the EEA Agreement in 1992, Liechtenstein voted yes. This led to renegotiations of the Principality’s agreement with Switzerland, primarily with regard to the Customs Union. Liechtenstein joined the EEA in 1995 (other EEA states outside the EU are Norway and Iceland). Since 2011, Liechtenstein has been an associate member of the EU Passport Schengen Union.
A membership in the EU, however, doubts the Liechtenstein out of concern that the country would then lose the economic benefits of banking secrecy.
Because of a post-World War II conflict, Liechtenstein did not recognize Czechoslovakia and later Czechoslovakia, and vice versa. After the war, the then Czechoslovakia confiscated the princes’ property and assets in the country, through the so-called Benes decrees. The Prague regime considered that Liechtenstein had been part of Nazi Germany, and that the prince’s family cooperated with the Germans. Liechtenstein’s position was that the country was neutral and could not be held responsible for the actions of the Germans. However, in 2009, Liechtenstein established diplomatic relations with the Czech Republic first and then Slovakia.
Liechtenstein has no standing army, but in crisis situations all men under 60 can be called into military service. The police force amounts to just under one hundred.
Voter no to reduced power for the prince
In a referendum, 76 percent of voters say no to abolish the prince’s right to veto legislative proposals. Before the vote, Crown Prince Alois threatened to hand in his official assignment if the voters said yes to the democratization proposal. Many have interpreted it as Alois to leave the country, and take the family’s great fortune with him if the vote went against him. (1/7)