Foreign policy and defense
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,
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
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
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)