Situated in Southern Europe, on the Mediterranean coast between the French and Italian Rivieras, the Principality of Monaco is spread over 2 km2, including 40 ha which have been carefully reclaimed from the sea, and runs along four kilometres of coastline.
The Mediterranean climate is mild in winter and hot in summer. It is characterised by lots of sunshine and low rainfall. The Bay of Monaco is sheltered from the strong easterly and westerly winds following the installation of the breakwater and a semi-floating sea wall.
The Principality’s 38,000 or so residents are a cosmopolitan mix, with 120 nationalities living side-by-side on a daily basis.
The official language
French is the official language but English and Italian are widely spoken and understood. The Monegasque language itself is used by older people and is taught to the youngest generation in the Principality’s schools.
Religion in the Principality is based on two principles: on the one hand, Roman Catholicism is the State religion, and on the other hand, freedom of religion is guaranteed. Consequently, many faiths are practised here.
Since 1 January 1999, the euro has been legal tender in the Principality, and has been circulating within Monaco since 1 January 2002. A Convention links the Principality and the European Union, and ensures that the euro can be used in Monaco under the same conditions as in the rest of the euro zone. This Convention also stipulates that the Principality will continue to issue currency, which will be considered legal tender in all countries which have adopted the euro.
The Principality therefore follows the principles of the monetary policy conducted by the European Central Bank, particularly with regard to managing systemic risks and the stability of the banking system.
Monaco’s banks have full access to the euro zone’s payment and securities settlement systems.