Liechtenstein, principality in the northern Alps to the right of the Alpine Rhine, between Austria and Switzerland. Liechtenstein is economically closely tied to Switzerland by a customs and currency agreement, which also represents the country in foreign policy. The majority of the population, which includes around 12,000 foreigners (Swiss, Austrians, Germans, Italians), is Catholic.
History: The Principality of Liechtenstein, founded in 1719, was a member of the German Confederation from 1815 to 1866 and in 1918 entered into close ties with Switzerland. In 1990, Liechtenstein became a member of the United Nations. In 1992 the state parliament decided to anchor equality between men and women in the constitution. In 1995, Liechtenstein joined the European Economic Area (EEA) as a full member. In 2008, the dispute over bank secrecy in relation to tax evasion led to tensions in relations with Germany. In 2009, Liechtenstein committed itself to complying with the OECD standards for tax information and thereby loosening its strict banking secrecy. Liechtenstein has been part of the Schengen area (Schengen Agreement) since 2011 .
The area of Liechtenstein, which was inhabited by councilors in antiquity, came into being in 15 BC. Under Roman rule which lasted more than four centuries; Alemanni colonized it during the Great Migration in the 5th century. The oldest document in Liechtenstein, the “Rätische Urbar” (around 842), mentions the imperial courts in Balzers and Schaan.
In the late Middle Ages, according to globalsciencellc, the Liechtenstein territory, in which numerous place names are of Raetian origin, was the property of the Counts of Montfort and Werdenberg. In 1342 Vaduz became a separate county under Count Hartmann I von Werdenberg (since 1396 imperial direct). After the last Werdenberg and Count of Vaduz, Bishop Hartmann von Chur, left his possessions to the Barons of Brandis in 1416, they secured the rule of Schellenberg in 1434. In 1510 Liechtenstein came under the rule of the Counts of Sulz, in 1613 under the rule of the Counts of Hohenems (arbitrary rule of Count Ferdinand Karl 1662–86, heavy population losses due to witch hunts). The Austrian noble family Liechtenstein acquired under Prince Johann (Hans) Adam Andreas von Liechtenstein took over the rule of Schellenberg in 1699 and the County of Vaduz in 1712, which were raised to the status of the Imperial Principality of Liechtenstein in 1719 (seat and vote in the Reichstag from 1723). The princes resided in Vienna, the governors initially in Feldkirch, Austria; the rights of the Liechtenstein population were severely restricted (abolition of the Landammann’s constitution). At the end of the 18th century the area was drawn into the fighting between Austria and France (1799, among other things, it was occupied by the French Marshal A. Masséna). In 1806, Liechtenstein joined the Confederation of the Rhine; 1815–66 it was a member of the German Confederation(1808 abolition of serfdom, introduction of a constitution in 1818) and then remained as an independent small state (principality), which dissolved its military in 1868. From 1852 to 1919 Liechtenstein formed a customs union with Austria. The customs treaty concluded with Switzerland on March 29, 1923 established the close ties to this neighboring country (in addition, among other things, representation by Swiss diplomacy abroad, 1920 conclusion of a post and telecommunications treaty [dissolved in 1999]). Prince Johann II (1858–1929) carried out numerous fundamental reforms (including constitutional constitution in 1862, expansion of parliamentary-democratic rights through the 1921 constitution), followed by Franz I; In 1938 Franz Joseph II. ruling prince who was the first sovereign to reside permanently in Liechtenstein; As in the First, Liechtenstein remained neutral during the Second World War. In 1950 Liechtenstein became a member of the International Court of Justice and in 1960 took part in the establishment of the EFTA (full member since 1991); In 1978 Liechtenstein joined the Council of Europe. After the death of Franz Joseph II (1989) his son Hans Adam II became head of state. In 1990 Liechtenstein became a member of the UN, in 1995 of the European Economic Area (EEA) and the WTO.
In 2003, two referendums ended a longstanding constitutional dispute between the Princely House and the government or the state parliament; In a constitutional amendment (criticized by the Council of Europe), the monarch was granted far-reaching powers (above all dissolution of the government, election of judges) with almost two thirds of the votes cast, whereby the people can in future put a motion of no confidence in the head of state. On August 15, 2004, Hans Adam II passed on to his son Hereditary Prince Alois with the appointment as deputy head of state the princely sovereign rights. The strongest parliamentary force is the Progressive Citizens’ Party. In the last state parliament elections on February 5, 2017, it won around 35.2% of the votes and 9 members of parliament. The Fatherland Union received around 33.7% of the votes and eight seats. The independents won around 18.4% of the votes and 5 seats, the Free List got 12.6% of the votes and 3 seats.
In 2008, the dispute over bank secrecy in relation to tax evasion led to tensions in relations with Germany. In 2009, due to growing pressure from the international community, Liechtenstein committed itself to complying with the OECD standards for tax information and thereby loosening its strict banking secrecy. A bilateral tax agreement with Germany came into force in 2010. Liechtenstein has been a member of the Schengen area (Schengen Agreement) since 2011.