Andorra’s policies are presented in a parliamentary representative democracy, whereby the Prime Minister of Andorra is the head of government and multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and parliament. The judiciary is independent of the leader and the legislature. Until very recently, the political system of Andorra had no clear separation of powers between the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. The constitution was ratified and approved in 1993 .
The Constitution establishes supreme parliamentary democracy in Andorra, which retains the proclamation (or duumvirate) as a form of government, but the head of government retains executive power. These two co-rulers are endowed with equal limited powers, which do not include a veto on government actions. They are represented in Andorra by a delegate. The fundamental incentive for political transformation was the recommendation of the Council of Europe in 1990 that if Andorra wants to achieve full integration into the European Union, it should adopt a modern constitution that guarantees the rights of all who live and work there.
The Tripartite Commission, composed of representatives of the Co-Co-Chairs, the General Council and the Executive Council, was formed in 1990 and completed the development of the draft constitution in April 1991, thereby making the new Andorran Constitution a reality. The legacy of Andorra's specific relationship with France and Spain is the reason that the country still does not have any postal service of its own - the French and Spanish postal services work side by side, although each issues separate editions for Andorra, instead of using their own.
Under the new 1993 constitution, co-rulers continue to rule the state, but the head of government retains executive power. These two co-rulers have equally limited powers that do not include a veto on government action. Both are represented in Andorra by a delegate, although since 1993 both France and Spain have their own embassies.
As co-rulers of Andorra, the President of France and the Bishop of Urgel supports the highest authority in approving all international agreements with France and Spain , such as those dealing with internal security, defense, Andorran territory, diplomatic representation and judicial or criminal cooperation. Although the establishment of co-rulers is seen by some as an anachronism, most see them as a connection with the traditions of Andorra and a way to balance the power of the two major neighbors of Andorra. The path that these two princes have chosen makes Andorra one of the most politically distinct nations on earth.
One co-ruler is the incumbent president of France (it has historically been any head of state of France, including kings and emperors, with the exception of the first consul of the First Republic, Napoleon Bonaparte, who refused the title of co-ruler of Andorra). Another is the current Catholic bishop of Urhelsky. In Andorra, their role is almost entirely ceremonial. In 1981, the Executive Council, consisting of the head of government and seven ministers, was approved. Every 4 years after the general election, the General Council elects the head of government, who, in turn, elects other members of the Executive Council.
The main legislative body of Andorra is the General Council, consisting of 28 members ( Parliament ). The President and Council members are elected in general elections held every four years. The Council meets throughout the year on certain days established by tradition or upon request.
At least one representative from each constituency must attend General Council meetings. Historically, four representatives from each of the seven individual constituencies have attended General Council meetings. This system allowed the participation of smaller constituencies, which have only 350 voters, with the same number of representatives as large constituencies, which have up to two thousand six hundred voters.
To correct this injustice, the new constitution introduces a modification of the structure and format of representation when choosing members of the Council; in connection with this new format, half of the representatives should be chosen by the traditional system, while the other half should be selected from the national lists. The chairman and his deputy are selected by the General Council to implement its decisions. They serve three-year terms and can be reappointed. They get an annual salary. The chairman and his deputy have virtually no controlled powers, and all political decisions must be approved by the Council as a whole.
The judiciary is independent. Courts apply the generally accepted laws of Andorra. Civil cases are first heard by a court - a group of four judges, elected two by each co-ruler. Appeals are heard in the Court of Appeal. The highest body is the Supreme Court, which has five members.
Andorra essentially has no army, but only a small internal police force . All healthy men who have firearms must serve, without remuneration, in a small army that is unique in this regard. The army has not fought for more than seven hundred years, and its main task is to represent the Andorran flag in official ceremonies.
Andorra's young democracy is in the process of revising its political system . Three of the five parties that dominated the political scene in past years have broken up. The Liberal Union changed its name to the Liberal Party of Andorra (People's Liberation Army), thus offering a political umbrella to small parties and groups that have not yet found their place. Later, the liberals became the basis of the Reform coalition. Another political alliance arose under the auspices of the Social Democratic Party of Andorra with the goal of uniting parties oriented towards socialist ideals. Given the number of political organizations and their size, it is difficult for parties to get a majority in the General Council ; therefore, a legislative majority arises through coalitions. Since 1993, three coalition governments have been formed in constitutional ratification.
The most significant was the redefinition of qualifications for Andorran citizenship, the main problem in a country where only thirteen thousand out of sixty five thousand people are legal citizens. In 1995, a law was passed to expand civil rights, but citizenship can only be acquired by Andorran citizens who are able to inherit citizenship. Legitimate residents in Andorra can obtain citizenship after twenty-five years of residence. Children of residents can choose Andorran citizenship after the age of eighteen, if they lived during this time in Andorra. Mere birth on Andorran land does not confer citizenship. Double nationality is not allowed. Non-Andorran citizens are allowed to have only thirty-three percent of the company.
Only after they have lived in the country for twenty years will they have the right to have one hundred percent of the company. A law has recently been proposed to reduce the necessary years from twenty to ten. He is currently under discussion in Parliament. By creating a modern legal framework for the country, the 1993 constitution allowed Andorra to initiate changes with an economy based largely on the duty-free market, leading it to a single whole based on international banking and finance.
Despite the promise of new changes, it is likely that Andorra will, at least for some time, continue to confront the many difficulties and problems arising from the large influx of foreign residents and the need to develop modern social and political institutions. In addition to issues of Andorran nationality and immigration policy, other priority issues will include freedom of association, development of the tourism industry, and re-discussion of relations with the European Union .