Andorra History and Politics



During the Mesolithic period, small groups of humans settled in caves near the Gran Valira, such as Balma de la Margineda, and other parts of the territory such as Pal, La Massana and Ordino, where on June 5, 2001 a sarcophagus made of slate slabs and containing human remains, bracelets and ceramic food containers.

Due to the fertility of the lands, these groups cultivated them and settled definitively, receiving from the peoples who passed through their territory, the culture of bronze by benefiting from the metals that were in Arinsal.

Roman empire

According to localcollegeexplorer, the first written reference to the Andosines is found in the description made by the Greek historian Polybius of Hannibal’s passage through the Pyrenees. During the 5th century, the Roman Empire succumbed to the Visigoths, who occupied southern Gaul and part of Hispania.

Middle evo

Three hundred years later, the Muslims conquer that territory, crossing the border with the Frankish Kingdom. In the year 732, Carlos Martel defeats them in the battle of Tours, slowing down their expansion to the North, although they continue to settle in the Pyrenees. Later Charlemagne creates the Hispanic Brand and integrates, in 817, Andorra into the Carolingian Empire.

In the Middle Ages the valleys of Andorra belonged to the County of Urgel, when they were ceded by Carlos el Calvo to Sunifredo I, in the year 843. With the expansion of this county towards the south, where there were more fertile lands, the mountainous areas left of having an interest for the count and, in the year 1133, Ermengol VI transferred all the assets and rights acquired over the valleys of Andorra to the bishop of Urgel. In 1095, the bishopric, in exchange for military protection, ceded its political, military and judicial rights to the Caboet family, although it preserved sovereignty over Andorra, transforming the territorial domain into an episcopal lordship. In 1185, Arnaua de Caboet married Arnau I of Castellbó. The marriage of Roger Bernardo II de Foix and Ermessenda de Castellbó, in 1208, led to the dominion of Andorra by the County of Foix, who will gradually increase its power in Bearn, Kingdom of Navarre and, centuries later, the Kingdom of France.

As a result of conflicts between Roger Bernard III of Foix and Pere d’Urtx, the 8 of September of 1278 the first Pareatge signed in Lerida, which sets limits on the power of each master, represents the foundation of the Principality of Andorra and defines Andorran obligations regarding tithes and military matters. Ten years later, as a consequence of the construction of a fortified church in San Vicente de Enclar by the Count of Foix, from where he could monitor the activities of the Bishop of Urgel, the second Pareatge was signed in 1288. This second treaty grants, among other aspects, the right to appoint by both parties notaries who hold their representation in the Principality. In 1419 The Consell de la Terra was created, made up of two or three representatives of the 6 parishes, with the aim of defending local interests.

Government and politics

The head of State falls to the figure of the episcopal co-prince, the Bishop of Seo de Urgel, and the French co-prince, the President of the French Republic as heir to the rights of the Count of Foix. The current heads of state are Francois Hollande, President of the French Republic, and the Bishop of Seo de Urgel Joan Enric Vives i Sicília, represented by Nemesi Marques i Oste. The current head of government is Jaume Bartumeu Cassany.

Power of attorney

It is made up of the Batllia d’Andorra that judges, in the first instance, minor crimes and criminal offenses as well as civil and administrative litigation, the Court of Courts that decides, in the first instance, on major crimes and, on appeal, the Appeals against the sentences handed down by the Court of Batlles, the Superior Court of Justice of Andorra composed of a president and eight magistrates appointed by the Superior Council of Justice with powers over civil, administrative and criminal matters, the Superior Council of Justice as a body of representation, government and administration of the judiciary and that ensures the independence and proper functioning of justice and the Constitutional Court of Andorra, which is in charge of interpreting the Andorran Constitution,as well as deciding on the adequacy of the remaining laws to this, and it is made up of four magistrates.

Public administration

They are public corporations with legal personality and local regulatory authority. The comuns are in charge of approving and executing the communal budget, managing communal property assets and can present bills to the General Council of the Valleys of Andorra. Its members are elected every four years by universal suffrage and include a major consul, a minor consul, and between 8 and 14 communal councilors.

Andorra History and Politics