Foreign relations of Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein's foreign economic policy has been dominated by its customs union with Switzerland (and with Austria-Hungary until World War I). This union also led to its independent membership in the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) in 1991. Unlike Switzerland however (where citizens rejected membership in a referendum), Liechtenstein is part of the European Economic Area.
Liechtenstein was admitted to the United Nations in 1990. It is not a member of most specialized agencies of the United Nations, with the exceptions of the International Telecommunication Union, the Universal Postal Union and the World Intellectual Property Organization.
Liechtenstein has resorted two times to international dispute settlement by the International Court of Justice, in the Nottebohm (Liechtenstein v. Guatemala) case against Guatemala in the 1950s and in a case concerning art property of the Liechtenstein family against Germany in 2005. It lost in both cases.
Liechtenstein maintains resident embassies in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Holy See, Switzerland and the United States, along with a number of missions to international organisations. Under a 1919 agreement between Liechtenstein and Switzerland, ambassadors of Switzerland are authorised to represent Liechtenstein in countries and in diplomatic situations unless Liechtenstein opts to send its own ambassador.
Liechtenstein is the only country in the world not to host any embassy. There are, however, a number of honorary consulates in the principality. Most of these are situated in the capital Vaduz, however, some are found in Schaan, Schellenberg and Triesen.
Relations with individual countries
International dispute with Czechoslovakia, Czech Republic and Slovakia
The country has an international dispute with Czech Republic and Slovakia concerning the estates of its princely family in those countries. After World War II, Czechoslovakia, as it then was, acting to seize what they considered to be German possessions, expropriated the entirety of the Liechtenstein dynasty's hereditary lands and possessions in the Czech regions of Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia. The expropriations (which were the subject of an unsuccessful court case brought by Liechtenstein in the German courts and the International Court of Justice) included over 1,600 km²  (which is ten times the size of Liechtenstein) of agricultural and forest land mostly in Moravia, also including several family castles and palaces. An offer from the Czech Republic to return the palaces and castles (without the surrounding land) was rejected by Liechtenstein.
Liechtenstein recognised and established diplomatic relations with the Czech Republic on 13 July 2009 and with Slovakia on 9 December 2009. Liechtenstein's ruling prince, Hans-Adam II, has announced that the principality will take no further legal action to recover the appropriated assets.
In February 2020, the Czech Constitutional court in Brno rejected a case made by Liechtenstein to get Czech government to change their classification of the Liechtenstein dynasty as German under the Benes Decrees. On 19 August 2020, an inter-state application under the EU Convention on Human Rights was made by Liechtenstein to the European Court of Human Rights against the Czech Republic.
|Country||Formal relations began on||Notes|
|Armenia||7 May, 2008||
Both nations established diplomatic relations on 7 May, 2008.
|India||See India–Liechtenstein relations
|Mexico||1 July 1994||
|Spain||See Liechtenstein–Spain relations
Both nations established diplomatic relations in 1993.
|Switzerland||See Liechtenstein–Switzerland relations|
|United States||See Liechtenstein–United States relations
Membership in international organizations
Liechtenstein was never a member of the League of Nations. Its application to join that international organisation was refused in 1920 due to its small size.
- List of ambassadors to Liechtenstein
- List of diplomatic missions in Liechtenstein
- List of diplomatic missions of Liechtenstein
- Jorri Duursma, "Microstates: The Principality of Liechtenstein" in Christin Ingebritsen et al. (2006). Small States in International Relations. (University of Washington Press, Seattle) p. 89 at p. 124.
- Adams, Georgina (23 June 2010). "Czech-Liechtenstein cultural détente". The Art Newspaper.
- "Liechtenstein and the Czech Republic establish diplomatic relations" (PDF). Government Spokesperson’s Office, the Principality of Liechtenstein. 2009-07-13. Archived from the original (pdf) on 2011-05-11. Retrieved 2009-08-06.
- "Navázání diplomatických styků České republiky s Knížectvím Lichtenštejnsko" (in Czech). Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic. 2009-07-13. Retrieved 2010-09-27.
- "MINA Breaking News - Decades later, Liechtenstein and Czechs establish diplomatic ties". Archived from the original on 21 November 2009. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
- "Liechtenstein and the Slovak Republic establish diplomatic relations" (PDF). Government Spokesperson’s Office, the Principality of Liechtenstein. 2009-12-09. Archived from the original (pdf) on 2011-05-11. Retrieved 2009-12-22.
- Ugwu, Veronica (26 August 2020). "Liechtenstein Takes Czech Republic to Court Over Historic Property Claims". Brno Daily. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
- "European Court of Human Rights list of Inter-State Applications" (PDF). European Court of Human Rights. 2020-12-16. Retrieved 2021-01-05.
- Participation of the Former Yugoslav States in the UN and multilateral Treaties Archived 2010-06-13 at the Wayback Machine