Diplomatic relations between the Republic of Estonia and the Principality of Monaco were established on 7 February 2008.
Reciprocal honorary consuls held posts already prior to that. The Estonian Honorary Consulate in Monaco was opened on 14 October 2005. The Estonian honorary consul is Duke Mauro Serra. Monaco’s honorary consul in Estonia since the middle of 2007 has been Jüri Tamm (member of the Riigikogu).
Estonia’s first ambassador to Monaco Margus Rava held the position from May 2010 until February 2011. Current ambassador Sven Jürgenson presented his credentials to Prince Albert II on 22 March 2011. The Estonian ambassador resides in Paris.
Monaco has not assigned an ambassador to Estonia.
Important visits and meetings
His Serene Highness Prince Albert II has visited Estonia on three occasions:
- In 2011 on an official visit to Estonia
- In the fall of 2002 in connection with Monaco’s football team participating in the All-Star Game in Tallinn
- In 2008 when Monaco’s honorary consulate was opened in Tallinn.
No high-level visits have taken place from Estonia to Monaco.
Due to the small size and limited foreign policy of the Principality of Monaco, contacts have remained modest and close co-operation between our countries has not taken place.
The reason for Prince Albert II’s last visit to Estonia was the electric car marathon he opened on 2 June 2011, after which he himself drove the first stage of the race. Monaco and Estonia would like to be at the forefront of establishing the use of electric cars as clean means of transportation. The goal of the Tallinn–Monte Carlo Electric Race Marathon was to re-establish the historical car race that took place between Tallinn and Monte Carlo in the 1930s, promote environmentally friendly electric vehicles, connect Northern and Southern Europe with an environmentally friendly road with electric plugs for charging electric vehicles, and to develop co-operation between different regions in Europe. In 2011 an additional goal was to introduce the Cultural Capitals of Europe 2011, Tallinn (Estonia) and Turku (Finland). In 2012 the electric car marathon took place from 1-10 June and passed through 10 countries and 29 cities, including the European Capital of Culture 2012 Maribor. The marathon finish and awards ceremony took place on the square outside the prince’s palace in Monaco.
One important aspect of Estonia-Monaco relations is tourism. The direct flight to Nizza opened by Estonian Air in 2010 should help to facilitate this even further.
The presentation of the collection of Estonian fashion designer Ülle Pohjanheimo went over very well at the Monte Carlo Fashion Forum in November 2010. It was followed by a great deal of positive media coverage.
Economic relations between Estonia and Monaco are minimal. Business contacts have thus far remained sporadic. According to the data of Statistics Estonia, no trade has taken place between Estonia and Monaco. Investments are marginal. According to the Commercial Register, as of 1 April 2011 there are 10 businesses in Estonia with the participation of capital from Monaco. In order to find interesting projects and directions for economic co-operation, opportunities for increasing contacts between the chambers of commerce and industry have been discussed with the Foreign Ministry of Monaco. During his visit in June 2011, Prince Albert II was also accompanied by a business delegation. The goal of the special programme organised by the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry was to stir up interest in economic and business contacts with Estonia among the delegation members and encourage them to invest more in Estonia.
Prince Albert has three priorities in his activities in the international environmental arena: matters related to the marine environment, efficient development, and connections between energy production and the environment. In 2006 Prince Albert started a foundation in his own name to support the balanced and sustainable development of natural resources and increasing awareness of the environment.
As seaside nations, Estonia and Monaco have co-operated in ensuring the safety of marine travel and protecting the marine environment. The headquarters of many agencies related to these topics are located in Monaco, for example the Mediterranean Science Commission, the International Hydrographic Organisation, and the permanent secretariat of ACCOBAMS (co-operation forum for protecting the whales and dolphins in the Mediterranean and Black Seas).
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