Liechtenstein is unique in many ways. For example, the national borders have not changed for over 300 years – this is unusual in Europe, which was shaped by wars in the past. Despite this stability, Liechtenstein did not shy away from opening up and daring to do new things: The customs union and the associated open border with Switzerland existed long before the Schengen Agreement led to the free movement of people in Europe. The positive experiences associated with the open borders certainly contributed to Liechtenstein taking another big step in 1995 and joining the European Economic Area (EEA). A decision that has shaped Liechtenstein ever since.
One consequence of Liechtenstein’s accession to the EEA was the partial adoption of EU legislation. This meant that numerous laws had to be adapted. In return, these laws conformed to Europe. With this, legal transactions could and can be carried out from Liechtenstein with a high level of legal certainty throughout Europe. This facilitates the entire trade and business activity enormously, because innumerable laws and regulations no longer have to be studied, but there is a uniform basic framework through the EU legislation, which the individual states must adhere to. For a small country like Liechtenstein in particular, this means strengthening legal certainty and easier access to the large European markets.
EU and Switzerland – not a contradiction in terms in Liechtenstein
In addition to joining the EEA, Liechtenstein was able to maintain the customs treaty with Switzerland and thus the open borders. In addition to access to the EU, this also enables free access to Switzerland. Thus, in Liechtenstein, business can be carried out in Switzerland and throughout the EU with a high level of legal certainty and conformity.
Despite this excellent legal starting position, it is advisable to consult a lawyer at an early stage in any legal transaction. They support their clients in all legal questions that may arise. Lawyers working in Liechtenstein are particularly suitable for these challenges, as they have passed the Liechtenstein bar exam. This intensive examination of Liechtenstein law, which is also heavily influenced by the EU and Switzerland, gives you expertise in a wide variety of areas of law and gives you the best possible advice to your clients. This results in a high level of legal certainty in all legal transactions, both nationally and internationally.
Dr. iur. Robert Schneider, President of the Liechtenstein Bar Association RAK