A grouping of Monaco businessmen has been formed with the purpose of promoting and defending Monaco’s unique business and social models in ongoing association talks with the European Union.

According to its leaders, Objectif Monaco has recruited 500 members since its inception at the start of this year.

Political pressure groups have been a rarity in Monaco in the past, but Objectif Monaco seems to have struck a chord with the local business community that is anxious that in order for an Association Agreement to be signed too much may be given away.

The talks with the EU started in 2015 and have been dragging on to the point that the European Commission has pressed for an early conclusion.

A complicating factor is that other small states of Europe, San Marino and Andorra, are holding Association talks in parallel to Monaco.

In an interview with Monaco Matin, a leading Monaco lawyer, Thomas Giaccardi, said that the Monaco model is not compatible with the four pillars of the European Union, the free circulation of goods, capital, services and people.

Stéphane Garino, well-known as the president of the Monaco accountants’ association, told the French-language daily that Objectif Monaco was formed out of frustration with the Government over a lack of information concerning the progress of Association talks.

A further complication is that the Monaco Government is in ongoing discussions with the Council of Europe’s Moneyval committee, which earlier this year expressed its unhappiness with progress in the fight against money-laundering.

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