Minister of State Pierre Dartout and other Government officials on Tuesday met members of the elected National Council to present the findings of the two highly-anticipated studies into the benefits or otherwise of the Principality concluding an Association Agreement with the European Union.

August Debouzy and Accuracy had been chosen to conduct the in-depth analyses as Monaco and the European Union seek to bring Association negotiations to an end after eight years.

At the centre of the long-running affair is the Principality’s claim to have specific and immutable characteristics that do not fit easily, if at all, into the EU’s template of free movement of people, goods and services. As August Debouzy and Accuracy argue in two reports that total 60 pages Monaco is unique and there is no precedent for such a small nation state to make a formal long-term agreement with the European Union.

The pace of discussions has quickened in recent months. Earlier this year a pressure group of Monaco businesspeople operating under the name Objectif Monaco entered the scene as a third party determined to protect the interests and near-monopoly of Monaco professionals.

The possibility of no agreement with the European Union has become more likely, partly as a result of their intervention.

However, August Debouzy and Accuracy appear to come out in favour of an Agreement on purely economic terms.

In a summary, they say that in the short term the economy advantages of an Agreement would not be obvious. But in the longer term Monaco’s economy would be stronger, largely because of unfettered access to EU markets.

In a key passage, they argue: “In summary, the signing of an Association Agreement (vs with derogations) versus a status quo situation has the consequence lower GDP growth of around 1 to 2 points per year (between 0.5 pt and 1 pt with derogations) until the beginning of the 2030s then additional growth of up to 4 pts of GDP (4 pts with derogations) by 2040. The signing of an Association Agreement would not negatively impact over a long period Monegasque public finances in relation to a status quo. The balance remains more fragile in the short term and we anticipate likely recourse to the Constitutional Reserve Fund.”

Please note that the relevant reports (at foot of page) are in French only