Rights and Duties of the Reigning Prince
For the Reigning Prince, this results in an active role in foreign policy, which the Head of State performs independently of the government elected by the people and which goes far beyond general representational duties. For example, the establishment of a legation in Bern in 1944, the country’s accession to the UN in 1990 or its entry into the European Economic Area (EEA) in 1995 were all the result of foreign policy initiatives by the respective princes.
The Head of State appoints the Government on the proposal of Parliament and can convene Parliament and adjourn or dissolve it for serious reasons. Furthermore, as Chairman of the Judicial Selection Board, the Reigning Prince also exercises an important role in the appointment of judges.
The Reigning Prince is similarly strongly involved in the legislative process, and far from merely formally signing and thus recognising laws. He has an active right of initiative and sanction. The right of initiative enables the Reigning Prince to enact, amend or repeal a law through a government bill. The right of sanction enables him to refuse the entry into force of a law.
The People, in turn, the second sovereign, can use the right of initiative to express their lack of confidence in the Reigning Prince or bring about the abolition of the monarchy. In this way, the monarch in Liechtenstein is under strong direct democratic control by the people at all times in a way that is unique in the world.