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San Marino’s European tradition
San Marino’s European tradition

The Republic of San Marino is part of Europe from a historical, geographical and cultural point of view. Although its geopolitical condition makes it an enclave not only of Italy but also of Europe, San Marino is not part of the European Union.


Therefore, from a legal point of view, San Marino remains a third State with respect to the European Union, with which it entered into several agreements in the past and is now negotiating a new legal framework (Association Agreement). However, Europe is already part of the heritage of San Marino, which preserves its traces.


The aim of this section is to provide some essential elements in order to explain , through the parts of which it is composed, such connections in the institutional framework, in academic research and in the arts. The intention is to identify San Marino as a European fact and to restore the European tradition of (in) San Marino, as mentioned in the title. This allows the Republic to explain the cooperation presently in force and to highlight the main lines of the process of greater integration aimed at the future association with the European Union.

In the Institutions



On 1 April and 1 October each year, the Ceremony of Investiture of Their Excellencies the Captains Regent, the highest institutional office of the Republic of San Marino, takes place at Palazzo Valloni and at the Government Building.


One of the most significant moments of the Ceremony is the official speech delivered by high-profile personalities who have distinguished themselves in the fields of culture, science, economics, politics and diplomacy, and which is dedicated to the representatives of San Marino's institutional offices as well as to the diplomatic and consular corps accredited to the Republic of San Marino.


This section includes a selection of official speeches whose topic explores the relations between San Marino and Europe, through the thoughts of personalities from the Italian, European and international context.


In addition to the main quotes from the speeches delivered, it is also possible to download the entire speeches, when available, in pdf format.


Credits: Photo archive of the Department of Foreign Affairs

Piero Calamandrei – 1 October 1948

Member of the Constituent Assembly, considered a Founding Father of the Italian Republic


“When we see examples like yours, our anxiety subsides and our hopes are revived. What will become of us, what will become of Europe in five years, in a year, maybe in a month? [...] What could be the peaceful world of tomorrow is demonstrated by small, peaceful and innocent States such as your Republic [...] we see in regionalism a first step towards a larger federation of States, towards the United States of Europe and of the world”

“[...] I hope that the words left by Marino to his children, when he founded with God's help this small but immortal cell of the peaceful Europe of tomorrow, will be taken as a motto by the United States of Europe [...] “libero ab utroque homine”


1 October 1948: Speech by Prof. Lawyer Piero Calamandrei "The European example of San Marino”

Piero Ziccardi – 1 April 1964

Professor of international law and European jurist


"If a legal relationship were to be established, for example with the Common Market, it seems to me that the form of association, rather than membership, should be considered. Indeed, the former sets up, by means of special agreements, an associative relationship that does not imply an internal participation of the associate in the Community, as happens in the other case; in this way, the full independence of the associate is adequately safeguarded”

Giuseppe Petrilli – 1 April 1969

European Commissioner for Social Affairs (1958-1960) President of the Institute for Industrial Reconstruction (1960-1979)


“[...] San Marino’s example appears today both as the legacy of a distant past and as the prefiguration of a different relationship between the local and the international community, leading us to an effective recovery, in modern terms, of the universalistic horizon that remains the highest legacy of western tradition. In this indication lies, in my opinion, the irreplaceable contribution that San Marino can make to the construction of a different Europe [...]”

Altiero Spinelli – 1 April 1979

Politician and writer, considered one of the Founding Fathers of the European Union


“[...] there is a commitment to progressively pool the destinies of the peoples of the Community, as stated in the preamble to the Treaty of Rome; this means putting an end, through a new organisation of their mutual relations, to a long history of conflicts among the nations that are part of the Community. This is something to which San Marino cannot remain indifferent, since, although it is not located at a crossroads among several States, but at the heart of one, it has seen the fury of war pass it by more than once, also in recent decades, and almost overwhelm it”


1 April 1979: Speech by Altiero Spinelli"San Marino and the European Community

Giovanni Spadolini – 1 April 1989

Italian politician, historian and journalist, President of the Senate (1987-1994)


"[...] in Napoleon's eyes, San Marino was the emblem and forerunner of political virtue and democracy.

 [...] Disinterested values must be defended by small States. The Republic [of San Marino] must increasingly appear in the eyes of the world as it did to Machiavelli and Montesquieu, namely the equivalent of virtue.


 Virtue must be understood not only as integrity of morals but as love for both Homeland and Humanity”


1 April 1989: Speech by Giovanni Spadolini "San Marino. The idea of the Republic”

Roberto Mazzotta – 1 October 1990

Member of Parliament and Minister of Regional Affairs (1980-1981)


“By envisaging diversified forms of association to the Community and new forms of cooperation and solidarity between large and small European States, it will be possible to create the most appropriate conditions to involve in the advantages and benefits deriving from the new integrated market also States that are strongly connected to the economies of our countries, such as the Republic of San Marino [...] The case of San Marino may even constitute a model to be followed in the definition of the relations to be established between a supranational entity and politically and economically autonomous countries, i.e. actors that are in any case fundamental in the European context. [...] The importance that San Marino assumes in the new European context is confirmed by the Community commitment to respect the rights and autonomy of small States, to favour their integration in the market, and to develop increasingly intense reciprocal relations”

Romano Prodi – 1 April 1995

President of the European Commission (1999-2004), President of the Council of Ministers (1996-1998, 2006-2008)


“In the future, as has happened or is happening for other small States, the problem of greater European integration may arise also for the Republic of San Marino, without prejudice, of course, to the need to fully preserve its full autonomy and sovereignty”



The foreign policy of the Republic of San Marino is based on traditional neutrality which, however, is defined as “active”, because of San Marino’s involvement in major international issues.


The latter characteristic has always been reflected and strongly rooted in foreign policy in the country's support for dialogue as an instrument to settle disputes on the international scene.


This commitment was widely acknowledged within the framework of the "enlarged Europe" made up of the 47 Member States of the Council of Europe, where San Marino acted as President-in-Office of the Committee of Ministers twice.


With regard to San Marino's most recent Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (November 2006/May 2007), it should be highlighted that this was also dedicated to the promotion of intercultural and interreligious dialogue, thus confirming the country's further vocation for maintaining peace among peoples in Europe, but also outside of Europe, and its contribution to the European Union as a civil power.


After all, Voltaire already wrote with great admiration: "The Republic of San Marino has roughly the same territory that Romulus had and yet it is the most genuine testimony against the superstition of the perpetuity of war".

In academic research



This section presents degree theses, most of which can be consulted at the State Library and Library Properties and the remainder at the Department of Foreign Affairs, written and available from 1965 to the present day on the relations between the Republic of San Marino and Europe.


This research was conducted not only by San Marino students, but also by other young European scholars who completed their university studies examining certain aspects of the relations between San Marino and Europe, thus demonstrating the interest generated by the topic in question since the very beginning of the European Economic Community, starting from the signature of the Treaty of Rome in March 1957.


See here the list of degree theses on San Marino and the European Union


For more information on the texts above and for possible consultation, please send a request to the following email address: affari.europei@esteri.sm

In the arts



The artistic heritage of the Republic of San Marino is rich and diverse and there are many traces left by artists from all over the world.


This section includes a number of works present in the territory of San Marino produced by European artists who, on the one hand, with their work have paid tribute to the perpetual freedom of the Republic and its historical and cultural specificities, and, on the other hand, have also been able to capture the European dimension of San Marino.  


The example of Emilio Vedova is symbolic in this regard because, with his work "Virgin Forest - From my Brazilian Diary", he expresses very well the artistic trend of informal art that marked the 1950s, and also represents the European cultural identity. The work is displayed in the evocative setting of the National Gallery of San Marino.



(this section is being updated)