San Marino is the third smallest state in Europe (after the Holy See and Monaco). It is a landlocked, 61 square kilometer enclave in northern-central Italy near the Adriatic Sea, with thirty-two thousand people.
San Marino's foreign policy is aligned with that of the European Union, although it is not a member; social and political trends in the republic track closely with those of its larger neighbor, Italy.
Its major environmental issues include: air pollution and urbanization decreasing rural farmlands.
San Marino is dominated by the Apennines.
According to tradition, it was founded by a Christian stonemason named Marinus in A.D. 301. The original city sits atop Monte Titano. In 1291 Pope Nicholas IV recognized San Marino’s independence.
San Marino also claims to be the world's oldest republic.
The population of San Marino is comprised of native Sammarinese and Italian citizens.
Crop farming, sheep farming, and the working of stone from the quarries formed the early backbone of San Marino's economy. It has no mineral resources, and today most of the land is cultivated or covered by woods.
Location: Southern Europe, an enclave in central Italy
Geographic Coordinates: 43 46 N, 12 25 E
Area: 61 sq km
Land Boundaries: 39 km
Terrain: rugged mountains. The highest point is Monte Titano (755 m) and its lowest point Torrente Ausa (55 m).
Climate: Mediterranean; mild to cool winters; warm, sunny summers
Ecology and Biodiversity
Ecologically, San Marino is included within the Italian sclerophyllous and semi-deciduous forests ecoregion which extends all along the North and Central Italian Peninsula, from the Po Basin to the southern Apennine Mountains of Basilicata and Calabria.
The natural vegetation is a mixed deciduous and sclerophyllous forest, characteristic of the Mediterranean climate. Many forest species have leathery evergreen leaves adapted to conserve water during the region’s dry summers.
The northern and central Italian Peninsula presents an outstanding floral diversity with a high rate of endemism.
These forests also support a diverse fauna, including the largest remaining Italian populations of brown bear and Italian wolf.
On June 7, 2001, the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA’s Terra satellite took this picture of San Marino and the part of Italy immediately surrounding it. The image shows a combination of vegetation (bright green); and buildings, pavement, and bare rock (blue-gray to white). Purplish-gray polygons are probably fallow agricultural land. Overhead, fluffy white clouds cast their charcoal-colored shadows over the land surface. The Apennine Mountains give the region a rough terrain, and the limestone Monte Titano dominates the area, with a fort perched on each of the mountain’s three summits.. Source: NASA. NASA image created by Jesse Allen, using data provided courtesy of NASA/GSFC/MITI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and the U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team.
People and Society
Population: 32,140 (July 2012 est.)
Ethnic Groups: Sammarinese, Italian
0-14 years: 16.6% (male 2,821/female 2,474)
15-64 years: 65.4% (male 10,076/female 10,734)
65 years and over: 18% (male 2,537/female 3,175) (2011 est.)
Population Growth Rate: 0.98% (2012 est.)
Birthrate: 8.9 births/1,000 population (2012 est.)
Death Rate: 8.06 deaths/1,000 population (July 2012 est.)
Net Migration Rate: 8.96 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2012 est.)
Life Expectancy at Birth: 83.07 years
male: 80.55 years
female: 85.81 years (2012 est.)
Total Fertility Rate: 1.48 children born/woman (2012 est.)
Literacy (age 10 and over can read and write): 96%
Urbanization: 94% of total population (2010) growing at an annual rate of change of 0.6% (2010-15 est.)
According to tradition, San Marino was founded in AD 301 when a Christian stonemason named Marinus the Dalmatian fled to the island of Arbe to escape the anti-Christian Roman Emperor Diocletian. Marinus hid on the peak of Mount Titano and founded a small community of people following their Christian beliefs. It is certain that the area had been inhabited since prehistoric times, although evidence of existence on Mount Titano only dates back to the Middle Ages. In memory of the stonecutter, the land was renamed "Land of San Marino" and was finally changed to its present-day name, "Republic of San Marino."
The original government structure was composed of a self-governed assembly known as the Arengo, which consisted of the heads of each family. In 1243, the positions of Captains Regent (Capitani Reggenti) were established to be the joint heads of state.
The land area of San Marino consisted only of Mount Titano until 1463, at which time the republic entered into an alliance against Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, Lord of Rimini, who was later defeated. As a result, Pope Pius II Piccolomini gave San Marino the towns of Fiorentino, Montegiardino, and Serravalle. Later that year, the town of Faetano joined the republic on its own accord. Since then, the size of San Marino has remained unchanged.
San Marino has been occupied by foreign militaries twice in its history, both for only short periods of time. In 1503, Cesare Borgia, known as Valentino, occupied the republic until his death several months later. In 1739, Cardinal Alberoni used military force to occupy the country. Civil disobedience was used to protest his occupation, and clandestine notes sent to the Pope to obtain justice were answered by the Pope's recognition of San Marino's rights and restoration of San Marino's independence.
The Arengo, initially formed with the heads of each family, relinquished its power to the Great and General Council. In 1243, the first two Captains Regent were nominated by the Council, and this method of nomination is still in use today. The Council is composed of 60 members who are elected every 5 years under a proportional representation system in all nine administrative districts. These districts (Townships) correspond to the old parishes of the Republic, and each one is ruled by a Council, which is chaired by a Captain elected every 5 years. The Great and General Council approves the budget, as well as the nominations of Captains Regent and heads of the Executive.
Every 6 months, the Council elects two Captains Regent to be the heads of state. The Regents are chosen from opposing parties. They serve a 6-month term. The investiture of the Captains Regent takes place on April 1 and October 1 in every year. Once this term is over, citizens have 3 days in which to file complaints about the previous Regents' activities. If they warrant it, judicial proceedings against the former head(s) of state can be initiated.
The State Congress, composed of 10 Secretaries, wields executive power. The 10 Secretaries are (1) Secretary of State for Foreign and Political Affairs, Telecommunications, and Transportation; (2) Secretary of State for Internal Affairs and Civil Defense; (3) Secretary of State for Finance, Budget, and Relations with the State Philatelic and Numismatic Office; (4) Secretary of State for Education, Culture, University and Social Affairs; (5) Secretary of State for Territory, Environment and Agriculture; (6) Secretary of State for Health and Social Security; (7) Secretary of State for Industry and Trade; (8) Secretary of State for Tourism, Sport, Economic Planning, and Relations with the Azienda Autonoma di Stato for Services; (9) Secretary of State for Justice, Information, and Relations with City Governments; and (10) Secretary of State for Labor and Cooperation.
The Great and General Council elects the Council of Twelve for the duration of the Legislature and serves a jurisdictional body that also acts as a third instance Court of Appeals. Two government inspectors represent the State in financial and patrimonial questions.
The Legislative body consists of the Great and General Council, the parliament, and a unicameral Chamber. The members of parliament are usually elected every 5 years and are in charge of legislation, justice, and the administration of jurisdiction. In addition, they are tasked with electing the Captains Regent, the State Congress, the Council of Twelve, the Advising Commission, and the Government Unions once the Council nominates them. Parliament also has the power to ratify contracts with other countries. The parliament is divided into five different Advising Commissions consisting of 15 councils which examine, propose, and discuss the implementation of new laws that are on being submitted to the Great and General Council.
Government Type: Republic
Capital: San Marino
9 municipalities (castelli, singular - castello);
Independence Date: 3 September 301
Legal System: civil law system with Italian civil law influences. San Marino has not submitted an International Court of Justice (ICJ) jurisdiction declaration; but, accepts International criminal court (ICCt) jurisdiction
The judiciary is composed of the commissioner of the law, the judging magistrate, the appellate judge, the juvenile court, and the judge of last appeal. The commissioner tries civil and penal cases with penalties not exceeding a 3-year sentence. The judging magistrates, who are appointed by parliament for a 3-year term and can be indefinitely reappointed, preside over all other cases.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Reform legislation, enacted in 2004, no longer requires that the country's lower court judges be noncitizens; however, most lower court judges remained Italian citizens. A local conciliation judge handles cases of minor importance. Under the same reform, the final court of review is the judge of the last appeal. In civil matters, this judge confirms or overrules either the lower court judgment or an appellate decision; in criminal matters, he judges on the legitimacy of detention measures and on the enforcement of a judgment.
On April 28, 2005 a new act established the country's constitutional court with the following functions: 1) to verify that laws, acts, and traditions that are given the force of law conform to constitutional precepts; 2) to verify the admissibility of a referendum; 3) to decide on conflicts between constitutional institutions; 4) to control the activity of the Captains Regent. The court is composed of three standing judges and three alternate judges. They are selected by the Great and General Council with a two-thirds majority to a 4-year term. After the first selection one-third of the members of the court are reselected every 2 years.
International Environmental Agreements
San Marino is party to international agreements on: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, and Whaling. It has signed, but not ratified an international agreement on Air Pollution.
Natural Resources: building stone
arable land: 16.67%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 83.33% (2005)
Monte Titano. Source: Nickel Chromo/Wikimedia Commons
San Marino makes most of its income from the tourism industry, the banking industry, and the manufacture and export of ceramics, tiles, furniture, clothing, paints, fabrics, and spirits/wines. Manufacturing industry contributed to 33.3% of San Marino’s GDP in 2009. Other sectors included banking and insurance (17.6%); public administration (13.6%); commerce (13.5%), services (13.6%), and construction (5.9%). Traditional economic activities in San Marino were food crops, sheep farming, and stone quarrying. Today farming activities focus on grain, vines, and orchards, as well as animal husbandry (cattle and swine).
Because tourism accounts for a large part of the economy, drawing about 2 million people annually, the government relies not only on taxes and customs for revenue but also the sale of coins and postage stamps to collectors throughout the world. In addition, the Italian Government pays San Marino an annual budget subsidy provided under the terms of the Basic Treaty with Italy.
The per capita level of output and standard of living in San Marino are comparable to those of Italy. San Marino maintains one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe (5.5% in 2011) and a small national debt.
The economy benefits from foreign investment due to its relatively low corporate taxes and low taxes on interest earnings.
San Marino has recently faced increased international pressure to improve cooperation with foreign tax authorities and transparency within its own banking sector, which generates about one-fifth of the country's tax revenues. Italy's implementation in October 2009 of a tax amnesty to repatriate untaxed funds held abroad has resulted in financial outflows from San Marino to Italy worth more than $4.5 billion. Such outflows, combined with a money-laundering scandal at San Marino's largest financial institution and the recent global economic downturn, have contributed to a deep recession and growing budget deficit.
Industrial production declined sharply in 2010, especially in the textile sector.
However, San Marino has little national debt, and an unemployment rate less than half the size of Italy's.
The San Marino government has adopted measures to counter the downturn, including subsidized credit to businesses. San Marino also continues to work towards harmonizing its fiscal laws with EU members and international standards.
In September 2009, the OECD removed San Marino from its list of tax havens that have yet to fully implement global tax standards, and in 2010 San Marino signed Tax Information Exchange Agreements with most major countries.
San Marino's government continues to work with Italy to ratify a financial information exchange agreement, seen by businesses and investors as crucial to strengthening the economic relationship between the two countries.
Harmonization of statutes and policies with the EU is a major domestic and foreign policy priority of the republic. Another priority issue is the signing of a cooperation agreement with Italy, San Marino's most important economic partner.
GDP: (Purchasing Power Parity): $1.136 billion (2011 est.)
GDP: (Official Exchange Rate): $1.611 billion (2011)
GDP- per capita (PPP): $36,200 (2009)
GDP- composition by sector:
services: 60.7% (2009)
Agricultural products: wheat, grapes, corn, olives; cattle, pigs, horses, beef, cheese, hides
Industries: tourism, banking, textiles, electronics, ceramics, cement, wine
Currency: Euros (EUR)