Author Topic: EU Referendum in San Marino  (Read 5543 times)

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Offline chrisild

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EU Referendum in San Marino
« on: January 22, 2011, 02:32:05 AM »
This is not really euro coin related, but I think it is not exactly a Living Room topic either. :)  You will know that San Marino has the right to issue euro coins but is currently not a member of the European Union. However, there is an initiative in San Marino that wants the country to join the EU. And on 27 March there will be a referendum about this question. Those who vote will be asked:

Volete Voi che la Repubblica di San Marino chieda di far parte dell'Unione Europea?

So the question is whether San Marino should start membership negotiations with the EU, or not. From what I have read, public opinion is not really against the plan; the main problem will be that at least one third of those who have the right to vote need to participate ...

Christian

Offline chrisild

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Re: EU Referendum in San Marino
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2011, 09:27:24 AM »
Well, I tried to find some articles in English but have not been successful so far ... ma penso che non sia un problemo per noi, eh? ;) Or try using online translation. Anyway, here is an article from San Marino TV, with links to older stories about the referendum:
http://www.sanmarinortv.sm/politica/default.asp?id=32&id_n=53602

And here is an article from the Italian newspaper "Italia oggi", at the web site of Italian government:
http://rassegnastampa.mef.gov.it/mefeconomica/View.aspx?ID=2011011317619508-2
The original article (PDF) is here:
http://rassegnastampa.mef.gov.it/mefEconomica/PDF/2011/2011-01-13/2011011317619508.pdf

(The name Tremonti is highlighted because that is the name of the Italian Minister of Economy and Finance, and the article was collected by the "clipping service" of the ministry.) Due to the many bilateral agreements with the European Union, San Marino is to some extent in a situation that comes close to "taxation without representation". That is one of the motivations to have this referendum.

Will be interesting to see how, provided the referendum will actually be successful, the country could practically become a member state of the European Union. For example, how many seats would San Marino have in the European Parliament? Also, while the default for Council decisions now is a qualified majority, certain issues stil require unanimous decisions, ie. any member state has a veto. That is the case with tax policy for example. Ah well, let's wait until the end of March ...

Christian

Online Figleaf

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Re: EU Referendum in San Marino
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2011, 12:00:29 PM »
Makes perfect sense from San Marino's point of view, but indeed, the EU will have a representation problem, including, but not restricted to the ones you mention.

Now, Luxembourg is the smallest member. It is not represented in many of the Council and Commission working groups, though it has a seat. This is mostly not a problem, but becomes a problem when that country's turn comes to be Chairman of the Council. It means another country will see its load double. Chairmanship is good PR, but does mean a whole lot more work.

Another major problem could have been language (Emiliano-Romagnolo), but I am sure the EU will only accept Italian as the language of San Marino.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline FosseWay

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Re: EU Referendum in San Marino
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2011, 01:01:30 PM »
Is Luxembourg smaller than Malta, and doesn't the same issue exist with Malta as you've described with Luxembourg?

On the language issue, I'm sure they'd simply ascribe Italian as the language of San Marino. Regardless of how any of us personally define the difference between a dialect and a language, the traditional interpretation in geographical Italy is that the only distinct languages are Italian and those that are demonstrably nothing like Italian (such as German and Slovene in the far north-east). German and Slovene speakers have certain rights to use their language officially in their area, much as a Welsh speaker has a right to use Welsh officially in Wales, but not in the rest of the UK, but similar recognition is not given to, say, Neapolitan, Sardo, or Venetian. In this sense, the Italian approach is very similar to the that of England -- we don't regard Black Country, Yorkshire, Geordie etc. as separate languages, however mutually (un)intelligible they are.

Online Figleaf

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Re: EU Referendum in San Marino
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2011, 01:20:52 PM »
In this context, reality is not relevant.

San Marino negotiators would try to make language an issue because it means nothing to them and a great deal to the EU. Making a concession on language, they would be able to get a significant (for them) concession from the EU that would not mean much to te EU, e.g. full agricultural subsidies from day 1.

It would be up to EU negotiators to get language off the table as a non-issue, so they would not have to concede anything for it. Meanwhile, even though accession is a Commission competence, no Council business, the Italians, Maltese and probably others (Central and Eastern Europe? Greece, Cyprus, Spain and Portugal?) would support San Marino, not the EU, while the British, Irish, Germans, Dutch, Scandinavians and maybe others would support the EU. That might well mean the French decide the Council stance, as Belgium and Luxembourg will follow their lead.
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline chrisild

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Re: EU Referendum in San Marino
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2011, 01:37:41 PM »
The language issue will definitely be a non-issue. San Marino's official language is Italian, and no other. That is quite different from the situation in Ireland, Malta and Luxembourg. In my opinion the main problem in the first phase will be to meet that "one third" quorum at all. As for what follows then, well yes, quite a few things are negotiable. :)

Christian

Offline chrisild

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Re: EU Referendum in San Marino
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2011, 03:17:28 PM »
Seems that pretty much all the news about this is in Italian - have not seen anything in English, French or German so far. Which means that either I did not search very thoroughly (could be true) or that this is by and large a non-issue outside San Marino and Italy.

Here are two links to (Italian) pages that should provide further news and updates:
http://www.europasanmarino.sm/
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=143397425687435&v=wall

Edit: The government has blocked the referendum. So there won't be a vote regarding the country's membership.

Christian
« Last Edit: May 02, 2011, 12:24:04 PM by chrisild »

Offline chrisild

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Re: EU Referendum in San Marino
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2013, 01:37:02 AM »
Ah, there is a new referendum date, it seems: 20 October (2013). Well, from a practical point of view it may be difficult to have a member state which has a population that is about one tenth of that of Malta. We'll see what happens this time ...

http://www.libertas.sm/cont/news/san-marino-il-titano-nella-ue-referendum-la-macchina-si-e-messa-in-moto-san-marino-oggi/81498/1.html

Christian

Offline chrisild

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Re: EU Referendum in San Marino
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2013, 03:19:03 PM »
Guess that people in San marino don't really care. ;)  The result of the referendum: 50.3 percent of the voters said Yes (to the proposal that San Marino should start membership negotiations with the European Union), with 49.7 percent in the No camp. However, the quorum was not reached; only 20 percent of the registered voters actually voted on Sunday.

(Article) http://www.europeanpublicaffairs.eu/san-marino-thanks-but-no-thanks-eu-accession/
(Referendum Results*) http://www.referendum.sm/ref2013/index.jsp

* click on "AVVIO PROCEDURA ADESIONE ALL'UNIONE EUROPEA", then on "risultato generale"

Christian