In today’s historical context characterised by increasing complexity and by unprecedented threats to global security and peace, San Marino reaffirms its willingness to establish closer relations with the European Union. This is testified to by the start in March 2015 of negotiations, together with the Principality of Andorra and the Principality of Monaco, for the conclusion of an Association Agreement with the European Union.
As part of this process, the EUSAIR will be an important preparatory step to identify the professional skills and investments necessary to meet the obligations of a future agreement with the EU.
Moreover, this initiative will allow San Marino to operate within the EU in close contact with other Member States, thus promoting technical and political collaboration that will be extremely useful in the coming years.
San Marino will also be able to establish a dialogue with other candidate countries and potential candidates that are not yet member of the EU by demonstrating its current legal status as a third country, as it is not yet an acceding or even associated country.
This situation inevitably constitutes an element of vulnerability regarding the current costs of its non-integration. However, it cannot prevent San Marino from now seizing the opportunity to explore all the various possibilities of regional interdependence to benefit from relevant common initiatives.
Strengthening regional cooperation
Although San Marino does not border the Adriatic or the Ionian Sea, its territory is already directly affected by actions and projects undertaken in the Strategy, given its status as an enclave.
Thanks to the EUSAIR, San Marino will be able to manifest this condition in a broader framework. It will thus contribute to the objectives and actions undertaken by EUSAIR participating countries, with which it will openly exchange views to offer its contribution.
San Marino is of the opinion that in order to face today’s challenges, it cannot act alone. Indeed, for a small-sized state, the numerous implications of environmental degradation and climate change, for example, are too burdensome to be addressed on its own
In contrast, these consequences may be considered from a different perspective in a context of regional integration and cooperation in which the availability of common resources and capabilities may be essential to support an area of sustainable and balanced well-being and prosperity.
During the most acute phase of the COVID-19 epidemic, regional cooperation, especially with neighbouring Italian regions, was significantly enhanced. This includes through effective exchange of information, which has proved essential to deal with the health emergency and to assist citizens.
Integrating these forms of regional cooperation in a broader macro-regional framework is an additional instrument to strengthen health security and economic recovery, considering the resources available for joint territorial development projects.
Our unique contribution
Thanks to its centuries-old history of independence, peace and neutrality, San Marino can represent an added value to be shared with the other regional partners in order to reinforce trust in the values underlying macro-regional integration and to strengthen EUSAIR objectives.
These are indeed more focused on uniting elements than on dividing ones, within a framework of institutional convergence and territorial cooperation. San Marino can further contribute to cohesion in precisely this context, which aims to foster initiatives to bridge gaps and to create infrastructure and telecommunications links between the countries.
Notwithstanding the limited resources available, San Marino can become an active part of this macro-regional connection project thanks to its unique features, which may also be inferred from its historical heritage and its focus on tourism.
San Marino will be able to give impetus to further initiatives that pursue the objectives of the Strategy. The EUSAIR can therefore benefit from a new stakeholder that is an active part of the wider process aimed at creating synergies and strengthening the existing cooperation in the Adriatic and Ionian Macro-Region.