In September 2013, the draft law on Township Councils (Law no. 127/2013) was approved. This Law, reforming the 1994 Law, has met most of the requests made over time by the decentralised government bodies. The much-awaited measure, which was welcomed by the Board of the Heads of the Township Councils, responds to the democratic purposes of these local government bodies, while strengthening their institutional, administrative and social role. It also promotes and encourages popular participation and civil responsibility. Major legislative amendments have introduced legal personality, which allows each Township Council to represent its Castle with increased authority. They have also established relations between the Township Councils and the Public Administration and between the Township Councils and the government through the organisation of six-monthly conferences and participation in budgetary policies. Moreover, such amendments have provided for compulsory opinions of the Township Councils relating to matters concerning the Castles and have introduced time-limits for the Public Administration to respond to the requests of the Township Councils. The Law makes also reference to the European Charter on Local Autonomy of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, an instrument of the Council of Europe supporting the role of decentralised government bodies in the setting up of a more democratic structure at a local level. The Charter was signed by San Marino in May 2013 (and ratified in October of the same year), as the last institutional step towards strengthening the role of the Castles.
In the meantime, the reform of the public administration (see Law n. 188/2011) has eliminated the Office responsible for Township Councils. This has entailed the suppression of an administrative structure performing the tasks of coordinating and verifying administrative burdens of the single Township Councils, as well as establishing a connection between them and the competent Ministry.
With a view to favouring a more active involvement of local bodies in central institutional activities and enhancing the projects of the single Castles, while further promoting direct participation also by citizens residing in these Castles, in 2010 the Captains Regent launched the initiative entitled “Castelli a Palazzo” (Castles at the Government Building). This initiative entails a series of meetings organised at the Government Building, seat of the San Marino Parliament and Government, among the Captains Regent, the Township Councils with their citizens, and the Minister of Relations with the Township Councils. During these meetings, aimed at strongly promoting national unity, the Township Council presents a project of interest to the relevant Castle in the cultural and / or social field. Citizens may express their ideas and opinions on this project in the presence of the Minister responsible for the relevant sector. In 2011, the Captains Regent arranged for visits by the Heads of State to the Township Councils with a view to meeting the public. Residents have been offered the possibility to submit formal requests concerning collective interests. The Captains Regent has addressed the selected requests (a maximum of 4 requests per Castle) during public audiences at the Government Building.
At present, the Republic of San Marino has no ethnic, linguistic or religious groups and / or minorities (see chapter 2.6).