There is no main cultural policy document addressing national minority groups and this issue is not listed as a policy priority in the government’s current list of cultural policy priorities, as there are only a few national minority groups.
The number of foreigners in San Marino is not enough to justify a specific legislation for the recognition and protection of minorities. Nevertheless, the few cultural minorities which do live on the territory enjoy full respect in conformity with the principles stipulated by the 1974 “Declaration on the Citizens’ Rights” and by the following laws, which supplemented and partially amended this Declaration (see chapter 4.1.1). In December 2014, out of 33 738 inhabitants present on the territory (including residents and permit holders), the number of immigrants was 372. These are mainly Italians, followed by Romanians, Argentineans, Brazilians, Americans and other minority groups not exceeding 40 people. The increasing number of people having a different religion, culture, belief and language has never caused intercultural problems or conflicts. Those minorities which have formed cultural associations enjoy, like all those participating in the Council of Cultural Associations and Cooperatives, special benefits, also of an economic nature (see chapter 7.2.4). Moreover, the State periodically sponsors the organisation of some events to highlight uses, traditions, cuisine etc., of an ethnic or cultural group located in San Marino. In 2004, events were organised on the music of France and Africa; on Peru and on the 50th anniversary of the Bahà’ì faith. These events, however, are not the result of a government policy for the assimilation or integration of a group. In 2007, with the participation and sponsorship of different Ministries and the Russian Association “The world of culture”, a concert of Russian music was organised; the initiative was among the cultural events organised on the occasion of the official visit of the President of the Russian Federation to Italy.
In 2005, a group of volunteer women founded an association called “Le amiche di Ruth” (Ruth’s girlfriends) organising various courses (language, computer, cooking, etc.) for foreign women living in San Marino. The aim is not only to facilitate their inclusion in the local society and culture, but also to establish a more conscious relationship with people from different backgrounds and to stimulate cultural exchange for mutual enrichment. A freetraining course on private home assistance is organised by the Vocational Training Centre; this is mainly addressed to foreign women working in San Marino as private carers for the elderly. This course includes Italian classes and the teaching of San Marino culture and traditions to promote their integration in society. In order to facilitate attendance at the course, free public transport is organised for the participants. In some places of worship, private carers can attend religious rites other than those of the Roman Catholic Church. Moreover, some trade unions and NGOs, in collaboration with the State, offer private carers and their employers an information service on employment, pensions and social security contributions, as well as on residence permits. Italian language courses, organised by the Ministry of Education, continue to attract a high number of immigrants. Inside the information magazine of the political party “Sinistra Unita”, a column offers support to immigrants looking for work, by publishing their advertisements.
In 1988, San Marino signed the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities in 1996. In 2005, the Republic signed the Additional Protocol n. 14 to the European Convention of Human Rights.
On 19 May 2006, San Marino signed the Council of Europe Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society and the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. Currently, the Ministry of Foreign and Political Affairs and the Ministry of Education, Culture and University are working to ratify the latter, in line with the policies to support intercultural dialogue adopted by the San Marino government and affirmed within the international fora where the Republic is represented. In particular, the protection and promotion of diversities was among the priorities of the San Marino Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe; even after the six-month Chairmanship is over, these issues and ideals are still very important, representing the basis of San Marino’s social and political agenda.