Congress of State

 

 

According to the San Marino constitutional order, the Congress of State (Government) is vested with the executive power and - in conformity with Article 3 of the Declaration on the Citizens’ Rights - it is politically answerable to the Great and General Council.
In particular, the Congress of State, the sittings of which are convened by the Captains Regent, is entrusted with the following tasks:
- it collegially implements international policies, as well as international treaties and agreements concerning general international policies and matters relevant for the State’s security, without prejudice to the functions performed by the Great and General Council;
- it determines the general administrative policies by defining the relevant objectives and general programmes and by issuing the necessary general directives of the Public Administration, without prejudice to its autonomy recognised by law;
- it settles any conflicts among the Ministers concerning their attributions;
- it is entrusted with the legislative initiative by drafting the laws to be submitted to the Great and General Council for their approval;
- it decides on any other matter concerning the implementation of the Government programme, unless otherwise provided for in law provisions.

Moreover, the Congress of State:
- adopts delegated decrees provided for in Article 3 bis, fifth paragraph of the Declaration on the Citizens’ Rights;
- in case of need and urgency, adopts decrees having force of law and subject to ratification by the Great and General Council within three months, under penalty of nullity;
- submits to the Great and General Council the annual and pluriannual budget law, as well as the relevant financial statements of the State and of State Corporations, accompanied by the necessary reports;
- prepares and submits to the Great and General Council the Budget Law and the relevant decrees to be adopted in this field;
- controls expenditure plans, as well as the single interventions, with a view to verifying their compliance with the approved budget and with the directives issued;
- orders immediate execution, under its own responsibility, of urgent and unpostponable measures, which are subject to the preventive control in conformity with the provisions in force;
- suspends the adoption of provisions by the competent Ministers in case they refer to political or administrative matters requiring an appropriate collegial decision;
- proposes administrative provisions falling within the competence of the Great and General Council;
- adopts regulations concerning the forms and implementation modalities of laws, as well as the organisation and functioning of public offices in conformity with law provisions.

It is composed of a number of members which, as expressly provided for by law, cannot exceed ten. The members of the Congress of State are appointed by the Great and General Council by absolute majority from among its members at the beginning of the legislature, when the government programme is approved (that is to say every 5 years, or following a government crisis leading to the formation of a new government or in case of anticipated elections). All members of the Congress of State assume the title of “Secretary of State” (corresponding to a Minister).
According to what provided for in a law passed in 1997 - subsequently confirmed with the legislative reform of 2005 - the mandate of Minister shall not exceed a maximum of ten consecutive years and the subsequent appointment shall not take place before five years have elapsed from the conclusion of the last mandate.
An important new element has been introduced by the above-mentioned reform, that is to say the possibility to appoint the so-called “technical ministers”. This means that the Great and General Council may appoint (by two-thirds majority) also citizens not from among its members, provided that they meet the requirements to be elected and on condition that their number does not exceed one third of the members of the Congress of State.
Another new element has been the replacement, within the Great and General Council, of the Parliamentarian appointed as Minister with the first who has not been elected on the same list, and this throughout the mandate of the member of the Congress of State. In his/her turn, the newly-appointed member of the Congress of State is no longer a member of the Great and General Council throughout his/her mandate.
Each Minister is responsible for some specific sectors of the Public Administration, which, according to the last 2005 legislative amendments, are ten. However, it is possible to identify other specific areas of intervention and activity if this is necessary to achieve the objectives envisaged in the Government programme.
The sectors falling within the competence of the Ministers are indicated when these are appointed by the Great and General Council. In particular, the Minister is assigned a Ministry, for which he/she is politically responsible on an individual basis. At the same time, he/she is vested with collegial responsibility as member of the Government.
 

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