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Malta comprises an archipelago of five islands in the Central Mediterranean Sea, south of the Italian island of Sicily, east of Tunisia and north of Libya. Malta is one of the world's smallest and most densely populated countries.

The most important sectors of Malta’s economy in 2014 were wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services (22.3 %), public administration, defence, education, human health and social work activities (19.4 %) and industry (12.3 %).

Malta’s main export partners are Germany, Hong Kong and France, while its main import partners are Italy, the US and the UK.

Capital: Valletta

Geographical size: 316 km2

Population: 425 384 (2014)

Population as % of total EU population: 0.1 % (2014)

GDP: € 7.912 billion (2014)

Official EU language(s): Maltese, English

Political system: parliamentary republic

EU member country since: 1 May 2004

Seats in the European Parliament: 6

Currency: Euro. Member of the eurozone since 1 January 2008

Schengen area member? Yes, Schengen Area member since 21 December 2007.

Presidency of the Council: Malta will hold the revolving presidency of the Council of the EU for the first time in 2017.

Malta in the EU

European Parliament

There are 6 members of the European Parliament from Malta. Find out who these MEPs are.

European Parliament office in Malta

Council of the EU

In the Council of the EU, national ministers meet regularly to adopt EU laws and coordinate policies. Council meetings are regularly attended by representatives from the Maltese government, depending on the policy area being addressed.

Presidency of the Council of the EU

The Council of the EU doesn't have a permanent, single-person president (like e.g. the Commission or Parliament). Instead, its work is led by the country holding the Council presidency, which rotates every 6 months.

During these 6 months, ministers from that country's government chair and help determine the agenda of Council meetings in each policy area, and facilitate dialogue with the other EU institutions.

Dates of Maltese presidencies:

Jan-Jun 2017

More on the current presidency of the Council of the EU.

European Commission

The Commissioner nominated by Malta to the European Commission is Karmenu Vella, who is responsible for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.

The Commission is represented in each EU country by a local office, called a "representation".

Commission representation in Malta

European Economic & Social Committee

Malta has 6 representatives on the European Economic and Social Committee. This advisory body – representing employers, workers and other interest groups – is consulted on proposed laws, to get a better idea of the possible changes to work and social situations in member countries.

Committee of the Regions

Malta has 5 representatives on the Committee of the Regions, the EU's assembly of regional and local representatives. This advisory body is consulted on proposed laws, to ensure these laws take account of the perspective from each region of the EU.

Permanent representation to the EU

Malta also communicates with the EU institutions through its permanent representation in Brussels. As Malta's "embassy to the EU", its main task is to ensure that the country's interests and policies are pursued as effectively as possible in the EU.

Budgets and Funding

How much does Malta contribute and receive?

Member countries' financial contributions to the EU budget are shared fairly, according to means. The larger your country's economy, the more it pays – and vice versa. The EU budget doesn't aim to redistribute wealth, but rather to focus on the needs of all Europeans as a whole.

Breakdown of Malta's finances with the EU in 2013:

  • Total EU spending in Malta: € 0.174 billion
  • Total EU spending as % of Malta’s GNI: 2.58 %
  • Total Maltese contribution to the EU budget: € 0.078 billion
  • Malta’s contribution to the EU budget as % of its GNI: 1.15 %

More figures on the EU budget, revenue and spending:

EU-funded projects in Malta

The money paid into the EU budget by Malta helps fund programmes and projects in all EU countries - like building roads, subsidising researchers and protecting the environment.

Find out more about how Malta benefits from EU funding.

Practical information