Malta is a single-chamber parliamentary republic with a head of government - the prime minister - and a head of state - the president - whose role is largely ceremonial. The country is divided into 5 regions. Each has its own regional committee, which serves as the intermediary between local and national government.
The most important sectors of Malta’s economy in 2016 were wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services (20.9 %), public administration, defence, education, human health and social work activities (17.7 %) and Professional, scientific and technical activities; administrative and support service activities (12.7 %).
Intra-EU trade accounts for 39% of Malta’s exports (Germany 14% and France 8%), while outside the EU 27% go to the United States, 6% to Singapore and 5% to Japan.
In terms of imports, 54% come from EU countries (Italy 21%, Germany and the United Kingdom both 6%), while outside the EU 12% come from the Cayman Islands and 10% from Canada.
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.
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:
The following link is a redirection to an external websiteCurrent presidency of the Council of the EU
The Commission is represented in each EU country by a local office, called a "representation".
Malta has 5 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.
Malta has 5 representatives on the European 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.
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.
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 2017:
More figures on the EU budget, revenue and spending:
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.