Malta Geopolitics

By | December 26, 2021

Malta is an island state in southern Europe not far from Sicily and about three hundred kilometers from the Libyan and Tunisian coasts. Throughout history its geographical position has been a strategic advantage, but it has also imposed numerous dominations on the population, from Carthaginian to English. From the United Kingdom, Malta gained independence in 1964, albeit within the Commonwealth.

The peculiar geographical position has made the island a natural bridge between the two shores of the Mediterranean. This is also why its political system has become polarized on the issue of international alignment. The Labor Party (Pl), which returned to government in the elections of March 2013, has historically been anti-European and more inclined to consolidate ties with the countries of the southern shore of the Mediterranean. The Partit Nazzjonalista (P n), on the other hand, today in the opposition, albeit with some internal tension, he is closely linked to the Catholic Church and has become the spokesperson for the pro-European and Western feeling of the country. This latter orientation prevailed and the island, with a process started in 1998 and culminating in a popular referendum promoted by the then Prime Minister Edward Fenech Adami, joined the European Union (Eu) on 1 May 2004. Malta then joined the eurozone in 2008 and the Schengen area. Finally, he ratified the Lisbon Treaty that allowed access to cohesion funds and to obtain a sixth seat in the European Parliament since the legislature 2014. The same Pl has gradually approached pro-European positions, such as support to the second bail- out of Greece and the expansion of the European bailout fund. For Malta government and politics, please check

Since the attainment of independence, Malta has maintained important links with the countries of the southern shore of the Mediterranean, in particular Tunisia and Libya. With the latter, since December 2010, it has started a dialogue to define the maritime border, already established by a sentence of the International Court of Justice (Icj) in 1985, but considered inadequate by Valletta, especially to protect the planned exploration of hydrocarbons. The confrontation also involved Italy, the island’s traditional partner in economic and security matters, with which Malta could sign an agreement for the joint exploration of the sea, compatibly with the current confused political situation in Libya. On the other hand, the forum of the Barcelona Process, of which Malta has been a member since 2004, is broader; the Union for the Mediterranean project, born with the main intention of creating a free trade market but open to more questions; and, finally, the 5 + 5 Dialogue, a collaborative body between Algeria, France, Italy, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia and Malta, which operates above all in the security sectors, control of immigration and the economy. The Libyan crisis of 2011 posed significant political and economic problems for Malta. The situation in Libya has had immediate humanitarian repercussions: Malta has had to deal with the flow of refugees and immigrants, albeit to a lesser extent than other countries. Persistent political instability has increased migrant flows and poses risks to the security of the island. Malta is a member of the Commonwealth, of the Council of Europe and, since 2008, of the Partnership for Peace of Persistent political instability has increased migrant flows and poses risks to the security of the island. Malta is a member of the Commonwealth, of the Council of Europe and, since 2008, of the Partnership for Peace of Persistent political instability has increased migrant flows and poses risks to the security of the island. Malta is a member of the Commonwealth, of the Council of Europe and, since 2008, of the Partnership for Peace of Born, after having already been part of it in 1995-96.

Population, society and rights

Despite being among the smallest countries of the E u, Malta has a population density is very high (1335.6 residents per km²).

98% of the population is Christian-Catholic. Only in May 2011, with a popular referendum that concluded a campaign led by the Pl, the right to divorce was introduced in the country, while abortion is not yet legal, even in cases of serious and obvious health risks. woman, unique case among the Eu countries. According to the World Health Organization (W ho), the Maltese health system is among the best in the world, although public spending on this sector stands at 5.8 %% of GDP., a lower figure than in most other European countries. The January 2014 decision to grant Maltese citizenship for a payment of 650,000 euros created some tension with Brussels, tension then partially eased after the addition of a residency clause on the island of at least 12 months.

Economy and energy

The Maltese economy has been the best of any country and u (after Ireland) in 2015, with a growth rate of 3.4%, mainly due to the increase in private domestic demand and public and discreet contribution of exports. The increase in earnings also allowed the government to keep the deficit within 3%, as predicted by the Maastricht parameters, for 2013 and 2014. However, the country’s economy is very vulnerable to external influences, given the level of opening of businesses and the financial sector. Despite the agreement of 13 July 2015 between Greece and its European partners, the risk of a possible ‘Grexit’ continues to hover over the continent, with important economic and financial uncertainties for the peripheral countries of the euro area.

Tourism contributes around 20% to GDP growth. The opening of low-cost air routes between Malta and European countries and the improvement of infrastructures should contribute to strengthening the sector, attracting new tourists and returning the economic sector to pre-crisis levels. The tertiary sector, which alone contributes 65.4% of the national GDP, is also made up of financial services, which have maintained positive values ​​during the crisis: the banking sector operates on values ​​equal to 650% of GDP, mainly linked to foreign institutions and not directly connected with the real economy of the country. The foreign investment they represent a second important voice in the Maltese economy, which benefits from a skilled and bilingual national workforce, relatively low-cost labor, as well as tax and credit incentives that the state grants to foreign investors.

The primary sector, on the other hand, is the least developed sector: it manages to generate less than 2% of the national GDP. Limited by water scarcity, soil dryness and the lack of an adequate fishing fleet, Malta produces only 20% of its food needs. The industrial sector, on the other hand, must face the challenge of foreign competition: the companies present in Malta are mainly small, often family-run. In addition there are about 400 medium and large enterprises, many of which are foreign and dedicated to exports.

Malta Geopolitics