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Relations with Malta Enlargement

Maltese flag     
This page was archived on the 1st of May 2004.
The information concerning this ex candidate country has not been updated since that date.

Bullet Country profile
Bullet Overview of key documents related to enlargement
Bullet Interesting links

Country profile

Map of Malta


Maltese Lira (Lm)
2000 average exchange rate against US$ = 2.2855
2000 average exchange rate against € = 2.4741




Maltese is the national language; English is the second official language

Area of Maltese archipelago:

Total of 316 kmē for the 3 islands (Malta: 246 kmē, Gozo: 67 kmē, Comino: 3 kmē)


0.39 million (end 2000)
89% urban


1,234 per kmē (one of the highest in the world)

Official name: Repubblika ta' Malta - The Republic of Malta


21st September 1964
Substantially amended in 1974 to bring into effect a republican constitution
Last amendment in 1994

House of Representatives:

65 members

Local councils:


GDP per capita: 11,900 in PPS (2000)
53% of EU average (2000)
Association Agreement: Entered into force in April 1971

Application for EU membership:

16th July 1990
Frozen in 1996 and re-activated in 1998
Official opening of Accession Conference with Malta in February 2000


Malta, a crossroads between Europe and Africa and at the southern tip of the European continent, is a melting pot of civilisations in the heart of the Mediterranean.

Malta boosts a rich legacy from its centuries-old history, from megalithic temples -unique in the world- to its capital Valletta, a jewel of baroque architecture, and its massive fortifications which witnessed the bravery of the Maltese people over the centuries. Again, in 1942, the courage and endurance of the Maltese people was recognised when the United Kingdom awarded to Malta the George Cross in 1942, which is now an integral part of the national flag.

Malta has also a long tradition of hospitality. One of the most famous "guests" of the archipelago was the apostle Paul - the future St. Paul - who was shipwrecked on Malta in AD 60.


Natural resources are nearly non-existent, except for its famous golden stone (globigerina), and rivers are absent. Nevertheless farmers succeed to produce a wide variety of products in their small terraced fields. They even export part of their crop. Bee-keeping industry, already renowned in ancient times, is still flourishing.

Still, Malta is not only an island in the sun and an open-air museum in the Mediterranean, it is also an island looking towards the future. Apart the tourism and manufacturing industries by now firmly established, Malta is currently developing its service economy and it also aims to become a hub for communications in the Mediterranean. For this purpose, Malta has a winning card - its human resources - a flexible labour force easily adaptable to new circumstances and having the great advantage to being multi-lingual.


The budget deficit rose from 4% of GDP in 1995 to over 11% in 1998 due to structural imbalances. The trend has now reversed: 6.7% in 1999 and 6.6% in 2000. The public debt experienced an increase but growth is slowing down and reached 60.6% of GDP in 2000.


The share of imports and exports in GDP are increasing significantly. The export base of the economy is concentrated in a few sectors, mainly in electronics, machinery and transport equipment (which generated about 75% of total exports in the first half of 2001).

Malta is well integrated in terms of trade with the European Union. The latter accounted for around 33% of Malta's exports and 60% of its imports in 2000.

The Association Agreement

The Association Agreement between the EU and Malta entered into force in 1971. It constitutes the legal framework for EU-Malta relations and provides for the creation of a customs union in two five-years stages (although this objective has not yet been achieved).

EU Financial and technical co-operation

Aimed at helping to fulfil its objectives, to promote the development of the Maltese economy and its competitiveness, the financial co-operation was developed in four successive financial protocols for Malta and Cyprus between 1978 and 1999 amounting to a total value of 130.5 Meuro. It included EIB and special loans (for infrastructure projects), risk capital funds (for EU-Malta joint ventures), and grants (for technical assistance and equipment related).

The Council has decided a new financial regulation relative to pre-accession aid to Cyprus and Malta, for the period (2000-2004), in March 2000 (Council Regulation (EC) N° 555/2000 of 13 March 2000 (pdf file 42kb). The global amount of pre-accession aid available to the two countries for the whole period currently proposed by the Commission is € 95 million, out of which Malta will get € 38 millions. This amount will be used for grants projects designed to facilitate transposition, application and enforcement of the acquis communautaire (technical assistance and institution building).

Overview of key documents related to enlargement

PDF format


Regular Report -  November 5, 2003 204kb 456kb 229kb All
Regular Report -  October 9, 2002 529kb 558kb 589kb All
Regular Report -  November 13, 2001 258kb 295kb 283kb All
Regular Report - November 8, 2000 333kb 358kb 495kb All
Progress Report - October 13, 1999 140kb 159kb 164kb All
Accession Partnership - November 13, 2001 pdf file
English 36kb

All countries

French 37kb
German 39kb
Accession Partnership - October 13, 1999 (revised February 2000) 
English pdf file 29kb

All countries

French pdf file 31kb
German pdf file 33kb
Update of the opinion on Malta's Application for Membership of the European Union - February 1999


pdf file 104kb  
Dutch pdf file 114kb
English pdf file 2.6Mb
Finnish pdf file 103kb
French pdf file 112kb
German pdf file 115kb
Greek pdf file 2.8Mb
Italian pdf file 106kb
Portuguese pdf file 111kb
Spanish pdf file 116kb
Swedish pdf file 107kb

Interesting links