The Government and Politics of the European Union

Seventh edition

by Neill Nugent


Population 0.4 m
Capital Valletta
Surface area 300 km2
Official Language Maltese and English
Gross domestic product (GDP) (in euros) 7.81 bn
GDP as a % of EU-27, based on 2009 data 0.06
GDP per capita by purchasing power standards (indexed to EU average of 100) 75.5
Currency Euro
Human development index (HDI), an index based on life expectancy, education and GDP (max. 1) 0.878
World rank in HDI 34/177
Key economic sectors (% of GDP in 2002) Services (71.0); industry (26.2); agriculture (2.8)
Unemployment in January 2010 7.0% (source:
Main religious denominations Roman Catholic (to which 98% of the population belong)
Political system The House of Representatives consists of 65 members, from which a prime minister and cabinet are appointed
Electoral system Members of the House are directly represented by a plurality system
Current (March 2010) leaders Prime minister: Lawrence Gonzi (b. 1953), since March 2004
Previous leaders: Prime ministers: Eddie Fenech Adami (1987-96; 1998-2004); Alfred Sant (1996-98)
Joined the EU/EC 2004
Commissioner from country in Barroso II College of Commissioners, and portfolio John Dalli (Health and Consumer Policy)
Number of MEPs 6/754
Turnout in 2009 EP elections (%) 78.8
Member of eurozone Yes (founder member)

Except where a specific reference is inserted, the sources for this profile are either Neill Nugent’s book itself, or Barry Turner (ed.), The Statesman’s Yearbook Online, Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan. If your library subscribes, you can gain access at