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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 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
GDP per capita 11.900 in PPS (2000); 53% of EU average (2000)
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

Country information


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).

Reports on drugs situation

No documents were available at the time of report's publication.


Disclaimer © European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, 2002
The texts, reports and publications in this section have been provided by the candidate countries' national focal points. The findings, conclusions and interpretations in these documents are those of the authors alone and do not represent the policy of the EMCDDA, its partners, any EU Member State or any agency or institution of the European Union or European Communities.

documents in English     documents in national language

Related Websites

European Commission: Enlargement: Candidate Country: Malta- This page provides an introduction to Malta's country profile, an overview of of key documents related to enlargement, press releases and interesting links.

documents in English     documents in national language     bilingual websites

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