Malta: Local Government: A Slowly Maturing Process

Henry Frendo

in The Oxford Handbook of Local and Regional Democracy in Europe

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780199562978
Published online January 2011 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations

Malta: Local Government: A Slowly Maturing Process

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Politics
  • Regional Political Studies
  • Comparative Politics



Malta is the smallest member of the European Union. Strategically located, the nation has been under successive invasions and domination of several other European nations. Given the strategic location of the nation, recurring fears of invasion have dominated Malta, hence the need for concerted collective watchfulness under a supreme command. Governance was centralized, however, localities have distinct identities before any democratic norm could be institutionalized in their service. This article discusses Malta and the slow maturation of its local government. It discusses Malta's move towards devolvement, delegation, and regionalization; all of which have been trivial issues within the formation of the political system of the nation. Although the delegation of political powers in Malta was trivial, they nevertheless contributed to the service delivery agenda, especially as councils have been entrusted with the enacting as well as with the enforcement of their own by-laws. Despite the limitations and deficiencies circumscribed by the lack of critical mass, local governments in Malta have worked reasonably well and moved at a steady pace. This has crystallized local identities in a secular sense and hurried the pace of infrastructure works. It has also dented the notion and practice of over-centralized government. Keeping abreast with the changing times and with the new responsibilities as an EU member, Malta has been working for reforms.

Keywords: Malta; European Union; local government; devolvement; delegation; regionalization; democratic

Article.  9126 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Regional Political Studies ; Comparative Politics

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribeRecommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »