The recently published Eurobarometer report provides a clear picture of the perceptions that Maltese citizens have on the issues they consider most important. Immigration, housing and the environment are at the top of the list. One in two Maltese citizens (49%) considers immigration as one of the two major national problems; the percentage drops to 43% with regard to housing. One in 3 Maltese places the environment among the first two issues instead.
It is interesting to note that immigration is also seen as a European problem (63% of Maltese mention it as one of the two main concerns at the EU level).
The survey conducted in Malta also shows that Maltese citizens trust institutions, both national and European, much more than the European average. The trust of the Maltese citizens in the European Union is much higher than the European average: 56% in the archipelego compared to 44% in Europe. This difference is even greater for national institutions, both the parliament (53% confidence among the Maltese, 34% the European average) and the government (58% among the Maltese, 34% the European average).
Eurobarometer has also investigated the benefits that Maltese citizens get from being citizens of a member state of the European Union. There is a certain uniformity of response with European citizens, but two major differences emerge: 45% of Maltese citizens consider the Euro as a highly positive fact, a sentiment shared by only 24% of European citizens. There is also a marked difference for the Erasmus exchange program: 39% of Maltese indicate it as the most positive thing, while only 26% of European citizens are of the same opinion.
Among the achievements of the European Union from which they have benefited the most, Maltese citizens have indicated the possibility of using the telephone at lower costs when traveling in Europe (63%), greater rights for passengers and for consumers when they buy an European product (60% for both) and the absence of border controls during trips (58%).
In general, it can be said that Maltese citizens show a more positive sentiment towards the concept of Europe than the average recorded among the 28 member countries. This figure emerges from the answers to more general questions such as “Do you feel like an EU citizen?” (81% positive responses in Malta, 73% at European level).
The study refers to interviews conducted in June 2019. 503 people were interviewed in Malta, while over 27 thousand people were interviewed throughout Europe. The Eurobarometer is a series of public opinion polls conducted by the European Commission since 1973. These polls address a wide range of topical issues relating to the European Union within all its member states.