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Title: Local government in Malta : a slowly maturing process
Other Titles: The Oxford handbook of local and regional democracy in Europe
Authors: Frendo, Henry
Keywords: Local government -- Malta
Malta -- History -- 1964-
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Citation: Frendo, H. (2011). Local government in Malta : a slowly maturing process. In J. Loughlin, F. Hendriks & A. Lidstrom (Eds), The Oxford handbook of local and regional democracy in Europe (pp. 434-454). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Abstract: 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.
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