When Malta voted to join the European Union, it became the smallest member by a 53 percent favor against a 45 percent. The result was closer than what Brussels or the Malta government had expected. This narrow difference on opinion was a source of great debate as the Labor party, which forms the opposition, argued that there was a lack of credibility since the majority votes were required to be absolute in favor. Most union groups and businesses backed the government of Malta as the campaign raged on. There was concern though, that this membership would be a threat to Malta’s independence, additionally the residents of Malta were worried that they would be exposed to unwanted immigrants. Additionally, the country also thought they would be submitting economically to larger states.

Since Malta became a member of the European Union, there have been negotiations between the government of Malta and the European Union legislation. Movement of people through the European Union member countries is free and this is a visual and more so basic significance of uniting the EU. Not only did Maltese citizens acquire free movement to EU member countries as tourists, they also got the opportunity to study, work, and train and for the purposes of retirement and simple residence. All these opportunities are the Malta citizens’ rights and the previous requirements for work permits and restrictions were abolished. Apart from the 15 European Union countries, these opportunities also apply to countries like Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Liechtenstein, which are new members of the EU as well as another 30 countries.

Compared to other countries that are candidates, Malta received dissimilar treatment because seven years transitional period was imposed by the EU during which their rights could be restricted. The same applied to European Union citizens seeking to get jobs in Malta. For seven years since membership, Malta gained the ability to safeguard against EU nationals’ right to work there. After accession, it retained the system of work permits and henceforth granted them to European Union workers. In case Malta’s labor market is threatened with disruption, it can withhold work permits because this is a matter of exceptional nature and urgency.

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