Malta is the smallest EU member state, a country of 419,000 people located midway between Italy and Libya at the centre of the Mediterranean. Malta was a British colony from 1800 to 1964 and its political system is a variation of the Westminster/ Whitehall export model while the country enjoys close ties with the UK and also Italy, its nearest neighbour. With the Maltese given control over domestic affairs in 1921, the election of Maltese governments is based on the Single Transferable Voting electoral system which normally supports the emergence of multiple parties but which has in Malta, since 1966, created a two-party political system with the Socialists, the Malta Labour Party, to the left, and the Christian Democrats, the Nationalist Party, to the right. Unsurprisingly, politics is highly polarised on all key issues and from 1987 to 2003 a central cleavage in domestic politics was EU membership with the Socialists against and the Christian Democrats in favour. Applying in 1990 to join the EU, the European Commission noted its concern about Malta’s small and insular economy, its constitutional neutrality and its limited administrative capacity (Pace 2001: 255) and the prospects of joining remained unclear until 2003 when a referendum on the issue was won by a majority in favour. Since joining in 2004 along with Cyprus and eight Central and Eastern European countries, Malta appears to have managed membership well, often avoiding many of the negative connotations attached to other EU Mediterranean states who are invariably, if not unfairly, depicted as ‘laggards’, ‘policy-takers’, the cause of the recent sovereign debt crisis, dependent on EU monies, the ‘flaky southern fringe’ of European integration at opposites to the northern, hard core (The Financial Times as quoted in Verney 2009: 1). However, no substantive study has addressed Malta’s experience of membership, in particular the impact of the Union on Malta’s domestic political system, that very same system which represents Malta’s interests in EU policy-making and manages the business of complying with the obligations of membership. To what extent Malta defies the regional labels referenced above and how it manages to administer the burden of membership with only 29,000 public servants (Spanish Presidency 2010) is the focus of this book.