Diaspora Policies, Consular Services and Social Protection for Maltese Citizens Abroad

Hillary Briffa*, Alessandra Baldacchino

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter assesses the social protection policies enacted by the Maltese government to support Maltese citizens living abroad. First, the current status of the Maltese diaspora and their engagement with the homeland is contextualized, and key infrastructure and policies outlined. In the Maltese legal system, there is no domestic law granting the right to consular or diplomatic protection, however this is offered as a matter of practice based on respect for the fundamental rights of the individual. The strength of historic ties with the destination countries of Maltese emigrants is mainly reflected in the number of Reciprocal Agreements signed between Malta and partner countries. An overview of these formal treaties and their assured benefits is provided. Thereafter, five areas of concern for the social security needs of Maltese diaspora are addressed: unemployment, healthcare, pensions, family-related benefits, and economic hardship. The chapter concludes by acknowledging the communication initiatives between the Maltese government and its citizens abroad; however, it recognises that there is still a long way to go in terms of ensuring democratic participation of citizens in elections. Throughout, the evidence has been compiled primarily as a result of consultation with primary source material, as well as interviews with a range of experts within relevant Maltese governmental bodies.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIMISCOE Research Series
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameIMISCOE Research Series
ISSN (Print)2364-4087
ISSN (Electronic)2364-4095


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