Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies, University of Malta
Malta’s interest in the future evolution of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) is primarily focused on the southern dimension of the ENP, that is, the Mediterranean. Thus, Malta wholeheartedly supported that French initiative to establish a Union for the Mediterranean.
The conflict between Russia and Georgia however also focused Malta’s attention to the fact that more effort needs to be dedicated to projecting stability to the EU’s eastern borders. Twenty years after the end of the Cold War Summit in Malta in December 1989 between President George H. W. Bush and President Mikhail Gorbachev it is clear that the ENP needs to continue to serve as a mechanism that seeks to integrate non-EU states closer to the EU.
Croatia must join and fast
Malta continues to advocate that membership to the EU for Croatia should take place in the shortest time frame possible. Apart from being beneficial for Croatia, this will also help to boost stability across the Balkans. Membership for other candidates does not receive much attention during this period.
NATO and the Partnership for Peace
Malta’s interest in NATO remains limited to the Partnership for Peace (PfP) mechanism, which Malta re-joined in April 2008 – (Malta had withdrawn its membership from PfP in 1996). Malta is currently preparing a work programme under the PfP framework which it hopes to start implementing in 2009. Malta’s membership of the PfP now allows it to participate in EU/NATO discussions, and Malta believes that closer cooperation between both organizations is mutually beneficial although Malta maintains its stance of neutrality when it comes to participating in any military missions.