Maltese top EU chart for highest communication with people in other EU states

Maltese people are the most active users of electronic communication when it comes to interacting with citizens of other EU states, a Eurobarometer survey shows

File photo
File photo

Maltese people are the most active users of electronic communication when it comes to interacting with citizens of other EU states, a Eurobarometer survey shows.

The survey assessed various forms of communication, including international calls, SMSs, and internet messaging.

Results indicate that a significant 42% of Maltese respondents engage in daily communication with individuals in EU countries. However, it is worth noting that 36% of Maltese respondents reported never communicating with anyone in another EU member state.

Comparing the statistics across the EU, the survey highlights the substantial variation in daily communication with EU citizens. Malta leads the pack with 42% of respondents engaging in daily communication, followed by Luxembourg with 34%. In contrast, Greece reports the lowest percentage, with a mere 4% of respondents communicating with citizens from other member states daily.

The survey also tracks changes in communication patterns since 2020. Notably, Malta experienced a significant increase of 26 percentage points in the proportion of individuals using international communication within the EU daily. Other countries that saw notable increases include Romania (+16pp) and Slovenia (+13pp). Conversely, Ireland (-16pp) and Greece (-12pp) witnessed a substantial decrease in daily international communication.

The survey reveals that Maltese respondents are the most frequent users of instant internet messaging services. The highest proportions of daily users of this method are found in Malta (40%), Luxembourg (22%), and Belgium (21%). Conversely, France and Greece report the lowest scores, with only 2% of respondents using instant internet messaging daily. Similarly low scores were seen in Romania and Hungary (both 3%), as well as Finland, Portugal, Italy, and Czechia (all 4%).

Regarding communication methods, Malta stands out as the only EU member state where over one in three respondents (38%) reported making daily video calls (VoIP) within the EU. Luxembourg (15%) and Cyprus (13%) follow closely behind, while 13 member states reported less than 5% daily usage. Portugal had the lowest score, with only 1% of respondents using video calls within the EU. France, Spain, Greece, and Germany all reported a score of 2%.

When it comes to international SMS usage within the EU, six countries reported that over 10% of respondents send these messages daily. Malta led the pack with 38%, followed by Luxembourg (18%) and Cyprus (17%). Conversely, 16 countries reported less than 5% daily usage, with Czechia, Germany, Spain, Finland, Portugal, and Sweden all reporting a mere 1%.

The survey also sheds light on fixed telephone line usage across EU member states. Notably, eight countries reported that over half of their population still has access to a fixed telephone line. Malta ranked highest in this aspect, with 91% of respondents having access, followed by Greece with 86%. On the other hand, the lowest adoption rates were observed in Latvia (5%), Poland (7%), and Romania and Czechia (both 8%).

Between 2020 and 2022, fixed telephone ownership decreased in all countries except Malta, which experienced a 4-percentage-point increase. The steepest drops were observed in the Netherlands (-52pp), Belgium (-32pp), and Ireland (-30pp).

Finally, the survey highlights the increased call frequency and duration among Maltese respondents following the elimination of roaming charges in June 2017. A significant 81% of Maltese respondents reported making longer and more calls to other EU countries on their mobile phones since the introduction of the price cap.