Low trust in justice system, political parties; crime main concern of Maltese

Eurobarometer survey finds that respondents in Malta trust the justice system and police less than the EU average but a very large percentage say they are satisfied with their lives and view economy as very positive

Crime emerged as the issue the Maltese are most concerned about according to a recent Eurobarometer survey
Crime emerged as the issue the Maltese are most concerned about according to a recent Eurobarometer survey

Trust in the Maltese justice and legal system stands at 35%, a recent Eurobarometer has found, significantly less than the EU average of 50%. The police are trusted at a level of 53%, also less than the 72% EU average.

The findings of the Eurobarometer survey, published by the European Commission’s Representation in Malta, was carried out through 503 face-to-face interviews.

The survey took place in early November 2017, in the aftermath of the brutal murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Trust in the media is similarly low, with 31% trusting the written press, compared to 47% in the EU, and 37% and 45% trusting radio and television respectively, less than the 59% and 51% EU figures.

Only 21% trust political parties - but this is still higher than the 18% EU average.

The Maltese government, however, registered a 51% level of trust, comparatively higher than the 36% EU average. Trust in the EU - which stands at 41% across the continent, was recorded at 51% in Malta.

Crime main issue of concern

Asked to choose the two most important issues to them from a set of issues, ‘crime’ emerged as the most common, with 45% mentioning it.

‘Immigration’ received the next highest number of mentions, at 32%.

The matter the Maltese feel is third most important was ‘environment, climate and energy’, with 22%, followed by housing at 12%, the education system, 11%, and rising prices, 10%.

58% of respondents said they were satisfied with the way democracy works in Malta - slightly higher than the EU average - whle 39% said they were dissatisfied.

Economic situation judged overwhelmingly positive

Malta’s economic situation was judged to be ‘very positive’ by 89%, considerably higher than 60% for the whole EU.

Similarly, 85% of respondents said the state of employment was ‘very good’ or ‘rather good’, compared to 42% for the EU.

29% and 33% expect the economic situation and state of employment, respectively, to improve, while only 7% and 5% respectively expected it to get worse.

EU membership seen as providing better future

Only 14% said Malta faced a better future outside the EU, with 77% believing that Malta’s future would not be more positive if it were not an EU member. The level of Maltese respondents believing Malta is better off in the EU was second highest in Europe, surpassed only by the Netherlands.

Free movement of people, goods and services was seen as the best thing about EU membership, at 49%, followed by the euro at 47%, peace amongst member states at 46% and student exchange programmes such as ERASMUS at 36%

Asked on the level of attachment they felt to the town or village they live in, to Malta and to the EU, 95% of respondents said they felt either very attached or fairly attached to Malta, their country.

Situation in Malta seen as positive

Three out of four respondents, 75%, expressed a positive opinion on Malta’s situation, while  61% said that things in general were going in the right direction on the island.

Most respondents, 41%, expected this situation to remain the same, 35% expected it to get better and 13% thought it would get worse. 11% did not express their views.

A very large part of respondents in Malta, 95%, said they were generally satisfied with the life they led. The level is marginally higher than that express in 2016, and is one of the highest in the EU. The relative percentage of life satisfaction in the EU stood at 83%.


Institutions Maltese trust most Institutions Maltese trust least
The army - 67% Radio - 37%
The police - 53% Justice and the legal system & the internet - both 35%
Regional or local public authorities - 52% The written press - 31%
The government and public administration - both 51% Political parties & online social networks - both 21%


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