His Excellency


High Commissoner of Malta

“I am truly honoured to serve my country in what is possibly the most vibrant city in the world,” declares Malta’s High Commissioner His Excellency Emmanuel Mallia. The High Commissioner confesses that one of his most treasured encounters so far was “listening to Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II reminisce on her cherished memories of Villa Guardamangia when she was still a Princess,” as he presented his Letters of Credence at Buckingham Palace. “Villa Guardamangia played a great role in the life of the late Queen as her only permanent residence outside the UK. Today the villa stands as a tangible memory of the enduring friendship and cooperation between Malta and the UK.”

High Commissioner Mallia arrived in the UK back in November 2021 with his wife Elena and their twin boys, Emmanuel and Nicola. He notes, “Together we have embraced this new chapter of our lives with enthusiasm, welcoming the opportunities for growth and cultural exchange that London has to offer.”

The youngest of five siblings born and raised in Malta, he believes his father's career path – from serving in the Merchant Navy to transitioning into a self-made businessman – instilled in him “qualities of perseverance and willpower. His strength of spirit undoubtedly influenced my own career choice towards the legal profession. My mother's dedicated hands-on role with my siblings and I helped me to grasp the importance of family and its vital role in my upbringing.”

From a young age, the High Commissioner admits he was inclined towards politics and was exposed to regular discourse with political figures. However, he first worked as a lawyer practising criminal law for 44 years. During this time, he “came across people from hugely different backgrounds and rather unique circumstances. The ability to read people and circumstances has proved to be indispensable so far.”

A move into the political sphere soon came about when he was encouraged by the then leader of one of the two main Maltese parties to venture into electoral politics by contesting in two districts. “My passion for political discourse proved useful,” he recalls. “I was elected in both districts, securing the highest number of votes and affirming my commitment to serve the interests of the citizens I was representing.”

Whilst serving as a Member of Parliament at the House of Representatives, High Commissioner Mallia’s chairmanship of the Economic and Financial Affairs Committee was marked by a dynamic list of responsibilities. This included analysis of periodic reports from the Central Bank of Malta and from prominent bodies, such as the as EU auditors in Luxembourg as well as various local financial institutions. “This role gave me the opportunity to delve deeply into a comprehensive understanding of both local and international fiscal landscapes in Europe.”

As chair of the Foreign and European Affairs Committee, he collaborated closely with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, while engaging in regular dialogues on international events spanning a spectrum of issues within global institutions. “This included oversight of events within the EU Parliament and the Council of Europe, where I had the honour of performing the role of head of Malta delegations, and serving as the vice chair of vital committees, notably in the field of legal affairs and human rights.”

He explains that these experiences, coupled with a role as Malta’s Minister for Home Affairs, “have proven to be vital assets to foster significant relationships between Malta, the host country, the UK, the EU and the Commonwealth as well as other counterparts.” He continues: “When I was presented with the offer of High Commissioner, I felt that my career and interests so far could contribute to performing this role. And looking back, I can confirm that they did.”

Aside from his political and diplomatic activities, throughout the years High Commissioner Mallia has been active in sports management. “Aside from being on the executive committee of the Malta Football Association, I was also the President of the Pembroke Basketball Club and President of the Malta Car Racing Association.”

In the UK, High Commissioner Mallia’s primary objective “revolves around strengthening bilateral relations between Malta and the UK and enhancing the friendship between the two countries. Furthermore, another vital aspect of my diplomatic work entails fostering new and established relationships with other heads of mission, leaders of international organisations in London, and top officials and policy makers at the FCDO. Through regular dialogue and engagement, I have sought to fortify diplomatic bonds while advancing Malta’s role on the global stage, advocating our profile as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, and more recently, as the chairperson of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).” He’s also quick to highlight “particular attention given to the needs of Maltese and Gozitans resident in the UK, on holiday or whilst receiving medical treatment in the UK as part of the Malta-UK Reciprocal Health Agreement, who have sought assistance of the High Commission of Malta in London and ensuring their needs are addressed with utmost diligence and care.”

How does he think that the UK-Malta relationship is evolving following Brexit? “While the aftermath of Brexit has undoubtedly prompted a reassessment of the Malta-UK relationship, it has also opened the door for opportunities for strengthening bilateral relations and paving the way for a more robust and resilient partnership.” Against this backdrop of change, he clarifies that “the Malta-UK Cooperation Framework signed last year has become a cornerstone for navigating the complexities of the post-Brexit era. This landmark agreement, spanning key areas such as foreign policy, security and trade, symbolises a shared commitment to deepening collaboration and fostering mutual prosperity. As Malta and the UK embark on this transformative journey, the Bilateral Cooperation Agreement facilitates dialogue, innovation and cooperation across many areas.”

Climate issues are also high on the agenda for the government of Malta. “Malta’s preparations for COP29 in Baku are already in full swing because we believe that climate action begins at home.” Malta recently launched an offshore renewable floating wind energy project that has attracted significant attention from investors as well as a preliminary market consultation for offshore floating solar energy. Although offshore floating wind and solar energy technology is still in its infancy, Malta wishes to lead by example in finding renewable energy sources that are adequate for Small Island States.

With regard to climate action and small island developing states (SIDS), Malta is continuing with its commitments to support capacity building, especially by providing support with water demand management solutions in addition to assisting in the development of a multidimensional vulnerability index to support SIDS.

Whilst engaging bilaterally with several states to support climate initiatives, Malta also recently joined the International Solar Alliance launched by India and France.

High Commissioner Mallia is also keen to focus on Malta’s heavy engagement in multilateral fora. Despite its status as a neutral country, Malta leverages its strategic position to advocate for peace, security and sustainable development on the global stage. Malta’s involvement in the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member allows it to directly contribute to international peacekeeping efforts and shape resolutions on critical issues. Additionally, Malta’s role as chair in office of the OSCE underscores its commitment to promoting dialogue and cooperation among participating states, particularly in areas such as conflict prevention, arms control and human rights. Through these diplomatic channels and others at its disposal, such as the EU and the Commonwealth, Malta continues to play a proactive and significant role in advancing the common interests of the international community, while upholding its principles of neutrality and sovereignty.”