As noted above, Malta has not developed an explicit WGA for responding to international crises. However, the fact that some official documents refer to a WGA indicates that this concept is not entirely unknown in the public service. For example, an Armed Forces of Malta strategy paper covering the 2016–2026 period (AFM 2016: 6) says: “While a significant institution in its own right, the Armed Forces of Malta does not act in isolation. It contributes to the whole-of-government approach that is required to address the serious security challenges being faced in today’s world.” A WGA is also mentioned in passing in other official documents, such as the 2018–2020 strategy of the Malta Information Technology Agency, which discusses a “One-Government” approach (MITA 2017: 17) and then goes on to define “One-Government or Whole of Government” as “An integrated approach to public service delivery moving away from an isolated silo approach” (ibid.: 56). Furthermore, in the last two decades (and mostly as a result of EU membership), the culture of Maltese public affairs has increasingly avoided the silo mentality, which separates key aspects of decision-making into compartments that hardly communicate with each other. Indeed, by now, an ‘inter-ministerial’ approach to confronting multi-dimensional issues that touch on several policy areas has become well established within the Maltese public service.
In the absence of an explicit WGA policy, one can look for signs of an implicit one by assessing whether the authorities and national decision-makers understand the need for and efficacy of a WGA. In international affairs, Maltese decision-makers appreciate the importance of leaning on a varied array of policies in sequence or all together in a coordinated approach. Malta participates in several peacekeeping missions aiming to stabilise crisis situations. While prioritising CSDP missions (see Fiott 2015), it has committed less to the UN, the Partnership for Peace (PfP) and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) (Cauchi Inglott 2018). However, this does not imply that it is unaware of the other non-military tools (e.g. development policy and humanitarian aid) that are required to properly respond to and manage international crises.