Malta is a southern European country and consists of an archipelago. It is situated centrally in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Sicily, Italy. Malta's geographic position between the European Union region and Africa makes it a target for immigration. The government system is a republic; the chief of state is the president, and the head of government is the prime minister. Malta has a mixed economic system which includes a variety of private freedom, combined with centralized economic planning and government regulation. Malta is a member of the European Union (EU).