Malta is a small and densely populated island nation comprising an archipelago of seven islands in the Mediterranean Sea. A country of Southern Europe, Malta lies south of Sicily, east of Tunisia, and north of Libya. The country's official languages are Maltese and English. Roman Catholicism is the most practised religion. The islands constituting the Maltese nation have been ruled by various powers and fought over for centuries, most recently the United Kingdom. Malta is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. It has been a member state of the European Union (EU) since 2004 and it is currently the smallest EU country in both population and area.