Luxembourg

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
  • Groussherzogtum Lëtzebuerg (
    Luxembourgish)
  • Grand-Duché de Luxembourg (French)
  • Großherzogtum Luxemburg (German
)
Motto: 
"
Location of Luxembourg (dark green) – in Europe (green & dark gray) – in the European Union (green)
Location of Luxembourg (dark green)

– in Europe (green & dark gray)
– in the European Union (green)

Capital
and largest city
Luxembourg[1]
49°48′52″N 06°07′54″E / 49.81444°N 6.13167°E / 49.81444; 6.13167Coordinates: 49°48′52″N 06°07′54″E / 49.81444°N 6.13167°E / 49.81444; 6.13167
Official languages
National languages: Luxembourgish

Administrative languages: Luxembourgish, French and German[a]

Nationality (2017)
Religion
(2018[2])
  • 23.4%
    Deputy Prime Ministers
LegislatureChamber of Deputies
Independence
• from the French Empire and elevation to Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
15 March 1815
• Independence in personal Union with the Netherlands (Treaty of London)
19 April 1839
• Reaffirmation of Independence Treaty of London
11 May 1867
23 November 1890
• Occupation during World War I by the German Empire
1 August 1914
• Liberation from the Greater German Reich
1944 / 1945
• Admitted to the United Nations
24 October 1945
• Founded the EEC[b]
1 January 1958
UTC+1 was adopted as standard time,[1] with a +0:35:24 offset (+1:35:24 during DST) from Luxembourg City's LMT.
Date formatdd.mm.yyyy
Driving sideright
Calling code+352
ISO 3166 codeLU
Internet TLD.lub
  1. Not the same as the
    Het Wilhelmus of the Netherlands.
  2. The .eu domain is also used, as it is shared with other European Union member states.
  3. ^ "Field Listing – Distribution of family income – Gini index". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. Archived from the original
on 13 June 2007. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
Interactive map showing the border of Luxembourg

Luxembourg (

German neighbors; while Luxembourgish is legally the only national language of the Luxembourgish people,[13] French and German are also used in administrative and judicial matters and all three are considered administrative languages of the country.[14]

With an area of 2,586 square kilometers (998 sq mi), Luxembourg is one of the

Grand Duke Henri, making it the world's only remaining sovereign grand duchy
.

Luxembourg is a developed country with an advanced economy and one of the world's highest GDP (PPP) per capita. The city of Luxembourg was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 due to the exceptional preservation of the vast fortifications and historic quarters.[19]

Luxembourg is a founding member of the

Luxembourgish passport fourth in the world, tied with Finland and Italy.[24]

History

Chamber of Deputies, in Luxembourg City

Luxembourg is described as a "

grand duke and the cabinet, which consists of several other ministers.[96] The Constitution of Luxembourg, the supreme law of Luxembourg, was adopted on 17 October 1868.[97] The grand duke has the power to dissolve the legislature, in which case new elections must be held within three months. But since 1919, sovereignty has resided with the nation, exercised by the grand duke in accordance with the Constitution and the law.[98]

Legislative power is vested in the

constituencies. A second body, the Council of State (Conseil d'État), composed of 21 ordinary citizens appointed by the grand duke, advises the Chamber of Deputies in the drafting of legislation.[99]

Luxembourg has three lower tribunals (justices de paix; in

Superior Court of Justice
(Luxembourg), which includes the Court of Appeal and the Court of Cassation. There is also an Administrative Tribunal and an Administrative Court, as well as a Constitutional Court, all of which are located in the capital.

Administrative divisions

Luxembourg is divided into 12

city status; the city of Luxembourg is the largest.[101]

Partitions and Cantons of Luxembourg
Wiltz
(12)

Foreign relations

Luxembourg has long been a prominent supporter of European political and

Benelux Economic Union and was one of the founding members of the European Economic Community (now the European Union). It also participates in the Schengen Group (named after the Luxembourg village of Schengen where the agreements were signed).[22] At the same time, the majority of Luxembourgers have consistently believed that European unity makes sense only in the context of a dynamic transatlantic relationship, and thus have traditionally pursued a pro-NATO, pro-US foreign policy.[citation needed
]

Luxembourg is the site of the Court of Justice of the European Union, the European Court of Auditors, the Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat) and other vital EU organs. The Secretariat of the European Parliament is located in Luxembourg, but the Parliament usually meets in Brussels and sometimes in Strasbourg.[102]

Military

The Luxembourgish army is mostly based in its casern, the Centre militaire Caserne Grand-Duc Jean on the Härebierg in Diekirch. The general staff is based in the capital, the État-Major.

Minister for Defense, François Bausch, oversees army operations. The professional head of the army is the Chief of Defense
, who answers to the minister and holds the rank of general.

Being landlocked, Luxembourg has no navy. Seventeen NATO

A400M military cargo plane.[105]

Luxembourg has participated in the

Kurds and providing emergency supplies to Albania.[106]

Geography

Luxembourg is one of Europe's smallest countries, ranking

167th in size of the 194 independent countries of the world; it is about 2,586 square kilometers (998 sq mi) in size, and measures 82 km (51 mi) long and 57 km (35 mi) wide. It lies between latitudes 49° and 51° N, and longitudes and 7° E.[107]

Typical Luxembourg countryside near Alscheid

To the east, Luxembourg borders the German Bundesländer of Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland, and to the south, it borders the French région of Grand Est (Lorraine). The Grand Duchy borders Belgium's Wallonia, in particular the Belgian provinces of Luxembourg and Liège, part of which comprises the German-speaking Community of Belgium, to the west and to the north, respectively.

The northern third of the country is known as the Oesling, and forms part of the Ardennes. It is dominated by hills and low mountains, including the Kneiff near Wilwerdange,[108] which is the highest point, at 560 meters (1,840 ft). Other mountains are the Buurgplaatz at 559 meters (1,834 ft) near Huldange and the Napoléonsgaard at 554 meters (1,818 ft) near Rambrouch. The region is sparsely populated, with only one town (Wiltz) with a population of more than four thousand people.

The southern two-thirds of the country is called the

Moselle valley is the lowest-lying region, running along the southeastern border. The Red Lands
, in the far south and southwest, are Luxembourg's industrial heartland and home to many of Luxembourg's largest towns.

The border between Luxembourg and Germany is formed by three rivers: the

of the mid-Sauer and Attert form the border between the Gutland and the Oesling.

Environment

According to the 2012

GHG emissions by 55% in 10 years and reach zero emissions by 2050. Luxemburg wants to increase its organic farming fivefold.[112] It had a 2019 Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 1.12/10, ranking it 164th globally out of 172 countries.[113]

Climate

Luxembourg has an oceanic climate (Köppen: Cfb), marked by high precipitation, particularly in late summer. The summers are warm and winters cool.[114]

Economy

Luxembourg is part of the Schengen Area, the EU single market, and the Eurozone
(dark blue).

Luxembourg's stable and high-income

The industrial sector, dominated by steel until the 1960s, has since diversified to include chemicals, rubber, and other products. During recent decades, growth in the financial sector has more than compensated for the decline in

3D scanner developer/manufacturer Artec 3D.[citation needed
]

In April 2009, concern about Luxembourg's banking secrecy laws, as well as its reputation as a tax haven, led to its being added to a "gray list" of nations with questionable banking arrangements by the G20. In response, the country soon adopted OECD standards on exchange of information and was subsequently added into the category of "jurisdictions that have substantially implemented the internationally agreed tax standard".[122][123] In March 2010, the Sunday Telegraph reported that most of Kim Jong-Il's $4 billion in secret accounts was in Luxembourg banks.[124] Amazon.co.uk also benefits from Luxembourg tax loopholes by channeling substantial U.K. revenues, as reported by The Guardian in April 2012.[125] Luxembourg ranked third on the Tax Justice Network's 2011 Financial Secrecy Index of the world's major tax havens, scoring only slightly behind the Cayman Islands.[126] In 2013, Luxembourg was ranked the 2nd safest tax haven in the world, behind Switzerland.

In early November 2014, just days after becoming head of the

Luxembourg Leaks—that Luxembourg had turned into a major European center of corporate tax avoidance under his premiership.[127]

Agriculture employed about 2.1% of Luxembourg's active population in 2010, when there were 2200 agricultural holdings with an average area per holding of 60 hectares.[128]

Luxembourg has especially close trade and financial ties to Belgium and the Netherlands (see Benelux), and as a member of the EU it enjoys the advantages of the open European market.[129]

With $171 billion in May 2015, the country ranked 11th in the world in holdings of

U.S. Treasury securities.[130] However, securities owned by non-Luxembourg residents, but held in custodial accounts in Luxembourg, are included in this figure.[131]

As of 2019[update], Luxembourg's public debt totaled $15,687,000,000, or $25,554 per capita. The debt to GDP was 22.10%.[132]

The Luxembourg labor market represents 445,000 jobs occupied by 120,000 Luxembourgers, 120,000 foreign residents and 205,000 cross-border commuters. The latter pay their taxes in Luxembourg, but their education and social rights are the responsibility of their country of residence. The same applies to pensioners. Luxembourg's government has never shared its tax revenues with the local authorities on the French border. This system is seen as one of the keys to Luxembourg's economic growth, but at the expense of the border countries.[133]

Transport

Luxembourg's international airline Luxair is based at Luxembourg Airport
, the country's only international airport.

Luxembourg has road, rail and air transport facilities and services. The road network has been significantly modernized in recent years with 165 km (103 mi)

light-rail lines in adjacent areas within the next few years.[136]

There are 681 cars per 1000 persons in Luxembourg—higher than most of other states, and surpassed by the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, and other small states like Principality of Monaco, San Marino, Liechtenstein, the British overseas territory of Gibraltar, and Brunei.[137]

On 29 February 2020, Luxembourg became the first country to introduce no-charge public transportation, which will be almost completely funded by public expenditure.[138]

Communications

The telecommunications industry in Luxembourg is liberalized and the electronic communications networks are significantly developed. Competition between the different operators is guaranteed by the legislative framework Paquet Telecom[139] of the Government of 2011 which transposes the European Telecom Directives into Luxembourgish law. This encourages the investment in networks and services. The regulator ILR – Institut Luxembourgeois de Régulation[140] ensures the compliance to these legal rules.[citation needed]

Luxembourg has modern and widely deployed optical fiber and cable networks throughout the country. In 2010, the Luxembourg Government launched its National strategy for very high-speed networks with the aim to become a global leader in terms of very high-speed broadband by achieving full 1 Gbit/s coverage of the country by 2020.

NGA coverage of 75%.[142] In April 2013 Luxembourg featured the 6th highest download speed worldwide and the 2nd highest in Europe: 32,46 Mbit/s.[143] The country's location in Central Europe, stable economy and low taxes favour the telecommunication industry.[144][145][146]

It ranks 2nd in the world in the development of the Information and Communication Technologies in the ITU ICT Development Index and 8th in the Global Broadband Quality Study 2009 by the University of Oxford and the University of Oviedo.[147][148][149][150]

Signs in front of the Centre Drosbach on the Cloche d'or, in the city of Luxembourg

Luxembourg is connected to all major European Internet Exchanges (AMS-IX Amsterdam,

financial technology (FinTech) hubs in Europe, with the Luxembourg government supporting initiatives like the Luxembourg House of Financial Technology.[163]

Some 20 data centers[164][165][166] are operating in Luxembourg. Six data centers are Tier IV Design certified: three of ebrc,[167] two of LuxConnect[168][169] and one of European Data Hub.[170] In a survey on nine international data centers carried out in December 2012 and January 2013 and measuring availability (up-time) and performance (delay by which the data from the requested website was received), the top three positions were held by Luxembourg data centers.[171][172]

Demographics

Largest towns

 
 
Largest cities or towns in Luxembourg
2021
Rank
Name
Canton Pop.
1 Luxembourg
Luxembourg Canton
124,509
2 Esch-sur-Alzette
Esch-sur-Alzette Canton
36,228
3 Differdange
Esch-sur-Alzette Canton
27,869
4 Dudelange
Esch-sur-Alzette Canton
21,513
5 Pétange
Esch-sur-Alzette Canton
20,084
6 Sanem
Esch-sur-Alzette Canton
17,895
7 Hesperange
Luxembourg Canton
15,657
8 Bettembourg
Esch-sur-Alzette Canton
11,374
9 Schifflange
Esch-sur-Alzette Canton
11,291
10 Käerjeng
Capellen Canton
10,517
Population density in Luxembourg by communes. The main urban area, Luxembourg City
, is located in the south-center of the country

Ethnicity

Largest groups of immigrants:[173]
  1. Portugal Portugal (100,460)
  2. France France (38,384)
  3. Italy Italy (21,877)
  4. Belgium Belgium (21,008)
  5. Germany Germany (15,056)
  6. Montenegro Montenegro (9,065)
  7. United Kingdom United Kingdom (6,946)
  8. Serbia Serbia (6,282)
  9. Netherlands Netherlands (4,734)
  10. Spain Spain (4,241)

The people of Luxembourg are called Luxembourgers.[174] The immigrant population increased in the 20th century due to the arrival of immigrants from Belgium, France, Italy, Germany, and Portugal; the latter comprised the largest group. In 2013 about 88,000 Luxembourg inhabitants possessed Portuguese nationality.[175] In 2013, there were 537,039 permanent residents, 44.5% of which were of foreign background or foreign nationals; the largest foreign ethnic groups were the Portuguese, comprising 16.4% of the total population, followed by the French (6.6%), Italians (3.4%), Belgians (3.3%) and Germans (2.3%). Another 6.4% were of other EU background, while the remaining 6.1% were of other non-EU, but largely other European, background.[176]

Since the beginning of the

Yugoslav wars, Luxembourg has seen many immigrants from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Serbia. Annually, over 10,000 new immigrants arrive in Luxembourg, mostly from the EU states, as well as Eastern Europe. In 2000 there were 162,000 immigrants in Luxembourg, accounting for 37% of the total population. There were an estimated 5,000 illegal immigrants in Luxembourg in 1999.[177]

Language

Luxembourg franc
in two of the country's three languages: French (obverse, left) and Luxembourgish (reverse, right)

As determined by law since 1984, Luxembourg has only one

High German, but which also includes more than 5,000 words of French origin.[179][180] Knowledge of Luxembourgish is a criterion for naturalisation.[181]

In addition to Luxembourgish,

administrative languages of Luxembourg.[182] Per article 4 of the law promulgated in 1984, if a citizen asks a question in Luxembourgish, German or French, the administration must reply, as far as possible, in the language in which the question was asked.[183]

Luxembourg is largely multilingual: as of 2012[update], 52% of citizens claimed Luxembourgish as their native language, 16.4% Portuguese, 16% French, 2% German and 13.6% different languages (mostly English, Italian or Spanish).[184][185] Even though French was the mother tongue of only 16% of residents in Luxembourg (placing 3rd), 98% of its citizens were able to speak it to a high level.[186] The vast majority of Luxembourg residents are able to speak it as a second or third language.[187] As of 2018, much of the population was able to speak multiple other languages: 80% of citizens reported being able to hold a conversation in English, 78% in German and 77% in Luxembourgish, claiming these languages as their respective second, third or fourth language.[186]

Each of the three official languages is used as a primary language in certain spheres of everyday life, without being exclusive. Luxembourgish is the language that Luxembourgers generally use to speak and write to each other, and there has been a recent increase in the production of novels and movies in the language; at the same time, the numerous expatriate workers (approximately 44% of the population) generally do not use it to speak to each other.[188]

Most official business and written communication is carried out in French, which is also the language mostly used for public communication, with written official statements, advertising displays and road signs generally in French. Due to the historical influence of the Napoleonic Code on the legal system of the Grand Duchy, French is also the sole language of the legislation and generally the preferred language of the government, administration and justice. Parliamentary debates are mostly conducted in Luxembourgish, whereas written government communications and official documents (e.g. administrative or judicial decisions, passports, etc.) are drafted mostly in French and sometimes additionally in German.[citation needed]

Although professional life is largely multilingual, French is described by private sector business leaders as the main working language of their companies (56%), followed by Luxembourgish (20%), English (18%), and German (6%).[189]

German is very often used in much of the media along with French and is considered by most Luxembourgers their second language. This is mostly due to the high similarity of German to Luxembourgish but also because it is the first language taught to children in primary school (language of literacy acquisition).[190]

Due to the large community of Portuguese origin, the Portuguese language is fairly prevalent in Luxembourg, though it remains limited to the relationships inside this community. Portuguese has no official status, but the administration sometimes makes certain informative documents available in Portuguese.[citation needed]

Even though Luxembourg is largely multilingual today, some people claim that Luxembourg is subject of intense francization and that Luxembourgish and German are in danger of disappearing in the country, making Luxembourg either a unilingual Francophone country, or at best a bilingual French- and English-speaking country sometime in the far future.[191][192][187]

Religion

Luxembourg is a

Mennonitism, and Islam.[193]

Since 1980, it has been illegal for the government to collect statistics on religious beliefs or practices.[194] A 2000 estimate by the CIA Factbook is that 87% of Luxembourgers are Catholic, including the grand ducal family, with the remaining 13% being Protestants, Orthodox Christians, Jews, Muslims, and those of other or no religion.[195] According to a 2010 Pew Research Center study, 70.4% are Christian, 2.3% Muslim, 26.8% unaffiliated, and 0.5% other religions.[196]

According to a 2005 Eurobarometer poll,[197] 44% of Luxembourg citizens responded that "they believe there is a God", whereas 28% answered that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force", and 22% that "they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, god, or life force".

Education

Luxembourg's education system is trilingual: the first years of primary school are in Luxembourgish, before changing to German; while in secondary school, the language of instruction changes to French.[198] Proficiency in all three languages is required for graduation from secondary school, but half the students leave school without a certified qualification, with the children of immigrants being particularly disadvantaged.[199] In addition to the three national languages, English is taught in compulsory schooling and much of the population of Luxembourg can speak English. The past two decades have highlighted the growing importance of English in several sectors, in particular the financial sector. Portuguese, the language of the largest immigrant community, is also spoken by large segments of the population, but by relatively few from outside the Portuguese-speaking community.[200]

The University of Luxembourg is the only university based in Luxembourg. In 2014, Luxembourg School of Business, a graduate business school, has been created through private initiative and has received the accreditation from the Ministry of Higher Education and Research of Luxembourg in 2017.[201][202] Two American universities maintain satellite campuses in the country, Miami University (Dolibois European Center) and Sacred Heart University (Luxembourg Campus).[203]

Health

According to data from the World Health Organization, healthcare spending on behalf of the government of Luxembourg topped $4.1 Billion, amounting to about $8,182 for each citizen in the nation.[204][205] The nation of Luxembourg collectively spent nearly 7% of its Gross Domestic Product on health, placing it among the highest spending countries on health services and related programs in 2010 among other well-off nations in Europe with high average income among its population.[206]

Culture

Luxembourg has been overshadowed by the culture of its neighbors. It retains a number of folk traditions, having been for much of its history a profoundly rural country. There are several notable museums, located mostly in the capital. These include the

World Heritage List, on account of the historical importance of its fortifications.[207][unreliable source?
]

The country has produced some internationally known artists, including the painters Théo Kerg, Joseph Kutter and Michel Majerus, and photographer Edward Steichen, whose The Family of Man exhibition has been placed on UNESCO's Memory of the World register, and is now permanently housed in Clervaux. Editor and author Hugo Gernsback, whose publications crystallized the concept of science fiction, was born in Luxembourg City. Movie star Loretta Young was of Luxembourgish descent.[208]

Luxembourg was a founding participant of the Eurovision Song Contest, and participated every year between 1956 and 1993, with the exception of 1959. It won the competition a total of five times, 1961, 1965, 1972, 1973 and 1983 and hosted the contest in 1962, 1966, 1973, and 1984, but only nine of its 38 entries were performed by Luxembourgish artists.[209]

Luxembourg was the first city to be named European Capital of Culture twice. The first time was in 1995. In 2007, the European Capital of Culture[210] was to be a cross-border area consisting of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Rheinland-Pfalz and Saarland in Germany, the Walloon Region and the German-speaking part of Belgium, and the Lorraine area in France. The event was an attempt to promote mobility and the exchange of ideas, crossing borders physically, psychologically, artistically and emotionally.[citation needed]

Luxembourg was represented at the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, China, from 1 May to 31 October 2010 with its own pavilion.[211][212] The pavilion was based on the transliteration of the word Luxembourg into Chinese, "Lu Sen Bao", which means "Forest and Fortress". It represented Luxembourg as the "Green Heart in Europe".[213]

Sports

Charly Gaul won three Grand Tours
in his cycling career.

Unlike most countries in Europe, sports in Luxembourg are not concentrated upon a particular

handball, gymnastics, and volleyball, including the final of the 2007 Women's European Volleyball Championship.[216]

Cuisine

Judd mat Gaardebounen, served with boiled potatoes and Diekirch
beer

Luxembourg cuisine reflects its position on the border between the Latin and Germanic worlds, being heavily influenced by the cuisines of neighboring France and Germany. More recently,[when?] it has been enriched by its many Italian and Portuguese immigrants.[citation needed]

Most native Luxembourg dishes, consumed as the traditional daily fare, share roots in the country's folk dishes, the same as in neighboring Germany.[citation needed]

Luxembourg sells the most alcohol in Europe per capita.[217] However, the large proportion of alcohol purchased by customers from neighboring countries contributes to the statistically high level of alcohol sales per capita; this level of alcohol sales is thus not representative of the actual alcohol consumption of the Luxembourg population.[218]

Luxembourg has the second highest number of Michelin-starred restaurants per capita with Japan ranked at number one and Switzerland following Luxembourg at number three.[219]

Media

The main languages of media in Luxembourg are French and German. The newspaper with the largest circulation is the German-language daily Luxemburger Wort.[220] Because of the strong multilingualism in Luxembourg, newspapers often alternate articles in French and articles in German, without translation. In addition, there are both English and Portuguese radio and national print publications, but accurate audience figures are difficult to gauge since the national media survey by ILRES is conducted in French.[221]

Luxembourg is known in Europe for its radio and television stations (

Radio Luxembourg and RTL Group). It is also the uplink home of SES, carrier of major European satellite services for Germany and Britain.[222]

Due to a 1988 law that established a special tax scheme for audiovisual investment, the film and co-production in Luxembourg has grown steadily.[223] There are some 30 registered production companies in Luxembourg.[224][225]

Luxembourg won an

Animated Short Films category with Mr Hublot.[226]

Notable Luxembourgers

See also

References

Informational notes

  1. ^ "as determined by the law of 24.02.1984".
  2. ^ European Union since 1993.
  3. Luxembourgish: Groussherzogtum Lëtzebuerg [ˈɡʀəʊ̯shɛχtsoːχtum ˈlətsəbuəɕ]; French: Grand-Duché de Luxembourg [ɡʁɑ̃ dyʃe də lyksɑ̃buʁ]; German: Großherzogtum Luxemburg [ˈɡʁoːshɛʁtsoːktuːm ˈlʊksm̩bʊʁk]

Citations

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Works cited

Further reading

External links