The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, a landlocked area nestled among Belgium, France, and Germany, is one of the smallest countries in Europe.
Its citizens are cautious, conservative, hard working people who welcome foreigners to their land. Almost one-third of the population is foreign. Newcomers are attracted by its low unemployment, high standard of living and extensive social welfare system.
Government and Politics
The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is a parliamentary democracy with a constitutional monarch. The monarch, or Grand Duke, appoints the Prime Minister and has the authority to approve all bills passed by the legislative body. The Prime Minister, who is the leader of the dominant party in parliament, is the head of government. He and his Council of Ministers exercise executive power.
The legislature, the Chamber of Deputies, is a directly elected body of 60 seats. Its legislative bills are submitted for approval to the Council of State, whose members are appointed for 15 years (or until the age of 72) by the Grand Duke. Action by the Council of State can be overridden by the Chamber of Deputies. Luxembourg's legal system is based on French and Belgian civil law and the Napoleonic Code. The judiciary is independent.
No single party dominates politics in Luxembourg, making coalitions necessary for government. The largest party is the Christian Social People's Party (CSV), a conservative, pro-Europe party which holds 24 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.
Luxembourg has a robust economy, characterized by moderate growth and low inflation and unemployment. It has the highest per capita income in the European Union, EU. Formerly dependent on the iron and steel industries, it is now a major international finance, insurance, and communications center. Location and strict bank secrecy laws make it attractive as a European banking center.