Luxembourg

Introduction Founded in 963, Luxembourg became a grand duchy in 1815 and an independent state under the Netherlands. It lost more than half of its territory to Belgium in 1839, but gained a larger measure of autonomy. Full independence was attained in 1867. Overrun by Germany in both World Wars, it ended its neutrality in 1948 when it entered into the Benelux Customs Union and when it joined NATO the following year. In 1957, Luxembourg became one of the six founding countries of the European Economic Community (later the European Union), and in 1999 it joined the euro currency area.
History

The recorded history of Luxembourg begins with the acquisition of Lucilinburhuc (today Luxembourg Castle) by Siegfried, Count of Ardennes in 963. Around this fort, a town gradually developed, which became the centre of a small state of great strategic value. In 1437, the House of Luxembourg suffered a succession crisis, precipitated by the lack of a male heir to assume the throne, that led to the territory being sold to Philip the Good of Burgundy.[3] In the following centuries, Luxembourg's fortress was steadily enlarged and strengthened by its successive occupants, the Bourbons, Habsburgs, Hohenzollerns, and the French, among others. After the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, Luxembourg was disputed between Prussia and the Netherlands. The Congress of Vienna formed Luxembourg as a Grand Duchy in personal union with the Netherlands. Luxembourg also became a member of the German Confederation, with a Confederate fortress manned by Prussian troops.

The Belgian Revolution of 1830–1839 reduced Luxembourg's territory by more than half, as the predominantly francophone western part of the country was transferred to Belgium. Luxembourg's independence was reaffirmed by the 1839 First Treaty of London. In the same year, Luxembourg joined the Zollverein. Luxembourg's independence and neutrality were again affirmed by the 1867 Second Treaty of London, after the Luxembourg Crisis nearly led to war between Prussia and France. After the latter conflict, the Confederate fortress was dismantled.

The King of the Netherlands remained Head of State as Grand Duke of Luxembourg, maintaining personal union between the two countries until 1890. At the death of William III, the Dutch throne passed to his daughter Wilhelmina, while Luxembourg (at that time restricted to male heirs by the Nassau Family Pact) passed to Adolph of Nassau-Weilburg.

Luxembourg was invaded and occupied by Germany during the First World War, but was allowed to maintain its independence and political mechanisms. It was again invaded and subject to German occupation in the Second World War in 1940, and was formally annexed into the Third Reich in 1942.

During World War II, Luxembourg abandoned its policy of neutrality, when it joined the Allies in fighting Germany. Its government, exiled to London, set up a small group of volunteers who participated in the Normandy invasion. It became a founding member of the United Nations in 1946, and of NATO in 1949. In 1957, Luxembourg became one of the six founding countries of the European Economic Community (later the European Union), and, in 1999, it joined the euro currency area. In 2005, a referendum on the EU treaty establishing a constitution for Europe was held in Luxembourg.

Geography Location: Western Europe, between France and Germany
Geographic coordinates: 49 45 N, 6 10 E
Map references: Europe
Area: total: 2,586 sq km
land: 2,586 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Rhode Island
Land boundaries: total: 359 km
border countries: Belgium 148 km, France 73 km, Germany 138 km
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims: none (landlocked)
Climate: modified continental with mild winters, cool summers
Terrain: mostly gently rolling uplands with broad, shallow valleys; uplands to slightly mountainous in the north; steep slope down to Moselle flood plain in the southeast
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Moselle River 133 m
highest point: Buurgplaatz 559 m
Natural resources: iron ore (no longer exploited), arable land
Land use: arable land: 27.42%
permanent crops: 0.69%
other: 71.89% (includes Belgium) (2005)
Irrigated land: NA
Total renewable water resources: 1.6 cu km (2005)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural): total: 0.06 cu km/yr (42%/45%/13%)
per capita: 121 cu m/yr (1999)
Natural hazards: NA
Environment - current issues: air and water pollution in urban areas, soil pollution of farmland
Environment - international agreements: party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification
Geography - note: landlocked; the only Grand Duchy in the world
Politics

Luxembourg is a parliamentary democracy headed by a constitutional monarch. Under the constitution of 1868, executive power is exercised by the Governor and the cabinet, which consists of several other ministers. The Governor has the power to dissolve the legislature and reinstate a new one, as long as the Governor has judicial approval. However, since 1919, sovereignty has resided with the Supreme Court.

Legislative power is vested in the Chamber of Deputies, a unicameral legislature of sixty members, who are directly elected to five-year terms from four constituencies. A second body, the Council of State (Conseil d'État), composed of twenty-one ordinary citizens appointed by the Grand Duke, advises the Chamber of Deputies in the drafting of legislation.

The Grand Duchy has three lower tribunals (justices de paix; in Esch-sur-Alzette, the city of Luxembourg, and Diekirch), two district tribunals (Luxembourg and Diekirch) and a 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.

People Population: 486,006 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 18.6% (male 46,729/female 43,889)
15-64 years: 66.6% (male 163,356/female 160,425)
65 years and over: 14.7% (male 29,206/female 42,401) (2008 est.)
Median age: total: 39 years
male: 38 years
female: 40 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.188% (2008 est.)
Birth rate: 11.77 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate: 8.43 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate: 8.54 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2008 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 4.62 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 4.62 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4.62 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 79.18 years
male: 75.91 years
female: 82.67 years (2008 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.78 children born/woman (2008 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.2% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: less than 500 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: less than 100 (2003 est.)
Nationality: noun: Luxembourger(s)
adjective: Luxembourg
Ethnic groups: Celtic base (with French and German blend), Portuguese, Italian, Slavs (from Montenegro, Albania, and Kosovo) and European (guest and resident workers)
Religions: Roman Catholic 87%, other (includes Protestant, Jewish, and Muslim) 13% (2000)
Languages: Luxembourgish (national language), German (administrative language), French (administrative language)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 100%
male: 100%
female: 100% (2000 est.)
Government Country name: conventional long form: Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
conventional short form: Luxembourg
local long form: Grand Duche de Luxembourg
local short form: Luxembourg
Government type: constitutional monarchy
Capital: name: Luxembourg
geographic coordinates: 49 36 N, 6 07 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions: 3 districts; Diekirch, Grevenmacher, Luxembourg
Independence: 1839 (from the Netherlands)
National holiday: National Day (Birthday of Grand Duchess Charlotte) 23 June; note - the actual date of birth was 23 January 1896, but the festivities were shifted by five months to allow observance during a more favorable time of year
Constitution: 17 October 1868; occasional revisions
Legal system: based on civil law system; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal and compulsory
Executive branch: chief of state: Grand Duke HENRI (since 7 October 2000); Heir Apparent Prince GUILLAUME (son of the monarch)
head of government: Prime Minister Jean-Claude JUNCKER (since 20 January 1995); Deputy Prime Minister Jean ASSELBORN (since 31 July 2004)
cabinet: Council of Ministers recommended by the prime minister and appointed by the monarch
elections: the monarch is hereditary; following popular elections to the Chamber of Deputies, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the monarch; the deputy prime minister is appointed by the monarch; they are responsible to the Chamber of Deputies
note: government coalition - CSV and LSAP
Legislative branch: unicameral Chamber of Deputies or Chambre des Deputes (60 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 13 June 2004 (next to be held by June 2009)
election results: percent of vote by party - CSV 36.1%, LSAP 23.4%, DP 16.1%, Green Party 11.6%, ADR 10%, other 2.8%; seats by party - CSV 24, LSAP 14, DP 10, Green Party 7, ADR 5
note: there is also a Council of State that serves as an advisory body to the Chamber of Deputies; the Council of State has 21 members appointed by the Grand Duke on the advice of the prime minister
Judicial branch: judicial courts and tribunals (3 Justices of the Peace, 2 district courts, and 1 Supreme Court of Appeals); administrative courts and tribunals (State Prosecutor's Office, administrative courts and tribunals, and the Constitutional Court); judges for all courts are appointed for life by the monarch
Political parties and leaders: Alternative Democratic Reform Party or ADR [Robert MENLEN]; Christian Social People's Party or CSV [Francois BILTGEN] (also known as Christian Social Party or PCS); Democratic Party or DP [Claude MEISCH]; Green Party [Francois BAUSCH]; Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party or LSAP [Alex BODRY]; dei Lenk/la Gauche (the Left); other minor parties
Political pressure groups and leaders: ABBL (bankers' association); ALEBA (financial sector trade union); Centrale Paysanne (federation of agricultural producers); CEP (professional sector chamber); CGFP (trade union representing civil service); Chambre de Commerce (Chamber of Commerce); Chambre des Metiers (Chamber of Artisans); FEDIL (federation of industrialists); Greenpeace (environment protection); LCGP (center-right trade union); Mouvement Ecologique (protection of ecology); OGBL (center-left trade union)
International organization participation: ACCT, ADB (nonregional members), Australia Group, Benelux, CE, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNRWA, UPU, WCL, WCO, WEU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Joseph WEYLAND
chancery: 2200 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 265-4171/72
FAX: [1] (202) 328-8270
consulate(s) general: New York, San Francisco
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Ann WAGNER
embassy: 22 Boulevard Emmanuel Servais, L-2535 Luxembourg City
mailing address: American Embassy Luxembourg, Unit 1410, APO AE 09126-1410 (official mail); American Embassy Luxembourg, PSC 9, Box 9500, APO AE 09123 (personal mail)
telephone: [352] 46 01 23
FAX: [352] 46 14 01
Flag description: three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and light blue; similar to the flag of the Netherlands, which uses a darker blue and is shorter; design was based on the flag of France
Culture

Luxembourg has been overshadowed by the culture of its neighbors, although, having been for much of its history a profoundly rural country, it retains a number of folk traditions. There are several notable museums, mostly located in the capital; these include the National Museum of History and Art (MNHA), the History Museum of the City of Luxembourg, and the new Grand Duke Jean Museum of Modern Art (Mudam). The National Museum of Military History (MNHM) in Diekirch is especially known for its representations of the Battle of the Bulge. The city of Luxembourg itself is on the UNESCO World Heritage List, on account of the historical importance of its fortifications.

The country has produced some internationally known artists, including the painters Joseph Kutter and Michel Majerus, as well as the photographer Edward Steichen. Steichen's The Family of Man exhibition is now permanently housed in Clervaux, and it has been placed on UNESCO's Memory of the World register.

Luxembourg is the first city to be named European Capital of Culture for the second time. The first time was in 1995. In 2007, the European Capital of Culture will 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 will promote mobility and the exchange of ideas, crossing borders in all areas, physical, psychological, artistic and emotional.

Economy Economy - overview: This stable, high-income economy - benefiting from its proximity to France, Belgium, and Germany - features solid growth, low inflation, and low unemployment. The industrial sector, initially dominated by steel, has become increasingly diversified to include chemicals, rubber, and other products. Growth in the financial sector, which now accounts for about 28% of GDP, has more than compensated for the decline in steel. Most banks are foreign-owned and have extensive foreign dealings. Agriculture is based on small family-owned farms. The economy depends on foreign and cross-border workers for about 60% of its labor force. Although Luxembourg, like all EU members, suffered from the global economic slump in the early part of this decade, the country continues to enjoy an extraordinarily high standard of living - GDP per capita ranks first in the world. After two years of strong economic growth in 2006-07, Luxembourg's economy probably will slow in 2008 as a result of turmoil in the world financial markets, but growth will remain above the European average.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $38.79 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $47.65 billion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 5% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $80,800 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 1%
industry: 13%
services: 86% (2005 est.)
Labor force: 205,000 of whom 121,600 are foreign cross-border workers commuting primarily from France, Belgium, and Germany (2007 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 1%
industry: 13%
services: 86% (2004 est.)
Unemployment rate: 4.4% (2007 est.)
Population below poverty line: NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 3.5%
highest 10%: 23.8% (2000)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 26 (2005)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.1% (2007 est.)
Investment (gross fixed): 17.5% of GDP (2007 est.)
Budget: revenues: $14.29 billion
expenditures: $13.92 billion (2007 est.)
Public debt: 2.6% of GDP (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products: wine, grapes, barley, oats, potatoes, wheat, fruits; dairy products, livestock products
Industries: banking and financial services, iron and steel, information technology, telecommunications, cargo transportation, food processing, chemicals, metal products, engineering, tires, glass, aluminum, tourism
Industrial production growth rate: 4.3% (2006 est.)
Electricity - production: 3.156 billion kWh (2005 est.)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 57.3%
hydro: 25.2%
nuclear: 0%
other: 17.5% (2001)
Electricity - consumption: 6.315 billion kWh (2005 est.)
Electricity - exports: 3.131 billion kWh (2005 est.)
Electricity - imports: 6.392 billion kWh (2005 est.)
Oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - consumption: 64,020 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - exports: 283 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports: 61,070 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 1.356 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 1.356 billion cu m (2005)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance: $11.3 billion (2007 est.)
Exports: $19.58 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports - commodities: machinery and equipment, steel products, chemicals, rubber products, glass
Exports - partners: Germany 19.3%, France 15.5%, Italy 9.5%, UK 9.5%, Belgium 8.8%, Spain 5.3%, Netherlands 4.5% (2006)
Imports: $26.85 billion c.i.f. (2007 est.)
Imports - commodities: minerals, metals, foodstuffs, quality consumer goods
Imports - partners: Belgium 26.3%, Germany 20.1%, China 16.7%, France 8.5%, UK 5.5%, Netherlands 4.2% (2006)
Economic aid - donor: ODA, $291 million (2006)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $265.1 million (2006 est.)
Debt - external: $NA
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $NA
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $NA
Market value of publicly traded shares: $79.4 billion (2006)
Currency (code): euro (EUR)
Currency code: EUR
Exchange rates: euros per US dollar - 0.7345 (2007), 0.7964 (2006), 0.8041 (2005), 0.8054 (2004), 0.886 (2003)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Communications Telephones - main lines in use: 246,700 (2006)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 713,800 (2006)
Telephone system: general assessment: highly developed, completely automated and efficient system, mainly buried cables
domestic: nationwide cellular telephone system; market for mobile-cellular phones is virtually saturated with roughly 150 cellular phones per 100 persons
international: country code - 352
Radio broadcast stations: AM 2, FM 9, shortwave 2 (1999)
Radios: 285,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 5 (1999)
Televisions: 285,000 (1998 est.)
Internet country code: .lu
Internet hosts: 132,090 (2007)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 8 (2000)
Internet users: 339,000 (2006)
Transportation Airports: 2 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 1
over 3,047 m: 1 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2007)
Heliports: 1 (2007)
Pipelines: gas 155 km (2007)
Railways: total: 275 km
standard gauge: 275 km 1.435-m gauge (243 km electrified) (2006)
Roadways: total: 5,227 km
paved: 5,227 km (includes 147 km of expressways) (2004)
Waterways: 37 km (on Moselle River) (2007)
Merchant marine: total: 45 ships (1000 GRT or over) 682,955 GRT/858,985 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 7, chemical tanker 14, container 7, liquefied gas 2, passenger 3, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 4, roll on/roll off 7
foreign-owned: 44 (Belgium 9, France 14, Germany 10, Netherlands 1, UK 7, US 3) (2007)
Ports and terminals: Mertert
Military Military branches: Army
Military service age and obligation: 17-25 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; soldiers under 18 are not deployed into combat or with peacekeeping missions; no conscription (2008)
Manpower available for military service: males age 17-49: 110,867
females age 17-49: 108,758 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 17-49: 90,279
females age 17-49: 88,638 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually: males age 18-49: 2,775
females age 17-49: 2,703 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 0.9% (2005 est.)
Transnational Issues Disputes - international: none