Luxembourg


Luxembourg i / l ʌ k s əm b ɜːr ɡ / ( Luxembourgeoise : Lëtzebuerg , allemand : Luxembourg ), officiellement le Grand – Duché de Luxembourg , [note 1] est un pays enclavé d’Europe de l’ Ouest. Il est bordé par la Belgique à l’ouest et au nord, à l’Allemagne à l’est et à la France au sud. Sa capitale, la ville de Luxembourg , est, avec Bruxelles et Strasbourg , l’ une des trois capitales officielles de l’ Union européenne et le siège de la Cour européenne de justice , La plus haute autorité juridique de l’UE. Sa culture, les gens et les langues sont très étroitement liés à ses voisins, ce qui en fait essentiellement un mélange de français et germaniques cultures. Ceci est souligné par les trois langues officielles, luxembourgeois , français et allemand . Les invasions répétées de ses pays voisins, en particulier dans la Seconde Guerre mondiale , ont entraîné la forte volonté du pays pour la médiation entre la France et l’Allemagne et, entre autres choses, ont conduit à la fondation de l’Union européenne. [5] ce qui en fait essentiellement un mélange de français et germaniques cultures. Ceci est souligné par les trois langues officielles, luxembourgeois , français et allemand . Les invasions répétées de ses pays voisins, en particulier dans la Seconde Guerre mondiale , ont entraîné la forte volonté du pays pour la médiation entre la France et l’Allemagne et, entre autres choses, ont conduit à la fondation de l’Union européenne. [5] ce qui en fait essentiellement un mélange de français et germaniques cultures. Ceci est souligné par les trois langues officielles, luxembourgeois , français et allemand . Les invasions répétées de ses pays voisins, en particulier dans la Seconde Guerre mondiale , ont entraîné la forte volonté du pays pour la médiation entre la France et l’Allemagne et, entre autres choses, ont conduit à la fondation de l’Union européenne. [5] A entraîné la forte volonté du pays pour la médiation entre la France et l’Allemagne et, entre autres, a conduit à la fondation de l’Union européenne. [5] A entraîné la forte volonté du pays pour la médiation entre la France et l’Allemagne et, entre autres, a conduit à la fondation de l’Union européenne. [5]

Avec une superficie de 2.586 kilomètres carrés (998 milles carrés), il est l’un des plus petits États souverains en Europe , à peu près de la même taille que l’État américain du Rhode Island ou le comté anglais du Northamptonshire . [6] En 2016, le Luxembourg a une population de 576 249, ce qui en fait l’ un des pays les moins peuplés d’Europe , [7] , mais de loin celui qui a le plus haut taux de croissance de la population . [8] En tant que démocratie représentative avec un monarque constitutionnel , elle est dirigée par un grand-duc , Henri, grand-duc de Luxembourg , et est le monde ” Seul grand duché restant . Le Luxembourg est un pays développé , avec une économie avancée et le PIB le plus élevé au monde (PPP) par habitant , selon les Nations Unies en 2014. La Ville de Luxembourg avec ses anciens quartiers et fortifications a été classée au patrimoine mondial de l’UNESCO en 1994 en raison de La conservation exceptionnelle des vastes fortifications et de la vieille ville. [9] La ville de Luxembourg avec ses anciens quartiers et fortifications a été classée au patrimoine mondial de l’UNESCO en 1994 en raison de la préservation exceptionnelle des vastes fortifications et de la vieille ville. [9] La ville de Luxembourg avec ses anciens quartiers et fortifications a été classée au patrimoine mondial de l’UNESCO en 1994 en raison de la préservation exceptionnelle des vastes fortifications et de la vieille ville. [9]

L’histoire du Luxembourg est considérée comme commençant en 963, lorsque le comte Siegfried a acquis un promontoire rocheux et ses fortifications de l’époque romaine connues sous le nom de «petit château» de Lucilinburhuc et ses alentours de l’ abbaye impériale de Saint-Maximin à proximité de Trèves . [10] [11] Les descendants de Siegfried ont augmenté leur territoire par le mariage, la guerre et les relations vassales. À la fin du 13ème siècle , les Comtes de Luxembourg régnaient sur un territoire considérable. [12] En 1308, Henri VII, le comte de Luxembourg est devenu le roi des Allemands et l’empereur romain sacré . La Maison de Luxembourg a produit quatre empereurs romains romains au grand temps du moyen âge . En 1354, Charles IV a élevé le comté au duché de Luxembourg . Comme Sigismond n’avait pas d’héritier masculin, le duché est devenu partie du cercle bourguignon et puis l’une des dix-sept provinces des Pays-Bas des Habsbourg . [13] Au fil des siècles, la ville et la forteresse de Luxembourg , d’ une grande importance stratégique située entre le royaume de France et les Habsbourg territoires, A été progressivement construit pour être l’une des fortifications les plus réputées en Europe. Après avoir appartenu à la France de Louis XIV et à l’Autriche de Maria Theresia , le Luxembourg est devenu la première République française et l’Empire sous Napoléon . [14]

L’état actuel du Luxembourg est apparue au Congrès de Vienne en 1815. Le Grand-Duché, avec sa puissante forteresse, est devenu un Etat indépendant sous la possession personnelle de Guillaume Ier des Pays – Bas avec une prussienne garnison pour garder la ville contre Une autre invasion de la France. [15] En 1839, suite à la tourmente de la Révolution belge , la partie purement francophone du Luxembourg a été cédée à la Belgique et la partie luxembourgeoise est devenue quel est l’état actuel du Luxembourg. [16]

L’ industrie sidérurgique exploitant les Lands rouges riches zones de minerai de fer au début du 20ème siècle a conduit l’industrialisation du pays. ArcelorMittal , le plus grand producteur d’acier au monde avec siège à Luxembourg-Ville, est encore un rappel de ces temps. Après le déclin de l’industrie sidérurgique dans les années 1970, le pays s’est concentré sur l’établissement d’un centre financier mondial et s’est développé dans le centre bancaire pour lequel il est réputé. Depuis le début du XXIe siècle, ses gouvernements se sont concentrés sur le développement du pays dans une économie du savoir , avec la fondation de l’ Université du Luxembourg et un programme spatial national ,

Le Luxembourg est un membre fondateur de l’Union européenne, de l’OCDE , des Nations Unies , de l’OTAN et du Benelux , reflétant son consensus politique en faveur de l’ intégration économique, politique et militaire. La ville de Luxembourg , qui est la capitale du pays et la plus grande ville, est le siège de plusieurs institutions et agences de l’UE. Le Luxembourg a siégé au Conseil de sécurité des Nations Unies pour les années 2013 et 2014, ce qui a été le premier dans l’histoire du pays. [18] En 2016, les citoyens luxembourgeois avaient un visa sans visa ou à destination de 172 pays et territoires, classant le passeport luxembourgeois 6ème au monde, Lié à des pays comme le Canada et la Suisse. [19]

County

L’histoire enregistrée du Luxembourg commence par l’acquisition de Lucilinburhuc [21] ( aujourd’hui Château du Luxembourg ) situé sur la roche Bock par Siegfried, comte des Ardennes , en 963 par une loi d’échange avec l’abbaye de Saint-Maximin, Trèves . [22] Autour de ce fort , une ville s’est progressivement développée, ce qui est devenu le centre d’un état de grande valeur stratégique.

Duchy

Au 14ème et au début du 15ème siècle, trois membres de la Maison du Luxembourg régnaient comme des empereurs romains . En 1437, la Maison du Luxembourg a subi une crise de succession, précipitée par l’absence d’un héritier mâle à assumer le trône, ce qui a conduit aux territoires vendus par la duchesse Elisabeth à Philippe le Bon de Bourgogne . [23]

Dans les siècles suivants, la forteresse luxembourgeoise a été progressivement agrandie par ses occupants successifs, les Bourbons , les Habsbourg , les Hohenzollerns et les Français.

XIXe siècle

Après la défaite de Napoléon en 1815, le Luxembourg fut contesté entre la Prusse et les Pays-Bas . Le Congrès de Vienne a formé le Luxembourg en tant que Grand-Duché au sein de la Confédération allemande en union personnelle avec les Pays-Bas, étant en même temps une partie des Pays-Bas et a statué comme l’une de ses provinces, avec la Forteresse de Luxembourg équipée par les troupes prussiennes . [24] Cet arrangement a été révisé par le premier traité de Londres de 1839 , date à laquelle l’indépendance totale du Luxembourg est comptée. [25] [26] [27] [28]

À l’époque de la Révolution belge de 1830-1839, et par le traité de 1839 établissant une indépendance totale, le territoire luxembourgeois a été réduit de plus de la moitié, alors que la partie principalement francophone de l’Ouest était transférée en Belgique . En 1842, le Luxembourg se joignit à l’union douanière allemande ( Zollverein ). [29] Cela a abouti à l’ouverture du marché allemand, au développement de l’ industrie sidérurgique luxembourgeoise et à l’ expansion du réseau ferroviaire luxembourgeois de 1855 à 1875, en particulier la construction de la ligne de chemin de fer Luxembourg- Thionville , avec des liaisons entre l’industrie industrielle européenne les régions.

After the Luxembourg Crisis of 1866 nearly led to war between Prussia and France, the Grand Duchy’s independence and neutrality were again affirmed by the 1867 Second Treaty of London, Prussia’s troops were withdrawn from the Fortress of Luxembourg and its Bock and surrounding fortifications were dismantled.[31]

The King of the Netherlands remained Head of State as Grand Duke of Luxembourg, maintaining a personal union between the two countries until 1890. At the death of William III, the throne of the Netherlands passed to his daughter Wilhelmina, while Luxembourg (then restricted to male heirs by the Nassau Family Pact) passed to Adolph of Nassau-Weilburg.[32]

At the time of the Franco-Prussian war in 1870, despite allegations about French use of the Luxembourg railways for passing soldiers from Metz (then part of France) through the Duchy, and for forwarding provisions to Thionville, Luxembourg’s neutrality was respected by Germany, and neither France nor Germany invaded the country.[33][34] But in 1871, as a result of Germany’s victory over France, Luxembourg’s boundary with Lorraine, containing Metz and Thionville, changed from being a frontier with a part of France to a frontier with territory annexed to the German Empire as Alsace-Lorraine under the Treaty of Frankfurt. This allowed Germany the military advantage of controlling and expanding the railways there.

Vingtième siècle

En août 1914, l’ Allemagne impériale a violé la neutralité luxembourgeoise dans la guerre en l’envahissant dans la guerre contre la France. Cela a permis à l’Allemagne d’utiliser les lignes de chemin de fer, tout en les reniant en France. Néanmoins, malgré l’ occupation allemande , le Luxembourg a été autorisé à maintenir une grande partie de son indépendance et ses mécanismes politiques.

Réseau ferroviaire transfrontalier actuel, reliant la ville de Luxembourg aux pays voisins du Luxembourg, au nord (Belgique) – Sud (France) et à l’Est (Allemagne) – Ouest (France) [35]

En 1940, après la guerre de la Seconde Guerre mondiale , la neutralité luxembourgeoise fut à nouveau violée lorsque la Wehrmacht de l’ Allemagne nazie entra dans le pays, “entièrement sans justification”. [36] Contrairement à la Première Guerre mondiale, sous l’ occupation allemande du Luxembourg pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale , le pays a été traité comme un territoire allemand et annexé de manière informelle à la province adjacente du Troisième Reich . Un gouvernement en exil basé à Londres a soutenu les Alliés , en envoyant un petit groupe de bénévoles qui ont participé à l’ invasion de Normandie . Le Luxembourg a été libéré en septembre 1944,

In 1951, Luxembourg became one of the six founding countries of the European Coal and Steel Community, which in 1957 would become the European Economic Community and in 1993 the European Union, and in 1999 Luxembourg joined the Euro currency area. In 2005, a referendum on the EU treaty establishing a constitution for Europe was held.[37]

Politics

Main articles: Politics of Luxembourg and Law of Luxembourg

Le Luxembourg est une démocratie parlementaire dirigée par un monarque constitutionnel . En vertu de la constitution de 1868, le pouvoir exécutif est exercé par le Grand-Duc et le cabinet , qui se compose de plusieurs autres ministres. [38] Le Grand-Duc a le pouvoir de dissoudre la législature , auquel cas les nouvelles élections doivent avoir lieu dans un délai de trois mois. Cependant, depuis 1919, la souveraineté a résidé avec la Nation , exercée par le Grand-Duc conformément à la Constitution et à la loi. [39]

Le pouvoir législatif est conféré à la Chambre des députés , une législature unicamérale de soixante membres, qui sont directement élus à cinq ans par quatre circonscriptions . Un second corps, le Conseil d’État ( Conseil d’État ), composé de vingt et un citoyens ordinaires nommés par le Grand-Duc, conseille la Chambre des députés dans la rédaction de la législation. [40]

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.

Administrative divisions

Main articles: Cantons of Luxembourg and Communes of Luxembourg
Further information: Administrative divisions of Luxembourg

Le Luxembourg est divisé en 12 cantons , qui sont divisés en 105 communes . [41] Douze des communes ont un statut de ville , dont la ville de Luxembourg est la plus grande.

Relations extérieures

Article principal : Relations extérieures du Luxembourg

Luxembourg has long been a prominent supporter of European political and economic integration. In efforts foreshadowing European integration, Luxembourg and Belgium in 1921 formed the Belgium–Luxembourg Economic Union (BLEU) to create a regime of inter-exchangeable currency and a common customs. Luxembourg is a member of the 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), whose goal is the free movement of citizens among member states. 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]

Le Luxembourg est le site de la Cour de justice des Communautés européennes , de la Cour des comptes européenne, de l’Office statistique des Communautés européennes (« Eurostat ») et d’autres organes vitaux de l’UE. Le Secrétariat du Parlement européen est situé au Luxembourg, mais le Parlement se réunit habituellement à Bruxelles et parfois à Strasbourg .

Militaire

Luxembourgs military does not match in size nations like the United States or Russia but they still contributes an army of about 800 soldiers and 100 civil servants to its defense and to NATO. Being a landlocked country, it has no navy.

Luxembourg also lacks an air force, though the 17 NATO AWACS aeroplanes are, for convenience, registered as aircraft of Luxembourg.[42] In accordance with a joint agreement with Belgium, both countries have put forth funding for one A400M military cargo plane.[43]

Geography

Luxembourg is one of the smallest countries in Europe, and ranked 179th in size of all the 194 independent countries of the world; the country is about 2,586 square kilometres (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 5° and 7° E.

To the east, Luxembourg borders the German Bundesland of Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland, and, to the south, it borders the French région of Lorraine. The Grand Duchy borders the Belgian Walloon Region, in particular the latter’s 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,[44] which is the highest point, at 560 metres (1,837 ft). Other mountains are the ‘Buurgplaaz’ at 559 metres near Huldange and the ‘Napoléonsgaard’ at 554 metres 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 “Gutland”, and is more densely populated than the Oesling. It is also more diverse, and can be divided into five geographic sub-regions. The Luxembourg plateau, in south-central Luxembourg, is a large, flat, sandstone formation, and the site of the city of Luxembourg. Little Switzerland, in the east of Luxembourg, has craggy terrain and thick forests. 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 Moselle, the Sauer, and the Our. Other major rivers are the Alzette, the Attert, the Clerve, and the Wiltz. The valleys of the mid-Sauer and Attert form the border between the Gutland and the Oesling.

According to the 2012 Environmental Performance Index, Luxembourg is one of the world’s best performers in environmental protection, ranking 4th out of 132 assessed countries[45] Luxembourg also ranks 6th among the top ten most livable cities in the world by Mercer’s.[46]

Climate

Luxembourg has an oceanic climate (Köppen: Cfb), marked by high precipitation, particularly in late summer. The summers are warm and winters cool.[47]

Economy

Luxembourg’s stable and high-income market economy features moderate growth, low inflation, and a high level of innovation.[48] Unemployment is traditionally low, although it had risen to 6.1% by May 2012, due largely to the effect of the 2008 global financial crisis.[49] Consequently, Luxembourg’s economy was forecast to have negligible growth in 2012.[50] In 2011, according to the IMF, Luxembourg was the second richest country in the world, with a per capita GDP on a purchasing-power parity (PPP) basis of $80,119.[51] Luxembourg is ranked 13th in The Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom,[52] 26th in the United Nations Human Development Index, and 4th in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s quality of life index.[53]

External debt of Luxembourg is extremely high when external debt per capita or debt-to-GDP ratio is taken into consideration. External debt per capita (2014) is $3,696,467 and as a percentage of GDP it is 3443%, the world’s highest by both measurements.[54][better source needed]

The industrial sector, which was dominated by steel until the 1960s, has since diversified to include chemicals, rubber, and other products. During the past decades, growth in the financial sector has more than compensated for the decline in steel production. Services, especially banking and finance, account for the majority of economic output. Luxembourg is the world’s second largest investment fund centre (after the United States), the most important private banking centre in the Eurozone and Europe’s leading centre for reinsurance companies. Moreover, the Luxembourg government has aimed to attract internet start-ups, with Skype and Amazon being two of the many internet companies that have shifted their regional headquarters to Luxembourg.

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 “grey list” of nations with questionable banking arrangements by the G20. In response, the country soon after 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”.[55][56] In March 2010, the Sunday Telegraph reported that most of Kim Jong-Il’s $4 billion in secret accounts is in Luxembourg banks.[57] Amazon.co.uk also benefits from Luxembourg tax loopholes by channeling substantial UK revenues as reported by The Guardian in April 2012.[58] 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.[59] In 2013, Luxembourg is ranked as the 2nd safest tax haven in the world, behind Switzerland.

Agriculture is based on small, family-owned farms.

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.

With $171 billion in May 2015, the country ranks eleventh in the world in holdings of U.S. Treasury securities.[60] The ranking is however imperfect as some foreign owners entrust the safekeeping of their securities to institutions that are neither in the United States nor in the owner’s country of residence.[61]

Transport

Luxembourg has efficient road, rail and air transport facilities and services. The road network has been significantly modernised in recent years with 147 km (91 mi) of motorways connecting the capital to adjacent countries. The advent of the high-speed TGV link to Paris has led to renovation of the city’s railway station and a new passenger terminal at Luxembourg Airport was opened in 2008. There are plans to introduce trams in the capital and light-rail lines in adjacent areas within the next few years.

The number of cars per 1000 persons amount to 680.1 in Luxembourg — higher than all but two states, namely the Principality of Monaco and the British overseas territory of Gibraltar.[62]

Communications

The telecommunications industry in Luxembourg is liberalised and the electronic communications networks are significantly developed. Competition between the different operators is guaranteed by the legislative framework Paquet Telecom[63] of the Government of 2011 which transposes the European Telecom Directives into Luxembourgian law. This encourages the investment in networks and services. The regulator ILR – Institut Luxembourgeois de Régulation[64] ensures the compliance to these legal rules.

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.[65] In 2011, Luxembourg had an NGA coverage of 75%.[66] In April 2013, Luxembourg featured the 6th highest download speed worldwide and the 2nd highest in Europe: 32,46 Mbit/s.[67] The country’s location in Central Europe, stable economy and low taxes favour the telecommunication industry.[68][69][70]

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.[71][72][73][74]

Luxembourg is connected to all major European Internet Exchanges (AMS-IX Amsterdam,[75] DE-CIX Frankfurt,[76] LINX London),[77] datacenters and POPs through redundant optical networks.[78][79][80][81][82] In addition, the country is connected to the virtual meetme room services (vmmr)[83] of the international data hub operator Ancotel.[84] This enables Luxembourg to interconnect with all major telecommunication operators[85] and data carriers worldwide. The interconnection points are in Frankfurt, London, New York and Hong Kong.[86]

Several providers interconnect Luxembourg to the major European data hubs:

  • Teralink[87] (P&TLuxembourg, also called EPT Luxembourg: incumbent operator)[88]
  • LuxConnect[89] (shareholder : Government) LuxConnect tested the 100G coherent transmission of data signals between Luxembourg and Amsterdam in June 2011.[90]
  • Artelis/Cegecom[91] (alternative telecommunications provider in Luxembourg and Saarland)
  • Satellite connectivity – Teleports (SES),[92] Broadcasting Center Europe[93] and P&T Luxembourg Teleport.[94][95][96]

Luxembourg is connected through an optical DWDM network, called Teralink[97] to several Tier 1 upstream providers like Level3 and Global Crossing. Teralink offers connectivities up to 100 Gbit/s. P&TLuxembourg established a coherent 100Gbit/s IP connection between Frankfurt and Luxembourg with live traffic in 2011.[98][99][100][101]

The Internet IPV6 protocol has been introduced to the country by Restena and P&T Luxembourg.[102]

Luxembourg has one Internet exchange point and one Carrier Ethernet Exchange point.

  • LU-CIX is Luxembourg’s neutral and commercial Internet Exchange Point which was founded in 2009 by Cegecom, Datacentre Luxembourg, Global Media Systems, INEXIO, LuxConnect, P&T Luxembourg and Root eSolutions. It offers a short, fast and efficient route to the major European Internet networks.[103][104] In 2012, LIX, the neutral Internet exchange operated by the RESTENA Foundation, merged with LU-CIX.[105] In March 2013, LU-CIX launched the ‘Central European Peering Hub’ in order to provide the opportunity to its members to connect to other IXs’ reseller programs, AMS-IX (Amsterdam), LINX (London), DE-CIX (Frankfurt) and France-IX (Paris), etc.[106]
  • LIX is the Luxembourg Ethernet Exchange located in the Tier IV certified eBRC datacentre.[107]

The online portal De Guichet[108] of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is a single one-stop online shop for citizens and companies to undertake various administrative operations (procedures, online forms, downloadable forms and advice) by Internet.[109]

PSA Peugeot Citroën, with P&TLuxembourg as its partner, has introduced an integrated mobile telecommunication solution for the development of its telematic services in Europe.[110][111]

Data centres

Some 20 data centres[112][113][114] are operating in Luxembourg. Six data centers are Tier IV Design certified: three of ebrc,[115] two of LuxConnect [116][117] and one of European Data Hub.[118] 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.[119][120]

Demographics

Main article: Demographics of Luxembourg

Ethnicity

The people of Luxembourg are called Luxembourgers.[121] The immigrant population increased in the 20th century due to the arrival of immigrants from Belgium, France, Italy, Germany, and Portugal, with the majority coming from the latter: in 2013 there were about 88,000 inhabitants with Portuguese nationality.[122]

There is also a very small Romani (Gypsy) and Jewish population. Both of the two groups living in Luxembourg were affected by the Holocaust in the past and were expelled from Luxembourg.[123][124]

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.[125]

Language

Coin of the former Luxembourg franc in two of the country’s three languages: French (obverse, left) and Luxembourgish (reverse, right).
Main articles: Languages of Luxembourg, Multilingualism in Luxembourg, and Literature of Luxembourg

Three languages are recognised as official in Luxembourg: French, German, and Luxembourgish, a Franconian language of the Moselle region that is also spoken in neighbouring parts of Belgium, France and Germany. Though Luxembourgish is part of the West Central German group of High German languages, more than 5,000 words in the language are of French origin.[126][127] The first printed sentences in Luxembourgish appeared in a weekly journal, the ‘Luxemburger Wochenblatt’, in the second edition on 14 April 1821.

Apart from being one of the three official languages, Luxembourgish is also considered the national language of the Grand Duchy; it is the mother tongue or “language of the heart” for nearly all Luxembourgers.[128]

Each of the three languages is used as the primary language in certain spheres. Luxembourgish is the language that Luxembourgers generally use to speak to each other, but it is not often used as the written language. Since the 1980s an increasing number of novels have however been written in Luxembourgish. Most official (written) business is carried out in French. German is usually the first language taught in school and is the language of much of the media and of the church.[129]

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.[130] 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.[131]

In addition to the three official languages, English is taught in the compulsory schooling and much of the population of Luxembourg can speak English, especially in Luxembourg City. Portuguese, the language of the largest immigrant community, is also spoken by large parts of the population, but by relatively few from outside their community.[132]

French is the preferred language of the government. Official legislation must be conducted in French.

Religion

Main article: Religion in Luxembourg

Luxembourg is a secular state, but the state recognises certain religions as officially mandated religions. This gives the state a hand in religious administration and appointment of clergy, in exchange for which the state pays certain running costs and wages. Currently, religions covered by such arrangements are Roman Catholicism, Judaism, Greek Orthodoxy, Anglicanism, Russian Orthodoxy, Lutheranism, Calvinism, Mennonitism and Islam.[134]

Since 1980 it has been illegal for the government to collect statistics on religious beliefs or practices.[135] An estimation by the CIA Factbook for the year 2000 is that 87% of Luxembourgers are Catholic, including the royal family, the remaining 13% being made up of Muslims, Protestants, Orthodox Christians, Jews, and those of other or no religion.[136] According to a 2010 Pew Research Center study 70.4% are Christian, 2.3% Muslim, 26.8% unaffiliated and 0.5% other religions.[137]

According to a 2005 Eurobarometer poll,[138] 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

The University of Luxembourg and the Luxembourg Miami University campus are two universities within Luxembourg.[139]

Health

Main article: Health in Luxembourg

Luxembourg sells the most alcohol in Europe per capita.[140] 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.[141]

Culture

Luxembourg has been overshadowed by the culture of its neighbours. 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 National Museum of History and Art (NMHA), the Luxembourg City History Museum, 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.[142]

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. Movie star Loretta Young was of Luxembourgish descent.

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[143] 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.

Luxembourg was represented at the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, China, from 1 May to 31 October 2010 with its own pavilion.[144][145] 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”.[146]

Sports

Unlike most countries in Europe, sport in Luxembourg is not concentrated upon a particular national sport, but encompasses a number of sports, both team and individual. Despite the lack of a central sporting focus, over 100,000 people in Luxembourg, out of a total population of only 512,353, are licensed members of one sports federation or another.[147] The largest sports venue in the country is d’Coque, an indoor arena and Olympic swimming pool in Kirchberg, north-eastern Luxembourg City, which has a capacity of 8,300. The arena is used for basketball, handball, gymnastics, and volleyball, including the final of the 2007 Women’s European Volleyball Championship. The national stadium (also the country’s largest) is the Stade Josy Barthel, in western Luxembourg City; named after the country’s only official Olympic gold medallist, the stadium has a capacity of 8,054.

Notable sportspeople include (see also List of Luxembourgish Sportspeople of the Year):

  • Alpine skier Marc Girardelli, World Cup overall champion five times between 1985 and 1993
  • Cyclists Nicolas Frantz, winner of the 1927 and 1928 Tours de France; Charly Gaul, winner of the 1956 and 1959 Giro d’Italia and of the 1958 Tour de France; Elsy Jacobs, first ever women’s Road World Champion in 1958; and Andy Schleck, winner of the 2010 Tour de France
  • Middle-distance runner Josy Barthel, winner of the men’s 1500 metres at the 1952 Summer Olympics
  • 1961 world water skiing champion Sylvie Hülsemann
  • Tennis players Gilles Muller, Anne Kremer and Mandy Minella.

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