State and politics
The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is a hereditary,
constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system. Since
1919, when universal - and compulsory - voting rights were
introduced, the country has been a democracy.
The country's head of state is the Grand Duke, who in
practice has only ceremonial powers, especially since the
constitutional amendment in 2008, which means that the Grand
Duke's approval of laws is no longer required. Male heirs
take precedence over the throne, but there is no male heir
to the female throne.
The power in the country lies with the parliament, the
Chambre des Députés, which consists of 60 members
elected every five years and with the government responsible
to the parliament. In principle, all citizens over the age
of 18 have the right to vote and are also eligible for
The electoral system is proportional and there is no
percentage barrier, which has meant that the country has had
coalition governments - often cross-border - since 1919. Due
to the constituency and the lack of equalization mandate,
the number of parties in parliament has been relatively low.
An important role is also played by the Council of State,
the Conseil d'État, whose 21 members are appointed
by the Head of State. In practice, the Government acts as a
second chamber. The Government must review all legislative
proposals and may delay them for up to three months, which,
however, happens very rarely.
Administratively, Luxembourg is divided into three
districts, twelve cantons and 116 municipalities. The latter
have relatively extensive powers of power and direct
elections are held with the local parishes. Also see AbbreviationFinder for abbreviation of LU and its meanings of Luxembourg.
The political landscape in Luxembourg has long been
characterized by stability and small changes. The Christian
Democrats, the Chrëschtlech-Sozial Vollekspartei
(CSV) is the country's largest party and, with one
exception, led all governments 1926–2013, usually in
coalition with LSAP, but also with DP (see below). In 2013,
however, sitting Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker was
forced to resign after he was held responsible for an
interception scandal, which forced a new election. The
election meant a loss for the CSV, which lost only 4
percentage points in voter support (the party received just
under 34 percent of the vote) and remained as the largest
party, but thanks to a coalition between liberals, social
democrats and the Greens (Die Gréng, see below)
lost government power.
New government leader was Xavier Bettel (born 1973) from
the Liberal Democratic Party (DP). DP is the
country's third largest party since the end of the 1960s and
has participated in several governments, most recently
1999-2004. In the 2013 election, the party received just
over 18 percent of the vote.
The Social Democratic Socialist Labor Party (LSAP),
with the exception of the period 1999-2004, has been the
country's second largest party and has been in the
government for a large part of the post-war period but never
held the post of prime minister. LSAP has gradually
declined, making 2013 its worst election since 1945 with
just over 20 percent of the vote.
Since the end of the 1980s, a number of new parties have
established themselves in Parliament but until 2013 never
participated in the government. The Greens, Die Gréng,
have received just over 10 percent of the vote in the last
two elections and the right-wing party, Alternativ
Demokratesch Reformpartei (ADR), which was originally a
pensioner party, received almost 7 percent of the vote in
Apart from a few specialized courts, the Luxembourg
courts consist of petty courts (peace judges), district
courts (tribunaux d'arrondissement with civil,
commercial and criminal courts) and a supreme court.
The legal system is codified and very closely related to
the French. It has also been affected by the country's
membership of the EU. The death penalty was abolished in
1979; the last execution took place in 1949.
Heads of State
||Adolf (of the Nassau family)
During the years 1815–90, Luxembourg was united in a
personal union with the Netherlands.