Luxembourg Government and Politics

State and politics

Luxembourg Country Flag

Reference: Luxembourg Flag Meaning

According to, 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 parliament.

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 2013.


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

Grand Dukes/storhertiginnor

1815-40 William I
1840-49 William II
1849-90 William III
1890-1905 Adolf (of the Nassau family)
1905-12 William IV
1912-19 Marie-Adélaïde
1919-64 Charlotte
1964-2000 Jean
2000 Henri

During the years 1815–90, Luxembourg was united in a personal union with the Netherlands.

Luxembourg Head of Government

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