Foreign policy and defense
Luxembourg is a nation in Western Europe. Its capital city is Luxembourg. During the post-war period, Luxembourg has consistently sought close relations with the West, both economically and politically and militarily. The country has been a member of both NATO and the EU defense alliance since its inception and a broad popular opinion supports the government’s efforts to make EU cooperation as comprehensive as possible.
Three Luxembourgers are or have been the President of the European Commission, the highest post in the Union, something no other country can boast about. All had previously been Prime Minister. Gaston Thorn was President of the European Commission in 1981–1985 and Jacques Santer in 1995–1999. However, Santer’s efforts fell short when he and the entire Commission were forced to resign in 1999 following disclosures of fraud and neglect with EU money.
- Countryaah: Overview of business holidays and various national observances in Luxembourg for years of 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024 and 2025.
Jean-Claude Juncker was up-to-date when a new president was to be appointed in 2004, when he was prime minister, but he then refused. Later that year, however, he accepted the assignment as “Mister Euro”, that is, chairman of the co-operation around the euro, a position he held in 2005-2013. However, the following year, in November 2014, Juncker took office as President of the European Commission for five years to come.
Luxembourg is the seat of some of the EU institutions and bodies, including the European Court of Justice. The capital has more EU employees than any other city after Brussels. In addition, several other international bodies are based in Luxembourg. All this gives the country great income.
Counted per inhabitant, Luxembourg is one of the world’s largest donors. The aid is around one percent of gross national income (GNI).
Luxembourg was one of the non-permanent members of the UN Security Council 2013–2014.
The compulsory military service was abolished in 1967 and now there is a small professional army of just under 1,000 men. The country was one of the founders of the EU rapid response force Eurocorps and has participated in peacekeeping operations in, for example, Bosnia and Kosovo.
FACTS – DEFENSE
Army: 900 men (2017)
Military expenditure’s share of GDP: 0.5 percent (2017)
Military spending’s share of the state budget: 1.2 percent (2017)