Foreign policy and defense
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.
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
FACTS - DEFENSE
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)