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The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is a landlocked country in northern Europe surrounded by Belgium to the west, France to the south and Germany to the east. Per capita, it is the richest country in the EU as well as being one of its smallest. It is largely made up of rolling hills and forests.
The most important sectors of Luxembourg’s economy in 2012 were the financial and insurance activities (24.7%), wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services (17.8%) and public administration, defence, education, human health and social work activities (15.7%).
Luxembourg’s main export and import partners are Belgium, Germany and France.
Geographical size: 2586 km2
Population: 524 853 (2012)
Population as % of total EU population: 0.1 % (2012)
GDP: € 42.918 billion (2012)
Official EU language(s): French, German
Political system: parliamentary constitutional monarchy
EU member country since: 25 March 1957
Seats in the European Parliament: 6
Currency: Eurozone member since 1 January 1999
Passport-free travel? Yes, Schengen Area member since 14 June 1985
Presidency of the Council: Luxembourg held the revolving presidency of the Council of the EU 11 times between 1960 and 2005. The next time will be in 2015.
In the Council of the EU, national ministers meet regularly to adopt EU laws and coordinate policies. Council meetings are regularly attended by representatives from the Luxembourg government, depending on the policy area being addressed.
The Council of the EU doesn't have a permanent, single-person president (like e.g. the Commission or Parliament). Instead, its work is led by the country holding the Council presidency, which rotates every 6 months.
During these 6 months, ministers from that country's government chair and help determine the agenda of Council meetings in each policy area, and facilitate dialogue with the other EU institutions.
Dates of Luxembourg presidencies:
Jan-Jun 1960 | Jan-Jun 1963 | Jan-Jun 1966 | Jan-Jun 1969 | Jan-Jun 1972 | Jan-Jun 1976 | Jul-Dec 1980 | Jul-Dec 1985 | Jan-Jun 1991 | Jul-Dec 1997 | Jan-Jun 2005 | Jul-Dec 2015
More on the current presidency of the Council of the EU.
The Commission is represented in each EU country by a local office, called a "representation".
Commission representation in Luxembourg
Luxembourg has 6 representatives on the European Economic and Social Committee. This advisory body – representing employers, workers and other interest groups – is consulted on proposed laws, to get a better idea of the possible changes to work and social situations in member countries.
Luxembourg has 6 representatives on the Committee of the Regions, the EU's assembly of regional and local representatives. This advisory body is consulted on proposed laws, to ensure these laws take account of the perspective from each region of the EU.
Luxembourg also communicates with the EU institutions through its permanent representation in Brussels. As Luxembourg's "embassy to the EU", its main task is to ensure that the country's interests and policies are pursued as effectively as possible in the EU.
Member countries' financial contributions to the EU budget are shared fairly, according to means. The larger your country's economy, the more it pays – and vice versa. The EU budget doesn't aim to redistribute wealth, but rather to focus on the needs of all Europeans as a whole.
Breakdown of Luxembourg’s finances with the EU in 2012:
More figures on the EU budget, revenue and spending:
The money paid into the EU budget by Luxembourg helps fund programmes and projects in all EU countries - like building roads, subsidising researchers and protecting the environment.
Find out more about how Luxembourg benefits from EU funding.