Basic Data


Official Country Name: Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
Region (Map name): Europe
Population: 437,389
Language(s): Luxembourgian, German, French, English
Literacy rate: 100%

The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, bordered by France, Germany, and Belgium, became an independent nation in 1890. Although a relatively new state, Luxembourg has a long history dating back to the region's incorporation into, first, the Ancient Roman Republic and Empire, and successively, the Holy Roman Empire, Republican and Napoleonic France, and the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. Today, modern Luxembourg is a constitutional monarchy with executive authority invested in the Grand Duke, Henri since 2000. Legislative authority is shared between the Grand Duke and the elected Chamber of Deputies. All legislation becomes law with the Grand Duke's signature. Judicial authority is invested in the courts of law. During World War II, Luxembourg joined a custom's union with neighboring Belgium and was one of the signatory nations that created the European Coal and Steel Union and the European Union. Luxembourg's industrial base is steel, chemicals, and rubber production. The banking industry accounts for a substantial portion of the nation's economic base. Family-owned farms represent the smallest sector of Luxembourg's economic sector.

Article 24 of the Constitution of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg guarantees freedom of speech in all matters. Freedom of the press is guaranteed, subject to the repression of offences committed in the exercise of these freedoms. Censorship is strictly forbidden. No publisher, printer, or distributor can be prosecuted if the author is known, is a native-born citizen of Luxembourg, or is a resident of the Grand Duchy. The Law of 27 July 1991 governs electronic media in Luxembourg and guarantees the right of free audiovisual communication from a variety of sources, assures the independent flow of information, respects the human rights and dignity of each individual to receive information, and promotes intercultural exchanges. The proposed Law of 5 February 2002, under consideration by the Chamber of Deputies, seeks further safeguards in an electronic information age for journalists' sources, the right of journalists to freedom of expression, and the freedom of journalists to establish their own professional standards of journalism.

Le Service Information et Press (SIP) of the Luxembourg government, created by the Law of 27 July 1991, replaced the older Office of Information. The SIP guarantees communication between the government, the media, and the people of Luxembourg, promotes good relations between the Luxembourg government and foreign countries, assures the right to public information, publishes public documents, and facilitates the right of the national and foreign media to access information within the country. The Law of 27 July 1991 created Le Service des Medias et des Communications for electronic media to assist the prime minister in the definition and enforcement of the media's rights, regulate satellite programming in Luxembourg, oversee foreign investment in media ownership, and represent Luxembourg in media discussions within the European Union.

Because Luxembourg is situated at the crossroads of Europe and represents both French and German culture, a variety of media exist. Luxembourg's major newspapers are the Luxembourger Wort ( ) with a 1995 circulation of 81,500; La Voix du Luxembourg ( ); Tageblatt ( ), which had a 1995 circulation of 25,000; Le Quotidien, Editions Letzeburger Journal SA ( ), with a circulation of 12,000 in 1995; and Zeitung vum Letzebuerger Vollek, which had a circulation of 3,000 in 1995. Twelve local, regional, or weekly newspapers are also printed in Luxembourg. Twenty-seven periodicals are published in Luxembourg and include the weekly general-interest magazines Letzeburger Land, which had a circulation of 3,000 in 1995, and the Revue D'Letzebuerger Illustreiert, with a circulation of 16,000 in 1995. A special interest consumer periodical, De Konsument, had a bimonthly readership of 34,000 in 1995.

Luxembourg has 2 national radio stations, 4 regional radio stations, and 20 local radio stations. Radio-Tele Luxembourg is the nation's principal radio station. Television is the most used media in Luxembourg; 95 percent of the population watches cable television, and only 1 percent of the population does not own a television set. Luxembourg's four national television stations are RTL Tele Letzebuerg, Nordliicht TV, Uelzechtkanal, and De Kueb TV. More than 40 foreign television stations are received by Luxembourg television sets. Two new and specialized television stations were added in 2002, Tango TV and Parlament TV. RTL Letzebuerg is Luxembourg's principal television station, with more than 130,000 viewers. The language of transmission is Luxembourgeois (the local dialect), but the programming is simultaneously broadcast in French.

All television and radio broadcasting in Luxembourg is done through Compagnie Luxembourgeoise de Telediffusion (CLT). CLT was established in 1929 and began broadcasting multilingual programs in 1932. In 1954, CLT received an exclusive license for broadcasting radio and television within the Grand Duchy. CLT's broadcasting license was extended in 1995 to the end of 2010. In 1995, 12 television channels and 12 radio stations belonged to the CLT group. CLT broadcasts four television and three radio stations via the Astra satellite system, which began service in 1985. The 1991 Law on Electronic Media allowed the creation of 4 new radio networks and 15 local radio stations, thus ending the CLT monopoly of radio. Commercial and religious programs are broadcast in French, German, English, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. More than 40 international television programs are broadcast by cable and satellite.

Press agencies operating within Luxembourg are AFP Agence France-Presse, Agence de Presse Luxpress, Agence Reuters, and Agence DPA. The acquisition of GE American Communications, Incorporated, in 2001, allows Luxembourg the transmission capability to reach North and South America. Mediaport Luxembourg ( ) is the principle Internet site for information about Luxembourg and the government of the Grand Duchy.

Le Conseil de Presse, created by the Law of 20 December 1979, recognizes and protects the rights of journalists in Luxembourg, establishes credentialing criteria for journalists, and represents the editors and newspaper reporters of the Association Luxembourgeoise des Journalistes (AJL) and the Union of Journalistes Luxembourg (UJL). Le Conseil de Presse has 40 members, 20 from among Luxembourg's editors and 20 from the nation's newspaper reporters. Membership changes every two years. Decisions made by the Conseil de Presse can be appealed to the Commission d'Appel. Luxembourg citizens seeking a career in the media attend universities in the neighboring countries of France, Belgium, Germany, and Switzerland.


Majerus, Pierre. The Institutions of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Luxembourg: Press and Information Service, 1973.

Margue, Paul. A Short History of Luxembourg. Luxembourg: Information and Press Department, 1974.

Turner, Barry, ed. Statesman's Yearbook 2002. New York: Palgrave, 2001.

World Mass Media Handbook, 1995 ed. New York: United Nations Department of Public Information, 1995.

William A. Paquette

Also read article about Luxembourg from Wikipedia

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