Luxembourg - Overview

Overview

The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is constitutional monarchy, though the monarch primarily plays a ceremonial role and the prime minister is the head of government. The small, landlocked nation is a UN Member State and a signatory to eleven of the thirteen main UN treaties and conventions on human rights.

Freedom of association, peaceful assembly and expression are guaranteed in Luxembourg’s constitution. Article 24 guarantees freedom of speech and freedom of the press, also stipulating that “censorship may never be established”. Articles 25 and 26, respectively, protect the freedoms of peaceful assembly and association. Although Article 25 says that public gatherings are not subject to prior authorisation, it says this does not apply to “open-air political, religious or other meetings” which are “entirely submitted to the laws and regulations of [the] police”.

Civil society can operate freely and almost half of the workforce is unionised. There is a free media environment; however, broadcasting is controlled by one conglomerate. The media situation greatly improved in 2004 with the passing of new law “on the press and other means of publication.” The legislation closely mirrors Article 10 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. It reiterates journalists’ rights as well as their right to access information. Recent cases concerning the treatment of whistleblowers in the financial sector following the “LuxLeaks” scandal has raised concerns about Luxembourg’s commitment to protecting the freedom of expression over the interests of big corporations.