European and foreign policy: Luxembourg as a reliable partner in the EU and the world
Global crises and threats are becoming increasingly complex. The international cohesion of states is therefore becoming increasingly important. As a founding member of the European Union, the United Nations, NATO, the OSCE and the Council of Europe, Luxembourg is part of a large community of states that have set themselves the goal of fostering cooperation and peace in the world, and also standing together in times of crisis. This is not a matter of course for all countries. Occasionally, crises such as the Covid pandemic, the war in Ukraine or refugee flows are instrumentalised for populist and nationalist purposes. However, recent years have repeatedly shown that, especially in difficult times, multilateralism is more effective than going it alone. Especially small states like Luxembourg can best master the challenges of the future in an association of states.
The DP supports European integration. Luxembourg has been committed to the European project from the very beginning. Over the past decades, the European Union has not only enabled us to realise common projects, but it also provides us with a platform to defend national interests. Membership of the European Union entails many rights and obligations. For the DP, it is clear that each member state must abide by the applicable rules and cherry picking must not be an option for member countries. Furthermore, it is important to the DP to maintain and strengthen Luxembourg as a European capital.
Values such as peace, freedom and democracy are deeply rooted in the heart of our nation. For the DP, it is clear that human rights and the rule of law must be respected and defended. Nationalist tendencies and more or less latent populist and protectionist movements unfortunately lead to an erosion of the rule of law. The DP stands for a European policy in which the principles of the rule of law and human rights are upheld. Specifically, the DP calls for the rule of law mechanism to be consistently strengthened at EU level.
We owe the Luxembourg model of success in large part to the European single market. The pandemic and the war in Ukraine have shown that the EU is highly dependent on foreign countries. It is not possible to make the European single market independent in a globalised world. The DP consciously supports initiatives to make the European economy – and especially our energy supply – more independent of third countries.
Luxembourg’s representation abroad should correspond to the size of our country and represent common values and national interests. If necessary, the DP advocates the conversion of trade offices into embassies or even the establishment of new embassies. Bilaterally, our trade relations and our network of bilateral tax treaties need to be strengthened.
Even after Brexit, stable and productive relations with the United Kingdom are important. The DP strives to cultivate these within the framework of a pan-European policy. The Brexit agreement must be strictly adhered to by both sides. Especially with regard to the regulation of the financial centre, a solid foundation is crucial.
In general, it is important for the European Union to adopt unified positions in foreign policy. Only united can the community stand up for its interests and values on the international stage. The DP is committed to ensuring that Luxembourg fulfils its role in European foreign and security policy with the necessary seriousness.
The Russian war of aggression in Ukraine has shaken the European security architecture and made us aware of Europe’s dependence on its American ally and the need for a coherent European security policy. The Democratic Party is committed to strengthening the interoperability of armies in the EU but also with third countries. The DP is also open to the creation of a European army. In order to further promote the development of the European Security and Defence Policy, investments in defence are to be continued. Border conflicts, cyber attacks and terrorism will continue to require our attention. Luxembourg is to increase its NATO contribution to one percent of the national gross national product by 2030. Those responsible for the crimes in the Ukraine war must be brought before an international court martial. In the long run, however, the Russian Federation should not be excluded from the international community.
The DP still adheres to the Copenhagen criteria : Institutional stability, democracy and the rule of law are basic prerequisites for the accession of a third country to the European Union. In the course of the Ukraine war, the idea arose of gradually bringing states and candidate countries closer to the European Union without immediately granting them membership status. The DP welcomes this approach and stresses that accession talks should only be initiated when there are serious efforts and tangible results on the part of a candidate state. We support the requests for admission of countries such as Albania, Kosovo, Northern Macedonia and Ukraine. From a geopolitical perspective, Moldova’s accession to the EU cannot be ruled out, even if this state still has to make adjustments to its legal system. First, however, the EU’s absorption capacity should be reviewed and, if necessary, improved. A well-functioning political union is a sine qua non for closer cooperation at the military level.
In order to remain capable of action, the decision-making processes within the European Union must be adapted, but without calling into question the principle of subsidiarity. With Luxembourg’s entry into the new EU coalition Group of Friends , a first push has already been made to facilitate decision-making in the EU. Citizen participation should be strengthened at European level to further involve people in politics in the future. Europe Day on 9 May, which is observed as a public holiday, should be an occasion to look back at European history. In addition, the issue of European integration needs to be addressed more thoroughly in our schools. The conclusions of the conference on the future of Europe should be implemented as soon as possible.
The DP is against a Fortress Europe. We must stand in solidarity with people who are forced to leave their homes because of war, discrimination or hatred. Applications from protection seekers are to be processed efficiently. Family reunification and family reunification must be designed in such a way that integration is possible. The Dublin system should be revised and expulsions must be decided and explained for comprehensible reasons. A just redistribution of refugees and people seeking protection should form the basis of an efficient and appropriate migration policy. According to a fair distribution key, all EU states must be prepared to take in asylum seekers and refugees.
The activities of FRONTEX must be more strictly controlled in the future and subjected to a critical review with regard to their legality. The EU agency must play a stronger role in monitoring the external borders.
Cooperation and collaboration can only succeed if a partner country is no longer dependent on international support. The goal is to ensure the security of the people in our partner countries and to strengthen the economy and social justice. DP stands for fair trade and equal relations with partner countries. We maintain the target of investing one per cent of our gross national income in official development assistance (ODA), including humanitarian aid. New target countries are not excluded, with priority being given to the African continent. Stricter rules must be applied in future towards existing countries of destination that disregard elementary principles of the rule of law.
Refer to the chapter on Sustainability
Refer to the chapter on Financial Centre
Respect for human rights is a top priority for DP. Structurally weak countries must not be exploited for the benefit of other countries. In addition, the Democratic Party is committed to sustainable production. In this sense, DP supports the European Commission’s proposal for a supply chain law to ensure that social and sustainability standards are respected. It should not be overlooked that the main burden of implementing supply chain legislation lies with businesses. Since new administrative procedures cannot be ruled out here, attention must be paid to proportionality. Furthermore, in the context of administrative simplification, the DP demands that the burden on businesses be eased where the administrative burden is not purposeful.
International organisations such as the UN, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the World Health Organisation (WHO) are reliable bodies for responding quickly and jointly to international challenges. The DP strongly believes that our engagement at this level must continue. In this sense, we are also open to reform proposals to make these institutions even more efficient. In particular, we support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. These seventeen concrete goals are intended to make global progress sustainable and, above all, help people out of poverty and hunger.
Transparency, efficient processes and impeccable cooperation are indispensable for good legal cooperation in Europe. Community investigation teams, as well as the newly created European Public Prosecutor’s Office, enable efficient cross-border investigative work. In order to ensure a better exchange of information, the DP advocates the creation of a European Security Agency. It is also important that all procedures between partner states are clear and coherent. Furthermore, clear rules are to determine how judgements of one country are to be implemented in other member states.
Refer to the chapter on Financial Centre
The DP supports nation branding efforts to give Luxembourg a positive image and increase the country’s attractiveness for foreign partners. This should enable the country to continue attracting investment, businesses and tourists. Nation branding is not only beneficial for our economy, but also promotes relations with countries inside and outside Europe.
Through programmes like Erasmus+ , young people in Europe are supported academically and professionally. The European Commission’s ALMA (Aim, Learn, Master, Achieve) programme enables unemployed young people to gain experience abroad in the EU for two to six months. The DP supports these and similar projects that broaden cultural exchange and ensure the success of future generations.