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New Luxembourg government sworn in

Published Friday July 24 2009

New Luxembourg government sworn in

Following its legislative elections held on June 7th 2009, the new Luxembourg coalition government, composed of the CSV and LSAP political parties, has been sworn in by Grand Duke Henri on July 24. Jean-Claude Juncker (CSV) has been confirmed in his functions as Prime Minister of Luxembourg/

Photo (copyright SIP/ Luc Deflorenne)

Composition of the new Luxembourg government:

Jean-Claude Juncker : Prime Minister, Minister of State. Minister for the Treasury

Jean Asselborn : Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Marie-Josée Jacobs : Minister for Family Affairs and Integration, Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs

Mady Delvaux-Stehres : Minister of National Education and Vocational Training

Luc Frieden : Minister of Finance

François Biltgen : Minister of Justice, Minister for the Civil Service and Administrative Reform, Minister for Higher Education and Research, Minister for Communications and Media, Minister for Religious Affairs

Jeannot Krecké : Minister of the Economy and Foreign Trade

Mars Di Bartolomeo : Minister of Health, Minister of Social Security

Jean-Marie Halsdorf : Minister for Home Affairs and the Greater Region, Minister of Defence

Claude Wiseler : Minister for Sustainable Development and Infrastructure

Nicolas Schmit : Minister of Labour, Employment and Immigration

Octavie Modert : Minister for Culture, Minister for Relations with Parliament, Minister for Administrative Simplification attached to the Prime Minister, Minister Delegate for the Civil Service and Administrative Reform

Marco Schank : Minister for Housing, Minister Delegate for Sustainable Development and Infrastructure

Françoise Hetto-Gaasch : Minister of the Small and Medium-Sized Businesses and Tourism, Minister for Equal Opportunities

Romain Schneider : Minister of Agriculture, Viticulture and Rural Development, Minister of Sport, Minister Delegate of the Solidarity Economy

Extract of the new government’s programme, chapter “Foreign Affairs, Immigration, Defense and Cooperation” (unofficial translation)

The expression of national sovereignty and the defense of Luxembourg’s vital interests outside can be achieved through the implementation of a dynamic, coherent and visible foreign policy.

This policy goes beyond the narrow context of traditional diplomacy to federate, on different levels, a whole series of subjects among which figure defense, cooperation, migrations, economy, environment, and food security, within an integrated foreign policy, which must follow, among other principles, the principle of coherence of policies.

The Government will give to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs the means to defend and coordinate this policy throughout the upcoming legislature.

1. Basic principles of the foreign policy

The main objective of the foreign policy being the maintenance of peace and security, its realization implies a permanent commitment within the international community, as much in the field of prevention of conflicts as in that of the establishment of peace and reconstruction.

A lasting success in the field necessarily implies a qualitative improvement of international governance. It’s International Law that must serve as the basis of lasting improvement of peace and security. This process does not concern only the relations between States but also the internal situation of each State.

In fact, the objective of guaranteeing peace and security by respecting the law can be attained only if, beyond the States, it is extended to individuals. One must thus work in favor of fundamental rights and public liberties by making an effort to promote everywhere the rule of law.

The contribution of Luxembourg towards the realization of these objectives is necessarily connected to its action within the different international organizations of which it is a founding member. Luxembourg will thus continue to play an active role on a national basis and as a founding State in organizations such as the European Union (EU), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Benelux, the European Council, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the United Nations.

In this context, it is to be mentioned that the first priority is the participation in the elaboration and the implementation of the foreign policy of the European Union. This covers the dialogue between certain strategic speakers and principal regional groups as well as the commitment in favor of regions and countries in crisis, such as the west Balkans, the Near and Middle East, Afghanistan and its region as well as Africa.

The other important priority is the continuation of the implementation of the 2001 Government’s decision to present Luxembourg’s candidature for the non permanent seat to the Security Council of the United Nations for the 2013-2014 period.

(…)

2. Participation in the effort to defend and preserve peace at the international level

Defense is an integral part of the foreign policy of Luxembourg. It expresses itself in a complementary manner within the Atlantic Alliance and the European Union in the context of its security and defense policy.

By deploying its military forces in the missions of the NATO, the European Union and the UNO, Luxembourg actively participates in the protection and the defense of the security interests of Europe, thus showing its solidarity with the allies by sharing, as far as possible, the burden of the external commitments and the risks incurred. This commitment also allows it to participate, as a full partner, in the decision making which determines its security and to benefit from the security guarantee of its allies.

(…)

Another pillar of the prevention of conflicts as well as their resolution lies in a non-military effort. The development of civil missions mainly aimed at reconstructing and consolidating the State and public order will be actively pursued by Luxembourg by way of its active participation in the civil missions of the European Union, the OSCE and the United Nations.

3. European policy

European integration, the commitment of member States to deal together with the major problems that the Union faces today and may face in the future and elaboration of equitable solutions with a common agreement which reply to the preoccupations and the legitimate expectations of the citizens as much as those of the member States, remain the absolute priority of the Luxembourg diplomacy.

(…)

3.3 Expansion of the European Union

The Government estimates that the adhesion of new member States will contribute to the expansion of the stability and prosperity zone beyond the current frontiers of the Union. In order to ensure the appropriate functioning of an expanded European Union, it must be equipped with instruments and means which would allow it to function in an efficient manner by reinforcing the bonds of solidarity which unite its members. The European Union must allow every European State to become its member as long as the State respects the fundamental values of the Union and fulfils the adhesion criteria, while preserving its ability to integrate.

(…)

4. Development cooperation

The development cooperation is an important means of the external action of the Government and a fortiori with a sustainable development approach understood as a common global cause. It is a reflection of international solidarity and serves the common interests with the partners towards development at the same time as Luxembourg’s own interest like mitigating the negative effects of poverty but also other effects like those concerning climate change.

In this spirit and with the concern of better efficiency in its cooperation towards development, the Government will, in particular,

- maintain the quantitative effort of Luxembourg cooperation in volume and in percentage of gross national income (1% of the Gross National Income in the years to come);

- work towards an ever increasing quality of Luxembourg cooperation.

(…)

Sustainable development

Poverty in the world and climate change constitute the principal challenges for sustainable development. The problems which they create are closely related and the effects they produce are felt all over the globe. The developing countries and the industrialized countries are faced with this double challenge on the same level, although in different degrees. Specific actions, isolated or individual, do not provide satisfactory results and do not allow avoiding the potentially harmful effects of poverty and climate change, in the southern hemisphere as in the northern hemisphere.

Sustainable development must be perceived as a permanent calling into cause, as a manner of managing change for the better. In this context, it is more urgent than ever to adopt an approach which integrates the three constitutive elements of sustainable development which are economic, social and environmental.

(…)

5. Immigration - asylum

The law of 29 August 2008 relating to the free movement of people and immigration creates the necessary legal framework for legal immigration which constitutes a positive contribution to Luxembourg society and economy.

(…)

The organization of legal immigration goes hand in hand with an efficient struggle against illegal immigration and work. Luxembourg will apply its legislation with rigor based on a European directive on the matter.

(…)

Luxembourg will intensify its cooperation on the bilateral level as well as multilateral in order to better organize legal immigration and to fight against illegal immigration.

(…)

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