Last updated in July 2019
Relations between the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the Federal Republic of Germany are close and in a spirit of trust, both on the political and economic fronts and in the cultural realm. Members of both the national and regional governments and parliaments in Luxembourg and Germany are in close contact. The two countries are also important partners for each other within the framework of the European Union.
The last state visit to Luxembourg by a German Head of State was then Federal President Joachim Gauck’s visit from 3 to 5 November 2014. It was a great success and a high point in bilateral relations that met with a positive response among the population in Luxembourg and in the country’s media.
There are currently around 13,100 Germans living in Luxembourg, including many with dual nationality. In addition, every day some 44,200 people commute to the Grand Duchy from Germany. This number includes approximately 5000 Luxembourg nationals who live in Germany.
Luxembourg is the hub of the culturally and economically thriving Greater Region of Luxembourg, comprising the German federal states of Saarland and Rhineland-Palatinate, the French region of Lorraine, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, and Belgium’s Wallonia region and its Wallonia-Brussels Federation and German-speaking Community. The cooperation area is founded on an agreement between the Governments of the Federal Republic of Germany, the French Republic and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg on cooperation in the border regions, which was signed on 16 October 1980 and whose main political body is the Greater Region Summit. The principal areas of cross-border cooperation are regional planning, labour mobility, civil defence, culture, tourism and transport.
More than 220,000 commuters work in the Greater Region, a number that is trending upwards, with 180,900 commuters working in Luxembourg alone. The Grand Duchy’s high level of real wages makes it increasingly attractive to workers from across the region. Luxembourg’s economy is constantly creating new jobs for skilled workers.
Germany is Luxembourg’s main economic partner. In 2016, Germany was the destination for 27.6 percent of Luxembourg’s exports and the source of 27.4 percent of Luxembourg’s imports, putting it ahead of France and behind Belgium. Luxembourg’s exports (including steel products) supply Germany’s automotive industry in particular. Relations are also close in the financial sector. Of the 141 banks registered in Luxembourg as of 31 December 2016, 24 are branches of German banks.
Germany and Luxembourg maintain wide-ranging cultural relations. Thanks to the two countries’ geographical proximity, Luxembourg’s citizens are extremely well informed about Germany. A bilateral cultural agreement has been in place since 1980.
In 2003, Germany, France and Luxembourg established the trilateral Institut Pierre Werner (IPW). By promoting cultural and intellectual dialogue between the founding nations, the IPW is helping to develop a European citizenship in the tradition of the European Enlightenment and in the light of the experiences of the post-war period of the 20th century.
The Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for International, European and Regulatory Procedural Law was officially opened in the country in 2013. It is the first Max Planck Institute in the field of law located outside Germany. Luxembourg makes substantial contributions to its upkeep. The German-Luxembourg school project “Schengen-Lyzeum” (Schengen Grammar School) was opened in the Saarland town of Perl, close to the border with Luxembourg, on 27 August 2007. Some 800 students are taught in German, French and Luxembourgish by teachers from the two countries. Students there earned the German higher education entrance qualification (Abitur) for the first time at the end of the 2014-2015 school year.
The University of Luxembourg, which was established only in 2003, is part of the University of the Greater Region network along with five other universities in Germany, France and Belgium. Germany is an attractive study destination for many students from Luxembourg, especially those studying humanities and science. A cooperation agreement has been in place between the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation) and the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR) since 2009.