Periodic Report Luxembourg

Executive summary

Luxembourg is a multilingual and multicultural country, hence the promotion of the objectives of the "Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions" is omnipresent, as it is intrinsic to the concerns and policies, in particular cultural policies. Indeed, cultural diversity is a daily reality in Luxembourg where, spread over some 2586 km2, citizens of more than 120 countries (approx. 43% of the population are of foreign origin) come together at work, school, or in the social, cultural and sports realms. Luxembourg’s promotion and implementation of the 2005 Convention is therefore equivalent to an affirmation of the multiculturalism of the country, while maintaining its own cultural identity.

That said, the implementation of the 2005 Convention is primarily articulated around the objectives set out in the Government Statement, the current one dated 29 July 2009. In the domain of culture, it specifically retains that "culture, purveyor of values, is an integrating factor and promotes cohesion of our society".

There follows a number of well-defined objectives, such as the establishment of a "Forum of Cultures" by 2014 - a platform designed to better comprehend the cultural diversity of Luxembourg and achieve true integration and exchange by facilitating the encounter of cultural actors as well as foreigners and Luxembourg citizens, especially for intercultural dialogue. Or by taking specific measures to provide more and more people, whether nationals or otherwise, with the opportunity to learn Luxembourgish as a means of integration and communication, notably using an online dictionary which is currently being finalized. It also aims to encourage greater exchange between creative artists from Luxembourg and the "Greater Region" composed of the neighbouring regions of Germany (Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland), Belgium (Wallonia) and France (Lorraine). To this end, the "Cultural Space Greater Region" association was created in 2008. It brings together representatives of the different countries and regions, and its mission is the coordination, support and promotion of trans-border projects for cooperation and professionalism of cultural actors beyond national borders.

The objectives of the Convention are also reflected inherently in many activities at the national and international levels, among which the application of assistance measures to both national culture actors and foreign resident artists (e.g. status of independent professional artist or intermittent workers in the entertainment field, creation support grants, subsidies etc..); the implementation of international projects notably in the framework of bilateral cultural agreements concluded with some thirty partner countries; exhibitions by foreign artists in three galleries of the Ministry of Culture; activities of cultural institutes and institutions, in particular with the Cultural Meeting Centre of Neumünster Abbey, dedicated to dialogue between cultures, or the tri-national Pierre Werner Institute which collaborates with the Goethe Institute, the French Cultural Centre and the Luxembourg Ministry of Culture, etc.

If the efforts towards cultural diversity are constants and influential in Luxembourg, a special challenge in relation to the 2005 Convention is perhaps that of making this interconnection even more visible. However, this is a mission that has been identified in conjunction with the National Commission for Cooperation with UNESCO, which intends to pursue it as an important priority.