European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI)

Fourth report on Luxembourg [en] - [fr]

Press Release – 21.02.2012

Council of Europe’s Anti-Racism Commission publishes new report on Luxembourg

Strasbourg, 23.02.2012 - The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) today published its new report on Luxembourg. ECRI’s Chair ad interim, François Sant’Angelo, said that, while there have been positive developments, issues of concern persist. For example inequalities in employment remain and the Centre for Equal Treatment (Centre pour l’égalité de traitement - CET) should be strengthened.

In 2006, Luxembourg introduced legislation against racial discrimination and in 2008 the CET was set up as the Luxembourg body with the task to promote, analyse and monitor equality of treatment between all persons without discrimination on grounds of, among others, “race” or ethnic origin, religion or other beliefs. The 2008 law on free movement of persons and immigration simplified the system for granting work permits to foreigners.

However, the need to pass a test on spoken Letzeburgisch is an obstacle to the acquisition of Luxembourg nationality for a number of foreigners. The school drop-out rate is particularly high among foreign pupils. The division of labour among several bodies combating racial discrimination is problematic, since their terms of reference overlap in some cases. The ethnic origin or the language spoken by a person arrested continue to be mentioned in the media without its being necessary for the understanding of the news.

In its report, ECRI has made a number of recommendations to the authorities, three of which require priority implementation and will be revisited by ECRI in two years’ time:

  • Strengthen the CET by enabling it to take part in legal proceedings, by giving it the necessary human and financial resources, and by ensuring that the persons or bodies to which it addresses itself are obliged to reply;
  • Ensure that the Detention Centre near the Luxembourg airport has staff sufficiently well trained to deal with the persons detained;
  • Increase the human and financial resources allotted to the National Council for Foreigners, help it to acquire a higher profile and make premises available for holding its meetings adequately.

The report, including Government observations, is available here. It was prepared following ECRI’s contact visit to Luxembourg in March 2011 [Press Release – 18.03.2011] and takes account of developments up to 23 June 2011.

ECRI is a human rights body of the Council of Europe, composed of independent experts, which monitors problems of racism, discrimination on grounds of ethnic origin, colour, citizenship, religion and language, as well as xenophobia, antisemitism and intolerance, prepares reports and issues recommendations to member States.

For more information on ECRI:

Press contact: Stefano Valenti, Tel: +33 (0)3 90 21 43 28,