the relocation in Luxembourg

Brief History:

The written history of Lucilinburhuc (i.e. Luxembourg) starts in the year 963, when Siegfried, Count of the Ardennes, and founder of the Luxembourg Dynasty, had a castle built on the territory of the present-day capital of Luxembourg. This castle was the origin of the establishment of a town, which later was to develop into a formidable fortress, known by the name of "Gibraltar of the North". At its height, the fortress was girdled by three ring-walls studded with 24 forts, and linked underground by a 23 kilometre network of Casemates. In 1994, Luxembourg City was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list.

After a long period of foreign sovereignty (Burgundian / Spanish / French / Austrian / ...), the Congress of Vienna settled the destiny of the country, by raising it to the rank of Grand Duchy, and by giving it as personal property to the King of the Netherlands William I of Orange-Nassau. The personal union between Luxembourg and the Netherlands lasted until 1890. During this period the political independence and autonomy were strengthened, and the democratic institutions were developed.

The 11th of May 1867 is one of the most important dates in national history. The Treaty of London reaffirmed Luxembourg's territorial lntarlty and the political autonomy which had already been granted by the Treaty of Vienna of 1839. Furthermore, Luxembourg was declared perpetually neutral, and the great powers agreed to guarantee and to protect the neutrality of the Grand Duchy.

Since 1890, when the Crown of the Grand Duchy passed to the elder branch of the House of Nassau, Luxembourg has had its own Dynasty. The present ruler, H.R.H. Grand Duke Henri, succeeded his father, Grand Duke Jean to the throne in October 2000, after having been appointed as "Leutenant-Représentant" -the Grand Duke’s official deputy- on 3 March 1998, as provided for by Article 42 of the Luxembourg Constitution.

Grand Duke Jean’s mother, Grand Duchess Charlotte, Duchess of Nassau, Princess of Bourbon Parma, died in 1985. Grand Duke Jean and his wife Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte, the sister to Albert, King of the Belgians, have five children Henri, Jean, Guillaume, Marie-Astrid, and Margaretha. (See also Grand-Ducal Family Tree and/or The Grand-Ducal Family and especially monarchie.lu).

Executive power is in the hands of the Grand Duke and a Cabinet of 12 ministers. The legislative power rests with a Parliament (Chamber of Deputies) elected by men and women over 18, all of whom in Luxembourg have the right and duty to vote. (See also: Luxembourg Government)
Despite its neutrality, Luxembourg was occupied twice by German troops during the two Word Wars- The Battle of the Bukge was to a great extent fought on Luxembourg territory.

In 1948 the country gave up its neutrality, to join the various economic, political and military organisations of Europe. Already forming a close economic union with Belgium since 1921, the Grand Duchy is a founder member of the EU, and was host to the first European institutions in 1953.

At present the following European Union institutions are based in Luxembourg:
• The Commission of the European Community, including the Statistical Office
(EUROSTAT) and the Publications Office.
• The Court of Justice of the European Communities.
• The General Secretariat of the European Parliament.
• The European Investment Bank.
• The European Court of Auditors.
• The Official Publications Office.
• The Nuclear Safety Administration.
• The Directorate-General of Credits and Investments.
In addition, various other European Organisations (among which EFTA) also have offices in Luxembourg. Moreover, the sessions of the Council of Ministers take place in Luxembourg three months in the year (April, June and October).

1985 Luxembourg signs the Schengen Treaty which allows free movement between Germany, France and the Benelux countries. Schengen is a small village on the Moselle river on the border with both France and Germany. The treaty was signed on a boat in the middle of the river at the point where the three countries meet.
1999 Luxembourg joins the Euro currency area.