Luxembourg is a constitutional monarchy in a parliamentary democratic regime.
Executive power is held by the Grand Duke (Grand-Duc), who is the head of State and enjoys political immunity.
Formally, the Grand Duke has the right to freely organise his government. In practice, he generally charges the leader of the winning party with its formation. The formateur usually becomes prime minister and proposes ministers on the basis of legislative elections. The government is appointed by the Grand Duke and the government programme is presented to the parliament (Chamber of Deputies / Chambre des Députés) and submitted to a vote of approval.
Each ministry has the responsibility to prepare, to implement and to supervise the political decisions falling within its remit. The number of ministerial departments exceeds the number of members of government. A single minister may therefore manage several portfolios.
As a consequence of the Grand Duke's political immunity, each political measure undertaken by the head of State has to be countersigned by a member of the government, who thus assumes political responsibility.
The legislative procedure is initiated by the government or the Chamber of Deputies, who both have the right of initiative, i.e. to propose governmental drafts of law (projets de loi) or parliament bills (propositions de loi). In a further step, government and parliament bills are examined by the Council of State (Conseil d’État) which checks compliance with the Constitution and superordinate frameworks and pronounces an opinion on the bill. Following this, a parliamentary debate is opened and the Chamber of Deputies proceeds to a parliamentary vote. The Grand Duke enacts voted laws, which are then published in the official journal (mémorial) and acquire legal status.
Judicial power is exercised independently by courts and tribunals, which belong either to the judicial or to the administrative branch.
Elections are held at local, national and European level. For national citizens, local and national elections are compulsory. Foreign citizens who have been living in Luxembourg for at least five years can vote in local elections, provided they register on electoral lists. European citizens have also the right to participate in European elections.
Although there are several levels of political and administrative subdivision (4 electoral districts, 2 judiciary districts, 12 cantons, and 102 municipalities), municipalities (communes) constitute the only decentralised level of decision-making.
Bodies involved in education
Two ministries bear the main responsibility for Luxembourg’s educational system:
- The Ministry of Education, Children and Youth (MENJE; ministère de l’Éducation nationale, de l'Enfance et de la Jeunesse) is responsible for planning and managing school education; of structures providing non-formal extracurricular education and care and for a large part of the offer as well as the support schemes for adult education
- The Ministry of Higher Education and Research (MESR; ministère de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche) is responsible for higher education.
Other authorities cooperate with the Ministry of Education in specific fields:
- The Ministry of Family Affairs, Integration and the Greater Region (MFI; ministère de la Famille, de l’Intégration et à la Grande Région) is in charge of matters such as family policy, social inclusion, solidarity, senior citizens and integration of foreign citizens
- The Ministry of Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy (MTE; ministère du Travail, de l’Emploi et de l'Économie sociale et solidaire) through its Agency for the development of employment (ADEM; Agence pour le développement de l'emploi) cooperates with the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth on matters related to vocational guidance and lifelong learning
- Municipalities are responsible for the offer of infrastructure and educational facilities for pre-primary and primary education. The teachers are appointed by the State, but municipalities are competent for these establishments' organisation, for the approval of school success plans, for school evaluation and for setting up schools' Plans for extracurricular education (PEP; Plan d'encadrement périscolaire – see article 5.1 Organisation of Primary Education).