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Populism in Luxembourg (TruLies Blog by Jean-Marie Majerus)

"Luxembourg State Flag" (CC BY-NC 2.0) by James.Stringer

“Mir wëlle bleiwe wat mir sin.“ (We want to stay what we are.) This national motto of Luxem­bourg emerged in the 19th century, the time of the devel­opment of national consciousness and was supposed to make reference to the indepen­dence of the grand duchy. However, to the dismay of many Luxem­bourgers, more than 100 years later, this sentence was used by the now dissolved racist Luxem­burgish “national movement” under the lead of Pierre Peters, an economist sentenced for xenophobia. While Luxem­bourgers are known for being down-to-earth, their multi­lin­gualism and cosmopoli­tanism usually means that xenophobia is not much of an issue. It could therefore be asked if Luxem­bourg is a country “immune against racism”, as was claimed by a socio­logical study in 1997. Accord­ingly, the under­lying question would be: Why are populist parties relatively successful in some Western European countries, while they fail in others? In a new TruLies blog post, Jean-Marie Marjerus traces the devel­opment of the few slightly populist movements in Luxem­bourg and the reasons for their lack of success, but also asks if Luxem­bourg can stay an “Island of the Blessed”, surrounded by a populist ocean.

Jean-Marie Majerus is the deputy director of the „Centre d’études et de recherches européennes Robert Schuman (CERE)“ (European Study and Research Centre Robert Schuman).

The project “TruLies – The Truth about Lies on Europe”, aided by the Stiftung Mercator and run by the Institute for European Politics (IEP) in cooper­ation with Das Progressive Zentrum, has two principal objec­tives. On the one hand, it strives to decon­struct Eurosceptic and populist preju­dices, animosities, and false asser­tions, by means of social scien­tif­i­cally-grounded analysis. Thus, it aims to contribute to a ratio­nal­i­sation of the public discourse and debate in Germany (and beyond). On the other hand, “TruLies Europe” endeavours to publicly commu­nicate its findings beyond the select circle of scholars to political actors, civil society, and the wider public. You may find further infor­mation on our website:

Jean-Marie Majerus‘s contri­bution can be found here.