Luxembourg

   

Executive Capacity

#15
Key Findings
With its comparatively small administration, Luxembourg falls into the upper-middle ranks internationally (rank 15) with respect to executive capacity. Its score on this measure has declined by 0.3 points relative to its 2014 level.

The country’s small executive has limited resources for strategic planning. While the Prime Minister’s Office is not legally allowed to work with line ministries in policy preparation, it can propose projects and reject bills, thus retaining a central policy role. There are no institutionalized mechanisms of coordination between line ministries, but informal coordination is very important.

Implementation is generally effective if somewhat slow, particularly when powerful lobbies are involved. A recent municipal-finance reform aims to provide municipalities with greater financial security. Municipalities have complained about the lack of a national land-use plan, which means that planning procedures vary significantly across municipalities.

RIAs for draft bills are required. Two new online platforms offer information on the impact of ongoing reform programs. Ex post evaluations of legislation are rare. Policy development typically involves broad and institutionalized consultation with economic interest groups and relevant civil-society organizations. Power interest groups such as civil servants can disproportionately affect policy.

Strategic Capacity

#23

How much influence do strategic planning units and bodies have on government decision-making?

10
 9

Strategic planning units and bodies take a long-term view of policy challenges and viable solutions, and they exercise strong influence on government decision-making.
 8
 7
 6


Strategic planning units and bodies take a long-term view of policy challenges and viable solutions. Their influence on government decision-making is systematic but limited in issue scope or depth of impact.
 5
 4
 3


Strategic planning units and bodies take a long-term view of policy challenges and viable solutions. Occasionally, they exert some influence on government decision-making.
 2
 1

In practice, there are no units and bodies taking a long-term view of policy challenges and viable solutions.
Strategic Planning
4
The country´s small size and consequently small size of its administration, does not allow for sufficient strategic planning. Only a few public bodies offer simulations, such as the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies Luxembourg (STATEC) and the General Inspectorate of Social Security (Inspection Générale de la Sécurité Sociale, IGSS). The State Economic and Social Council (Conseil économique et social) and the merged public research institute LISER offer more qualitative analyses. The research department of the central bank (Banque Centrale du Luxembourg) and the general inspectorate of the financial sector (Commission de surveillance du secteur financier, CSSF), focus on economics and finance planning. While these institutions are state-financed, they are nevertheless insufficiently equipped to offer long-term planning activities. For instance, State Economic and Social Council reports are partially written by civil servants from the relevant ministry departments. Strategic planning is mostly performed by institutions abroad, which offer the advantage of independence and guidance via international standards. Once a report is submitted, negotiations begin between the minister and promoters; the final compromise is a draft of the project, designed abroad.

Citations:
“Autres acteurs.” Le portail des statistiques du Luxembourg. www.statistiques.public.lu/fr/acteurs/autres/index.html. Accessed 23 Oct. 2018.

Banque centrale du Luxembourg. http://www.bcl.lu/fr/statistiques/index.html. Accessed 23 Oct. 2018.

Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier. www.cssf.lu/en/ Accessed 23 Oct. 2018.

Conseil économique et social. www.ces.public.lu/fr.html. Accessed 23 Oct. 2018.

Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research. www.liser.lu. Accessed 23 Oct. 2018.

Does the government regularly take into account advice from non-governmental experts during decision-making?

10
 9

In almost all cases, the government transparently consults with non-governmental experts in the early stages of government decision-making.
 8
 7
 6


For major political projects, the government transparently consults with non-governmental experts in the early stages of government decision-making.
 5
 4
 3


In some cases, the government transparently consults with non-governmental experts in the early stages of government decision-making.
 2
 1

The government does not consult with non-governmental experts, or existing consultations lack transparency entirely and/or are exclusively pro forma.
Expert Advice
7
Luxembourg’s main research institutions were founded only recently. For instance, the national university was founded in 2003. Three additional national research centers (CRP-Gabriel Lippmann, CRP-Henri Tudor, CRP-Santé) were founded in 1999, which were later combined into two research centers: the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) and Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER).

For major policy reform projects, the government mostly consults highly reputable institutions abroad. This has the advantage that scholarly advice from institutions abroad allows for independent analysis. Considering the country’s small size, links between government and national research facilities are strong.

However, there are also areas where researchers cannot make themselves heard, such as in the school system and state planning (“Raumplanung”). In those areas, advice from, for example, members of the University of Luxembourg is insufficiently heard. With regard to heritage protection, the government held a hearing with civil society organizations between 2013 and 2015. These hearings, however, did not produce any results. This ultimately led to frustration and was a topic in the 2018 election campaign.

Citations:
“Alles nützt. Alles? In ihrem zweiten Bericht zur Innovation in Luxemburg stellt die OECD vor allem fest, dass es noch immer keine Strategie dafür gibt.” https://www.list.lu/en/media-centre/press/alles-nuetzt-alles/
Accessed 15 Dec. 2018.

Interministerial Coordination

#9

Does the government office / prime minister’s office (GO / PMO) have the expertise to evaluate ministerial draft bills according to the government’s priorities?

10
 9

The GO / PMO provides regular, independent evaluations of draft bills for the cabinet / prime minister. These assessments are guided exclusively by the government’s priorities.
 8
 7
 6


The GO / PMO evaluates most draft bills according to the government’s priorities.
 5
 4
 3


The GO / PMO can rely on some sectoral policy expertise but does not evaluate draft bills.
 2
 1

The GO / PMO does not have any sectoral policy expertise. Its role is limited to collecting, registering and circulating documents submitted for cabinet meetings.
GO Expertise
6
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) employs around 40 civil servants, mostly trained in law, economics and political science. As a result, the PMO does not have sufficient resources to assess all the activities of government ministries. Due to the limited capacities of all ministries, including the PMO, there is no management body or special committee designated to manage interministerial coordination.

Thus, senior civil servants in the ministries prepare a “pré-conseil” or pre-briefing for the weekly meeting of ministers (conseil de gouvernement). All draft bills must be adopted at both stages before being introduced to parliament, as well as revised within these two interministerial meetings. In addition, the Inspectorate General of Finance (Inspection générale des finances, IGF) evaluates draft bills and participates in numerous committees.

Citations:
“Conseil de gouvernement.” Le portal de l’actualité gouvermentale. https://gouvernement.lu/fr/actualites/conseils_de_gouvernement.html. Accessed 23 Oct. 2018.

“Gouvernement.” Le portal de l’actualité gouvermentale. https://gouvernement.lu/fr/gouvernement.html. Accessed 23 Oct. 2018.

To what extent do line ministries involve the government office/prime minister’s office in the preparation of policy proposals?

10
 9

There are inter-related capacities for coordination between GO/PMO and line ministries.
 8
 7
 6


The GO/PMO is regularly briefed on new developments affecting the preparation of policy proposals.
 5
 4
 3


Consultation is rather formal and focuses on technical and drafting issues.
 2
 1

Consultation occurs only after proposals are fully drafted as laws.
Line Ministries
8
The Prime Minister’s Office is not legally allowed to be involved in the preparation of bills or proposals by line ministries. Sensitive political proposals are often included in the coalition program. There are no institutionalized mechanisms of coordination between line ministries and there is no unit dealing with policy assessment and evaluation. Informally, however, no sensitive proposal is presented to the Council of Ministers without being approved beforehand by the prime minister. An informal body of ministerial civil servants meets ahead of the Council of Ministers, to prepare the agenda and make adjustments if needed. Even though the prime minister has not held the influential finance portfolio since 2009, his central role in the governance process has not been weakened.

Citations:
“Arrêté grand-ducal du 28 janvier 2015 portant constitution des Ministères.” Journal officiel du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg, 30 January 2015. www.data.legilux.public.lu/eli/etat/leg/agd/2015/01/28/n1/jo. Accessed 23 Oct. 2018.

How effectively do ministerial or cabinet committees coordinate cabinet proposals?

10
 9

The vast majority of cabinet proposals are reviewed and coordinated first by committees.
 8
 7
 6


Most cabinet proposals are reviewed and coordinated by committees, in particular proposals of political or strategic importance.
 5
 4
 3


There is little review or coordination of cabinet proposals by committees.
 2
 1

There is no review or coordination of cabinet proposals by committees. Or: There is no ministerial or cabinet committee.
Cabinet Committees
8
There are no cabinet committees, in the strict sense. The Council of Ministers (Luxembourg’s cabinet) has to rely entirely on the work of line ministries or interministerial groups, if more than one department is concerned. Generally, the Council of Ministers is well prepared, as only bills that have been accepted informally are presented. Moreover, bills must be scrutinized by experts at the Ministry of Finance and the inspector general of finance (Inspection générale des finances), which is comprised of senior civil servants and chaired by the secretary-general of the Council of Ministers. This informal body insures that coherence prevails. The Prime Minister’s Office has assumed some horizontal competences on issues that concern more than one ministry, notably in the field of administrative simplification, ethical and deontological questions.
There are regular sessions of the government council (“Regierungsrat”). The government council includes ministers and sometimes state secretaries, although there are currently no state secretaries (“Staatssekretäre”). There are no other cabinet committees outside the government council. Additional cabinet committees do not seem necessary as there are ad hoc meetings between relevant ministers on specific issues. The system is not rigid or predetermined, but works well.

Citations:
http://luxembourg.public.lu/de/le-grand-duche-se-presente/systeme-politique/institutions-politiques/gouvernement/index.html. Accessed 15 Dec. 2018.

How effectively do ministry officials/civil servants coordinate policy proposals?

10
 9

Most policy proposals are effectively coordinated by ministry officials/civil servants.
 8
 7
 6


Many policy proposals are effectively coordinated by ministry officials/civil servants.
 5
 4
 3


There is some coordination of policy proposals by ministry officials/civil servants.
 2
 1

There is no or hardly any coordination of policy proposals by ministry officials/civil servants.
Ministerial Bureaucracy
9
Senior ministry officials and interministerial meetings are important for the preparation of draft bills and for cabinet meetings. There is both formal and informal coordination in the conception of new policy, in policy modification or in the conception of a pre-draft bill. As part of the process, interministerial ad hoc groups are formed. Normally, a pre-draft bill is already the result of consultation with social partners and civil society groups. Once the pre-draft bill is published, official consultation rounds start again.

Citations:
Thomas, Bernard/Schmit, Laurent: “Die Unentbehrlichen: Wieviel Macht haben hohe Beamte?” Forum.lu, September 2013, pp. 33-37. www.forum.lu/pdf/artikel/7693_332_ThomasSchmit.pdf. Accessed 23 Oct. 2018.
Bossaert, Danielle (2008): Die öffentliche Verwaltung, in: Wolfgang H. Lorig/Mario Hirsch (eds.): Das politische System Luxemburgs, Springer VS Verlag, pp. 130 – 142.

How effectively do informal coordination mechanisms complement formal mechanisms of interministerial coordination?

10
 9

Informal coordination mechanisms generally support formal mechanisms of interministerial coordination.
 8
 7
 6


In most cases, informal coordination mechanisms support formal mechanisms of interministerial coordination.
 5
 4
 3


In some cases, informal coordination mechanisms support formal mechanisms of interministerial coordination.
 2
 1

Informal coordination mechanisms tend to undermine rather than complement formal mechanisms of interministerial coordination.
Informal Coordination
9
There are many opportunities for informal coordination, given Luxembourg’s small size, its close-knit society and government administration. Those in public administration responsible for early policy research and formulation, are well familiar with representatives of social organizations and members of civil society research institutions. In such a small state, there are many opportunities for informal contact between public servants and experts from research institutions, business and civil society. Senior civil servants are simultaneously responsible for various projects, have an enormous workload and represent the government within different bodies, boards and committees.

Citations:
“Participations de l’Etat.“ Trésorerie de l’Etat. 2017. www.te.public.lu/fr/participations.html. Accessed 23 Oct. 2018.
Bossaert, Danielle (2008): Die Modernisierung der öffentlichen Verwaltung und des öffentlichen Dienstes im Großherzogtum Luxemburg in: Wolfgang H. Lorig (ed.): Moderne Verwaltung in der Bürgergesellschaft, Nomos Verlag, pp. 298 – 312.

How extensively and effectively are digital technologies used to support interministerial coordination (in policy development and monitoring)?

10
 9

The government uses digital technologies extensively and effectively to support interministerial coordination.
 8
 7
 6


The government uses digital technologies in most cases and somewhat effectively to support interministerial coordination.
 5
 4
 3


The government uses digital technologies to a lesser degree and with limited effects to support interministerial coordination.
 2
 1

The government makes no substantial use of digital technologies to support interministerial coordination.
Digitalization for Interministerial C.
7
Initial attempts have been made to use interministerial platforms. Since 2015, there has been a platform in the Ministry of the Interior for the subjects of a land-use plan, (“Plan d’aménagement general” or “Flächennutzungsplan,” PAG), a sub-development plan (“Plan d’aménagement particulier” or “Teil-Bebauungsplan,” PAP) and environmental studies. This platform is used by representatives of various ministries (including the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry for the Environment and a monument protection authority). An evaluation is still pending.

Citations:
https://guichet.public.lu/de/entreprises/urbanisme-environnement/construction-amenagement-site/construction-transformation-demolition/plan-amenagement-general.html. Accessed 12 Nov. 2018.
https://guichet.public.lu/de/entreprises/urbanisme-environnement/construction-amenagement-site/construction-transformation-demolition/plan-amenagement-particulier.html. Accessed 12 Nov. 2018.
“Noch viel Platz in Luxemburg,” Tageblatt, 11 September 2017. http://www.tageblatt.lu/headlines/noch-viel-platz-in-luxemburg/ Accessed 11 Nov. 2018.

Evidence-based Instruments

#35

To what extent does the government assess the potential impacts of existing and prepared legal acts (regulatory impact assessments, RIA)?

10
 9

RIA are applied to all new regulations and to existing regulations which are characterized by complex impact paths. RIA methodology is guided by common minimum standards.
 8
 7
 6


RIA are applied systematically to most new regulations. RIA methodology is guided by common minimum standards.
 5
 4
 3


RIA are applied in some cases. There is no common RIA methodology guaranteeing common minimum standards.
 2
 1

RIA are not applied or do not exist.
RIA Application
5
At the end of the 1990s, Luxembourg launched its first draft for regulatory impact assessments (RIAs), to simplify administrative procedures at both, the national and European levels. Since 2004, the government has systematized the potential impact of legislative proposals by aligning legislative and administrative processes under the responsibility of a competent authority, the Plateforme interministérielle de réforme et de simplification administrative. The so-called Omnibus Bill concerning 11 laws and two regulations was implemented in 2017 to facilitate and speed up planning procedures in 102 municipalities, a transversal approach toward a systematic screening of all administrative procedures. Currently, the government is evaluating the impact of 89 administrative simplification projects.

Since 2009, all draft bills have been required to undergo a regulatory impact assessment. Within eight weeks before adoption of a draft bill, the government has to carry out consultations with stakeholders, considering their expertise and responding to requests. Based on adequate analyses, a draft bill is adapted, completed and submitted to parliament. The impact assessment is necessarily attached to legislation or regulation submitted to the Council of Ministers. Prior to submission, the secretariat of the Council forwards a copy to the interministerial platform, which prepares a formal statement to the Council.

The standard impact evaluation form (a checklist form, or “fiche d’évaluation d’impact”) was revised in 2010 to include gender mainstreaming principles. It enabled a close cooperation with the Ministry for Equal Opportunities. Although regulatory impact assessment programs have been instituted for some years, there is still room for improvement, especially in making such evidence-based instruments more widespread. Further improvements should be implemented through an ex ante verification process on a national and European level.

Citations:
Building an Institutional Framework for Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA): Guidance for Policy Makers. OECD, 2008. www.oecd.org/regreform/regulatory-policy/40984990.pdf. Accessed 23 Oct. 2018.

“Über die Tücken des Bürokratie-Abbaus.“ Luxemburger Wort, 4 September 2017.
www.wort.lu/de/politik/administrative-vereinfachung-ueber-die-tuecken-des-buerokratie-abbaus-599435eda5e74263e13c5cf5. Accessed 23 Oct. 2018.

Does the RIA process ensure participation, transparency and quality evaluation?

10
 9

RIA analyses consistently involve stakeholders by means of consultation or collaboration, results are transparently communicated to the public and assessments are effectively evaluated by an independent body on a regular basis.
 8
 7
 6


The RIA process displays deficiencies with regard to one of the three objectives.
 5
 4
 3


The RIA process displays deficiencies with regard to two of the three objectives.
 2
 1

RIA analyses do not exist or the RIA process fails to achieve any of the three objectives of process quality.
Quality of RIA Process
2
An open and consultative regulatory impact assessment (RIA) process does not exist. The procedure requires an interministerial exchange between governmental departments and coordination groups, including a consultation of experts. Impact assessment data originates from internal ministry documents, which may be consulted by the state Council of Ministers and parliamentary members.

Due to administrative simplification efforts in recent years, the government has decided to run two public platforms, www.einfach.lu and www.vosidees.lu, offering all necessary information and details on the impact of ongoing reform programs. As in most OECD countries, there is no risk management in the formal process of developing harmonized standards. RIAs are not evaluated by an independent body.

Since the general introduction of RIAs in 2009, there has been progress in transparency and civil society participation. Nevertheless, efforts should be made to further increase the involvement of stakeholders.

Citations:
Building an Institutional Framework for Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA): Guidance for Policy Makers. OECD, 2008. www.oecd.org/regreform/regulatory-policy/40984990.pdf. Accessed 23 Oct. 2018.

Simplification administrative – Einfach. https://fonction-publique.public.lu/fr/principes-valeurs/einfach.html. Accessed 23 Oct. 2018.

Does the government conduct effective sustainability checks within the framework of RIA?

10
 9

Sustainability checks are an integral part of every RIA; they draw on an exhaustive set of indicators (including social, economic, and environmental aspects of sustainability) and track impacts from the short- to long-term.
 8
 7
 6


Sustainability checks lack one of the three criteria.
 5
 4
 3


Sustainability checks lack two of the three criteria.
 2
 1

Sustainability checks do not exist or lack all three criteria.
Sustainability Check
3
A systematic sustainability assessment process does not exist in Luxembourg. The government plans to introduce effective sustainability checks and a systematic monitoring of relevant administrative and legislative acts. In general, the impact of policies and policy side effects at all levels (economic, social and environmental), need to be evaluated with reference to principles of sustainable development and sustainable decision-making. It is essential to agree on Regulatory impact assessment (RIA) procedures to “benefit from improved coherence and coordination between ministries, civil society and stakeholders.” Sustainability checks at all levels should be made transparent by establishing harmonized legislation with binding RIA standards.

Citations:
“Ein nachhaltiges Luxemburg für mehr Lebensqualität. Le gouvernement du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg,” 2010. www.environnement.public.lu/developpement_durable/dossiers/pndd_2010/PNDD.pdf. Accessed 1 Nov. 2017.
Luxembourg, 2017.
www.gouvernement.lu/7180112/vierter-nationaler-energieeffizienzaktionsplan-luxembourg. Accessed 15 Nov. 2018.

To what extent do government ministries regularly evaluate the effectiveness and/or efficiency of public policies and use results of evaluations for the revision of existing policies or development of new policies?

10
 9

Ex post evaluations are carried out for all significant policies and are generally used for the revision of existing policies or the development of new policies.
 8
 7
 6


Ex post evaluations are carried out for most significant policies and are used for the revision of existing policies or the development of new policies.
 5
 4
 3


Ex post evaluations are rarely carried out for significant policies and are rarely used for the revision of existing policies or the development of new policies.
 2
 1

Ex post evaluations are generally not carried out and do not play any relevant role for the revision of existing policies or the development of new policies.
Quality of Ex Post Evaluation
2
An evolution of legislation rarely takes place. One example was the Violence Protection Act, which was evaluated in 2009 (after five years). There is a lack of qualified evaluation staff in Luxembourg. There is also a lack of a qualified person for the conception of laws. A scientific evaluation of legislation, commissioned by the state, is therefore not expected in the future either.

Citations:
“Evaluation „Fünf Jahre Gewaltschutzgesetz im Grossherzogtum Luxemburg.” http://mega.public.lu/fr/publications/publications-ministere/2010/evaluation-gewaltschutzgesetz/Evaluation_Gewaltschutzgesetz.pdf. Accessed 23 Oct. 2018.

Societal Consultation

#10

Does the government consult with societal actors in a fair and pluralistic manner?

10
 9

The government always consults with societal actors in a fair and pluralistic manner.
 8
 7
 6


The government in most cases consults with societal actors in a fair and pluralistic manner.
 5
 4
 3


The government does consult with societal actors, but mostly in an unfair and clientelistic manner.
 2
 1

The government rarely consults with any societal actors.
Public Consultation
7
Luxembourg is a consensus-oriented society with a well-known model of neo-corporatism (the Luxembourg Model), which became institutionalized in the aftermath of the steel crisis in the 1970s. When introducing a draft bill to parliament, the government normally launches a broad consultation process. Unions and employers’ organizations are consulted in any case; every draft bill is submitted to the respective organization of employees (Chambre des Salariés) and to employers’ organizations (Chambre de Commerce and Chambre des Métiers). Depending on the purpose of the draft bill or the new policy, civil society is included in the process. Nevertheless, the so-called tripartite system is considered to have failed in 2010, when the three partners were unable to reach an agreement on critical issues. However, the new government in 2013 relaunched the social dialog with employers and employees and the process has functioned reasonably well since then.

In addition, a working group of the Ministry of Culture previously intended to draft a new law on monument protection (2013 – 2015), but was not successful. Representatives of civil society were part of the working group and felt treated unfairly. The issue was taken up in the 2018 election campaign and the government defended itself by promising that it would soon pass a bill.

Citations:
“Kulturschutzgesetz: Die Regierung konnte ihr Versprechen nicht einlösen.” Tageblatt, 12 September 2018. http://www.tageblatt.lu/headlines/kulturschutzgesetz-die-regierung-konnte-ihr-versprechen-nicht-einloesen/ Accessed 23 Oct. 2018.

“Modèle social luxembourgeois.” http://luxembourg.public.lu/fr/le-grand-duche-se-presente/systeme-politique/concertation/modele-social/index.html. Accessed 15 Nov. 2018.

Clément, Franz (2012): Consociativisme et dialogue social: Les relations professionnelles au Grand-Duché de Luxembourg, Éditions universitaires européennes.

Hirsch, Mario (2012): Sind Konkordanz-, Konsens- und Drei-Partnermodelle ´Schönwetter-Veranstaltungen`? Das Beispiel Luxembourg, in: Stefan Köppl/Uwe Kranenpohl (eds.): Konkordanzdemokratie: Ein Demokratietyp der Vergangenheit?, Nomos, pp. 117 – 132.

Policy Communication

#10

To what extent does the government achieve coherent communication?

10
 9

Ministries are highly successful in aligning their communication with government strategy.
 8
 7
 6


Ministries most of the time are highly successful in aligning their communication with government strategy.
 5
 4
 3


Ministries occasionally issue public statements that contradict the public communication of other ministries or the government strategy.
 2
 1

Strategic communication planning does not exist; individual ministry statements regularly contradict each other. Messages are often not factually consistent with the government’s strategy.
Coherent Communication
7
After Council of Ministers meetings on Fridays, the prime minister holds a public press conference, to communicate the body’s work effectively and coherently. This weekly press briefing had been the government’s main method of communicating. Whereas public press briefings under former Prime Minister Juncker were rare toward the end of his administration, at least at the beginning, public relations have been given more importance under the new coalition. At the end of the last parliamentary term, the prime minister similarly only sporadically held press briefings.

Aside from the prime minister, no government member has a press officer. Reporting directly to the prime minister, the state Press and Information Service (SIP) works to coordinate a coherent and wide-ranging government communication policy. Government members are encouraged not to voice disagreement in public, so as to give the impression of unanimous decision-making. The Luxembourg Ministry of the Interior does not respond to all inquiries from the press.

Citations:
“Der leise Abschied der Transparenz.” Luxemburger Wort, 25 July 2017. www.wort.lu/de/politik/pressebriefing-des-premiers-der-leise-abschied-der-transparenz-5969d4ada5e74263e13c4243. Accessed 23 Oct. 2018.

Implementation

#15

To what extent can the government achieve its own policy objectives?

10
 9

The government can largely implement its own policy objectives.
 8
 7
 6


The government is partly successful in implementing its policy objectives or can implement some of its policy objectives.
 5
 4
 3


The government partly fails to implement its objectives or fails to implement several policy objectives.
 2
 1

The government largely fails to implement its policy objectives.
Government Effectiveness
7
In general, the government can implement its policy objectives, usually outlined in electoral promises or coalition government programs. This might take longer than planned, given that a policy based on maximum consensus is often cumbersome. But projects are sometimes not only slowed down but delayed indefinitely, especially when powerful lobbies are involved. This is particularly the case for major infrastructural or zoning projects, such as the tramway system for the city of Luxembourg, which was under discussion for 25 years before agreement was reached in 2013. A legislative proposal, that was already far advanced, was postponed before the 1999 election. After many years of discussions about that project, the tram line finally went into service in 2017.

Citations:
“Parliament votes for the tram.” Luxemburger Wort, 5 June 2014. www.wort.lu/en/politics/central-train-station-to-luxexpo-parliament-votes-for-the-tram-5390279cb9b398870803124a. Accessed 23 Oct. 2018.

“ Revivez le voyage inaugural avec le couple grand-ducal.” Luxemburger Wort, 10 December 2017. www.wort.lu/fr/luxembourg/tram-funiculaire-et-deux-nouvelles-gares-revivez-le-voyage-inaugural-avec-le-couple-grand-ducal-5a2cfc34c1097cee25b7a01b. Accessed 23 Oct. 2018.

To what extent does the organization of government provide mechanisms to ensure that ministers implement the government’s program?

10
 9

The organization of government successfully provides strong mechanisms for ministers to implement the government’s program.
 8
 7
 6


The organization of government provides some mechanisms for ministers to implement the government’s program.
 5
 4
 3


The organization of government provides weak mechanisms for ministers to implement the government’s program.
 2
 1

The organization of government does not provide any mechanisms for ministers to implement the government’s program.
Ministerial Compliance
7
The Luxembourg electoral system combines proportional representation of candidate lists and a type of majority system that allows a voter to pick individual candidates by giving them preferential votes on more than one list.

Consequently, the voters, and not the party, decide on the composition of parliament and even of the government, since those candidates with the best results usually become ministers. This system encourages politicians to pursue personal initiatives, but as they generally address small lobbies, such projects do not typically conflict with the government’s agenda.

However, in the national elections of 2018, only 12 women were elected to parliament (compared to 48 men). Consequently, women held only 20% of parliamentary seats (compared to 28% in the previous parliament). Although all political parties nominated a minimum number of women for their electoral lists, with women making up 48% of all candidates, women failed to be equally elected for parliament. According to several women’s associations, the low proportion of female members of parliament is mainly due to the fact that many political discussions on television and radio in the run-up to the election took place without the participation of any female parliamentary candidate.

The prime minister has no authority to establish policy guidelines. For information and advice, all bills of the departments are presented by the responsible minister in the weekly council of government (Conseil de Gouvernement).

Citations:
“Wahlsystem.” Le portail officiel du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg. www.luxembourg.public.lu/de/le-grand-duche-se-presente/systeme-politique/systeme-electoral/. Accessed 24 Oct. 2018.

Fehlen, Fernand: “Für eine Wahlrechtsreform.” Forum.lu, November 2013, pp. 9 – 14. www.forum.lu/pdf/artikel/7726_334_Fehlen.pdf. Accessed 12 Dec. 2018.

How effectively does the government office/prime minister’s office monitor line ministry activities with regard to implementation?

10
 9

The GO / PMO effectively monitors the implementation activities of all line ministries.
 8
 7
 6


The GO / PMO monitors the implementation activities of most line ministries.
 5
 4
 3


The GO / PMO monitors the implementation activities of some line ministries.
 2
 1

The GO / PMO does not monitor the implementation activities of line ministries.
Monitoring Ministries
6
There is no formal monitoring by the Prime Minister’s Office, as no institutional resources exist to carry this out. The small size of the government administration and ongoing discussions between ministers, foster a high level of transparency without the necessity of explicit monitoring tools. In case of conflicts, the prime minister moderates and acts as conciliator.

Citations:
Schroen, Michael (2008): “Das politische System Luxemburgs,” in: Wolfgang Ismayr (ed.): Die Politischen Systeme Westeuropas, 4th ed., VS Springer Verlag, pp. 483 – 514.

How effectively do federal and subnational ministries monitor the activities of bureaucracies/executive agencies with regard to implementation?

10
 9

The ministries effectively monitor the implementation activities of all bureaucracies/executive agencies.
 8
 7
 6


The ministries monitor the implementation activities of most bureaucracies/executive agencies.
 5
 4
 3


The ministries monitor the implementation activities of some bureaucracies/executive agencies.
 2
 1

The ministries do not monitor the implementation activities of bureaucracies/executive agencies.
Monitoring Agencies|Bureaucracies
8
Executive agencies and the administration usually lack the autonomy to pursue a course of action independent of guidelines issued by the responsible ministers. Sometimes, the strong personality of an agency head leads to conflict. If this happens, the views of the minister or his key collaborators usually prevail. In the domain of social security and public finance, monitoring is more centralized and effective, since the financial implications for the state are much more consequential. The two agencies, that wield considerable control, are the Social Security Inspectorate General (Inspection Générale de la Sécurité Sociale, IGSS), which is attached to the Ministry of Social Security and the General Inspectorate of Finance (Inspection générale des finances, IGF), which is attached to the Ministry of Finance.

Citations:
“Finances publiques.” Ministère des Finances. www.mf.public.lu/finances_publiques/. Accessed 24 Oct. 2018.

“Inspection générale de la sécurité sociale.” Ministère de la Sécurité Sociale. www.mss.public.lu/acteurs/igss/ Accessed 24 Oct. 2018.

Inspection générale des finances. www.igf.etat.lu. Accessed 24 Oct. 2018.

To what extent does the central government ensure that tasks delegated to subnational self-governments are adequately funded?

10
 9

The central government enables subnational self-governments to fulfill all their delegated tasks by funding these tasks sufficiently and/or by providing adequate revenue-raising powers.
 8
 7
 6


The central government enables subnational governments to fulfill most of their delegated tasks by funding these tasks sufficiently and/or by providing adequate revenue-raising powers.
 5
 4
 3


The central government sometimes and deliberately shifts unfunded mandates to subnational governments.
 2
 1

The central government often and deliberately shifts unfunded mandates to subnational self-governments.
Task Funding
7
Since 2018, the Ministry of the Interior has overseen 102 municipalities in Luxembourg. This supervision is paired with substantial financial transfers from the central government to local entities, which, apart from a substantial share in corporate income tax (CIT) revenues, lack autonomous sources of revenue. Two-thirds of local entities have fewer than 3,000 inhabitants, a size which is believed to be far too small to handle modern political, administrative and technical matters. The government had planned to reduce the number of local municipalities to 71. However, the new government has weakened this objective, as it does not correspond to a top-down strategy for municipal mergers. The aim is to have no municipality under 3,000 inhabitants, thus reducing operational costs and improving administrative and technical efficiency. Municipalities frequently complain that funding from the central government is insufficient. The government has used financial transfers to overcome local resistance to municipality mergers. Municipal associations (syndicats intercommunaux) exist in fields, such as culture and sports, to help improve the quality of local government. In December 2016, parliament voted in favor of a reform of the municipal finance system. Since 2017, due to the full budgetary assumption of teachers’ salaries, grants to local budgets have been increased, providing municipalities financial and planning security.

Citations:
Schlammes, Marc: “Leitartikel: Kommunale Quellen.” Luxemburger Wort, 12. Dezember 2018. https://www.wort.lu/de/politik/leitartikel-kommunale-quellen-57847adbac730ff4e7f6359d. Accessed 12 Dec. 2018.

Halsdorf, Jean-Marie (2013): “Die Kommunal- und Verwaltungsreform im Großherzogtum Luxembourg – Grundzüge und Perspektiven,” in: Martin Junkernheinrich/Wolfgang H. Lorig (eds.) Kommunalreformen in Deutschland, Nomos, pp. 445 – 462.

Syndicat des Villes et Communes Luxembourgeoises. www.syvicol.lu. Accessed 24 Oct. 2018.

To what extent does central government ensure that subnational self-governments may use their constitutional scope of discretion with regard to implementation?

10
 9

The central government enables subnational self-governments to make full use of their constitutional scope of discretion with regard to implementation.
 8
 7
 6


Central government policies inadvertently limit the subnational self-governments’ scope of discretion with regard to implementation.
 5
 4
 3


The central government formally respects the constitutional autonomy of subnational self-governments, but de facto narrows their scope of discretion with regard to implementation.
 2
 1

The central government deliberately precludes subnational self-governments from making use of their constitutionally provided implementation autonomy.
Constitutional Discretion
7
Local governments increasingly depend on transfers from the central government. Land-use regulation was centralized during the review period. Nevertheless, a serious conflict between local interests and the aims of the government’s transport and land-use planning body (Integrierte Verkehrs- und Landesplanung, IVL) occurred when the construction of a large business center in a rural region near the capital was not authorized. Following a reform of the education system, municipalities lost one of their major prerogatives, which was the autonomous management of primary school (students four to 12 years old) teaching staff. With a municipal reform, the municipalities also lost autonomy, as evidenced by a law on emergency services. In return, the government has promised to provide more autonomy, through territorial reform, especially in the form of expanded financial autonomy and the provision of support for municipal finances through regional funds.

Citations:
Eser, Thiemo W./Scholtes, Maryse (2008): Raumentwicklung, Regionalpolitik und Landesplanung, in:Wolfgang H. Lorig/Mario Hirsch (eds.), Das politische System Luxemburgs, Springer VS Verlag, pp. 286 – 309.

Feist, Peter: “Der Tanz Beginnt | D’Lëtzebuerger Land.” D’Lëtzebuerger Land, 8 February 2013. www.land.lu/page/article/076/6076/DEU/index.html/. Accessed 24 Oct. 2018.

“Schlecht gerüstet.” Interview with Emile Eicher, Syvicol. Forum.lu, june 2013, no. 330, pp. 48 – 49. www.forum.lu/pdf/artikel/7660_330_Eicher.pdf. Accessed 24 Oct. 2018.

To what extent does central government ensure that subnational self-governments realize national standards of public services?

10
 9

Central government effectively ensures that subnational self-governments realize national standards of public services.
 8
 7
 6


Central government largely ensures that subnational self-governments realize national standards of public services.
 5
 4
 3


Central government ensures that subnational self-governments realize national minimum standards of public services.
 2
 1

Central government does not ensure that subnational self-governments realize national standards of public services.
National Standards
8
The Ministry of the Interior supports local administration. As part of territorial reforms, the administration responsible for monitoring municipal finances, will be integrated within the existing national Auditing Court (Cour des Comptes). The government is not entirely free to optimize and improve local government.

State planning was criticized by several municipalities because the Ministry of the Interior had failed to publish a land-use plan (“Plan d’aménagement général” or “Flächennutzungsplan,” PAG), resulting in deficits for the Ministry of the Interior. This means that the country’s planning procedures continue to vary significantly across municipalities.

Municipalities were asked to adapt their PAGs to the Law on Local Land Use and Urban Development from 19 July 2004. At this point in time (October 2018), more than 60 municipalities have failed to comply with this request, despite potential sanctions.

Even after 14 years, more than half of the municipalities have yet to adapt their development plans to the law. As a result, the Ministry of the Interior has taken some of the blame because the new municipal land-use law has proved to be too difficult. A sub-development plan (“Plan d’aménagement particulier” or “Teil-Bebauungsplan,” PAP) had to be published for all construction projects.

Citations:
Gantenbein, Michèle: “Die unendliche PAG-Geschichte.” Luxemburger Wort, 13 April 2018. https://www.wort.lu/de/politik/die-unendliche-pag-geschichte-5ad0d8e5c1097cee25b87492. Accessed 24 Oct. 2018.

To what extent is government enforcing regulations in an effective and unbiased way, also against vested interests?

10
 9

Government agencies enforce regulations effectively and without bias.
 8
 7
 6


Government agencies, for the most part, enforce regulations effectively and without bias.
 5
 4
 3


Government agencies enforce regulations, but ineffectively and with bias.
 2
 1

Government agencies enforce regulations ineffectively, inconsistently and with bias.
Regulatory Enforcement
6
Powerful interest groups which the government is unable to govern exist in Luxembourg. One such group are civil servants (Beamte) who are affiliated with the CGFP union. Civil servants represent a large part of the electorate in national elections (foreigners are not allowed to vote). Therefore, it is almost impossible for a government to make decisions against the will of the trade union CGFP, as the respective political opposition would immediately take the CGFP’s side. As a result, civil servants earn very high salaries, much higher than comparable positions in the private sector. In addition, civil servants receive so-called jetons, premium payments which are granted for participation in working groups (despite the fact that this takes place during working hours).

A subgroup of civil servants are teachers who are able to prevent reforms. In recent years, the government has relocated many teachers from schools to training institutes (a separate “campus” has been specifically created for them in Walferdange). This reform led to protests concerned that the number of school teachers had decreased. Other powerful interest groups include foresters, business associations, insurance companies and the construction industry. Interest groups’ links to politics are significant, especially with the CSV and DP parties.

Citations:
Schroen, Michael (2012): Luxemburg. Interessenvermittlung in einem Kleinstaat, in: Werner Reutter (ed.): Vergleichende Interessengruppen- und Verbändeforschung, 2nd edition, Springer VS Verlag, pp. 417 – 444.

“Luxemburg und sein Finanzplatz: Die Osmose zwischen Staat und Unternehmen.” Luxemburger Wort, 24 November 2017. https://www.wort.lu/de/business/luxemburg-und-sein-finanzplatz-die-osmose-zwischen-staat-und-unternehmen-5a170a57c1097cee25b77bed. Accessed 24 Oct. 2018.

Adaptability

#10

To what extent does the government respond to international and supranational developments by adapting domestic government structures?

10
 9

The government has appropriately and effectively adapted domestic government structures to international and supranational developments.
 8
 7
 6


In many cases, the government has adapted domestic government structures to international and supranational developments.
 5
 4
 3


In some cases, the government has adapted domestic government structures to international and supranational developments.
 2
 1

The government has not adapted domestic government structures, no matter how beneficial adaptation might be.
Domestic Adaptability
7
Luxembourg has made progress in implementing European legislation. In terms of the transposition of EU directives, Luxembourg’s performance is moderate, yet it has improved in recent years. Given the size of the country, there is limited scope for improving the government administration’s human resources. A single civil servant is typically responsible for a number of tasks that would be assigned to an entire team in other EU member states. For example, European Social Fund (ESF) activities fall under the responsibility of only four civil servants who have other responsibilities in addition to European programs. Despite a lack of personnel, work expected by European and supranational institutions is completed. The government presented its national plan (Plan national pour une croissance intelligente, durable et inclusive) in April 2013, and updated it in 2017, adapting budgetary mechanisms.

Luxembourg often responds to international requests by launching an ad hoc group. The country has also done well in conforming national law to EU directives, sometimes transposing laws verbatim. However, this does not guarantee that the law will be followed verbatim; differences between de jure and de facto interpretations have emerged.

Citations:
18th Update of the Stability and Growth Programme of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg for the 2017 – 2021 Period. Le gouvernement du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg, 2017. www.mf.public.lu/publications/programme/18th_update_stability_growth_programme.pdf. Accessed 24 Oct. 2018.

Council recommendation on the National Reform Programme 2017 of Luxembourg and delivering a Council opinion on the Stability Programme of Luxembourg. Official Journal of the European Union, 2017. www.eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32017H0809(15)&from=EN. Accessed 24 Oct. 2018.

“Europe 2020 in Luxembourg.” European Commission, www.ec.europa.eu/europe2020/europe-2020-in-your-country/luxembourg/national-reform-programme/index_en.htm. Accessed 24 Oct. 2018.

To what extent is the government able to collaborate effectively with international efforts to foster global public goods?

10
 9

The government can take a leading role in shaping and implementing collective efforts to provide global public goods. It is able to ensure coherence in national policies affecting progress.
 8
 7
 6


The government is largely able to shape and implement collective efforts to provide global public goods. Existing processes enabling the government to ensure coherence in national policies affecting progress are, for the most part, effective.
 5
 4
 3


The government is partially able to shape and implement collective efforts to provide global public goods. Processes designed to ensure coherence in national policies affecting progress show deficiencies.
 2
 1

The government does not have sufficient institutional capacities to shape and implement collective efforts to provide global public goods. It does not have effective processes to ensure coherence in national policies affecting progress.
International Coordination
8
Luxembourg is mainly involved in international reform initiatives in cooperation with the European Union. The legal framework for the launch of the European Citizens’ Initiative was passed by the parliament in 2012.

Luxembourg ranks highly within the European Union for the inclusiveness of its welfare benefits, as its programs are both generous and wide-ranging. However, with a normalized Gini index value of 31 in 2016 (2015: 28.5), Luxembourg is only a middling performer within the EU-28 (which has an average Gini index value of 30.8). The generous social transfers (47% of public expenditure in 2017) and the high share of social transfers in relation to total income, not only reduce poverty risks, but also sustainably strengthen social cohesion.

However, Luxembourg also retains a number of labor-market protection measures and unsustainable pension policies; both provide incentives to leave the labor market early and opt instead for replacement revenues. Attitudes of the insured – mainly residents and nationals – are partly still those of consumers of welfare provisions. The system’s main weakness is the “early exit” attitude which is expressed by many residents.

Citations:
Fusco, Alessio, et al.: Gini Country Report Luxembourg. Gini Growing Inequalities’ Impacts, 2013. www.gini-research.org/system/uploads/456/original/Luxembourg.pdf?1372249144. Accessed 21 Feb. 2017.

“Gini coefficient of equivalized disposable income.” Eurostat, www.ec.europa.eu/eurostat/tgm/table.do?tab=table&language=en&pcode=tessi190. Accessed 21 Dec. 2017.

“Mémorial A n° 61 de 2012.” Journal officiel du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg, 29 March 2012. www.legilux.public.lu/eli/etat/leg/memorial/2012/61. Accessed 21 Feb. 2017.

National plan for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth – Luxembourg 2020. Le gouvernement du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg, 2017. www.gouvernement.lu/6854313/2017-pnr-luxembourg-fr. Accessed 14 Dec 2017.

“Observatoire de la compétitivité.” Le portal de l’actualité gouvermentale. www.gouvernement.lu/odc. Accessed 21 Feb. 2017.

Organizational Reform

#16

To what extent do actors within the government monitor whether institutional arrangements of governing are appropriate?

10
 9

The institutional arrangements of governing are monitored regularly and effectively.
 8
 7
 6


The institutional arrangements of governing are monitored regularly.
 5
 4
 3


The institutional arrangements of governing are selectively and sporadically monitored.
 2
 1

There is no monitoring.
Self-monitoring
5
In the absence of systematic monitoring of institutional arrangements, the government relies mainly on international expertise. EU and OECD data significantly effects the political agenda, and the implementation of social and economic policies. For example, the 2007 OECD country report on research and innovation, led to the creation of a higher research and innovation committee and subsequently to the updated ERAWATCH assessment of research systems and policies in 2013.

An example for these practices is the 2006 Council of Europe report “Profile of the Luxembourgish educational linguistic policy,” a two-year investigation involving national stakeholders. The report led to the reform of language teaching in 2009. The OECD audit of the country’s public employment service (L’Agence pour le développement de l’emploi, ADEM), against the background of a rising unemployment rate, resulted in a draft bill adopted in 2012. Self-monitoring seems to be beyond the capacity of government authorities. It has also become clear that sustainable changes would require the creation of in-house analysis and forward-looking planning capacities. No ministry or administration is currently able to fulfill these requirements.

Citations:
“OECD Reviews of Innovation Policy – Luxembourg 2016.” OECD Publishing, 2016. www.dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264232297-en. Accessed 24 Oct. 2018.

To what extent does the government improve its strategic capacity by changing the institutional arrangements of governing?

10
 9

The government improves its strategic capacity considerably by changing its institutional arrangements.
 8
 7
 6


The government improves its strategic capacity by changing its institutional arrangements.
 5
 4
 3


The government does not improve its strategic capacity by changing its institutional arrangements.
 2
 1

The government loses strategic capacity by changing its institutional arrangements.
Institutional Reform
7
The previous government’s 2009 program outlined a series of administrative reforms. One of the most ambitious, the general opening of the civil service to citizens of the European Union, with the exception of some positions relating to national sovereignty, came into effect on 1 January 2010. The change is expected to gradually improve the quality of government administration. Nevertheless, the number of EU citizens hired remains low at approximately 5%, especially in the higher ranks. This is due to a compulsory language test in the three national languages (Luxembourgish, French and German), which limits the number of applications from non-nationals who are not fluent in all of these languages. Other reforms are directed to e-government, such as the planned implementation of freedom of information legislation. Substantial efforts have been made toward e-government with guichet.lu, the online service portal for citizenship and business matters.

Citations:
“Luxembourg: e-Government State of Play.” European Commission. www.ec.europa.eu/information_society/newsroom/cf/dae/document.cfm?doc_id=5561. Accessed 24 Oct. 2018.
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