With the municipal (local) elections in Luxembourg fast approaching (Sunday 11 June 2023), Chronicle.lu decided to reach out to various candidates with links to the international community in the Grand Duchy to learn about their reasons for getting involved in politics and about which issues they feel strongly.
This year marked the first time that all non-Luxembourgish residents over the age of eighteen could register to vote in the local elections, regardless of their length of stay in the Grand Duchy. By the deadline of 17 April 2023, 50,084 foreign residents had registered to vote. Out of the 3,847 candidates running for election, 379 are non-Luxembourgers; note that dual Luxembourg nationals are counted as Luxembourgers in this context.
The candidates interviewed in this series of articles are mainly non-Luxembourgers or dual nationals with an international background. Chronicle.lu thus had the opportunity to speak with Daniela Clara Moraru, who is standing as a CSV (Christian Social People's Party) candidate in Luxembourg City.
Originally from Romania, Daniela Clara Moraru moved to Luxembourg more than 20 years ago, initially working on bilateral projects between the two countries. She joined CSV in 2016 and first ran as a candidate in the local elections in 2017.
Chronicle.lu: Why did you decide to stand in the 2023 local elections?
Daniela Clara Moraru: With 70% of non-Luxembourgers living in the City of Luxembourg, I find it very important that my party supports transparent and collaborative politics for all and that the international and local community can work hand in hand. This involves not just sharing opinions with politicians, but also having a seat at the table and being involved in the decision-making process. [Another] reason is that my party's work for integration, inclusion and diversity in politics is not well enough known and I'm trying to change that. CSV was the first to create in 2008 an international organisation to allow foreigners to get involved in politics even if they do not speak Luxembourgish. It also passed the "Law of integration" (allowing for multiple nationalities), introduced the integration commissions in the municipalities and relaxed the conditions to acquire the Luxembourgish nationality (decreasing the mandatory residency length from seven to five years).
Chronicle.lu: What are your party’s major issues in your constituency?
Daniela Clara Moraru: The City of Luxembourg represents 2% of the entire territory of the country with 20% of the national population and 40% of the national employment. In this context, ensuring the quality of living and working here is one of the major issues. Housing, ecology, safety, education, mobility, economy... all contribute to residents' quality of life, so they are naturally some of our main priorities.
Chronicle.lu: What specific issues are you backing/promoting?
Daniela Clara Moraru: I am backing the entire electoral programme of CSV in Luxembourg City and my areas of expertise are economy and education, because I am a serial entrepreneur and business owner and I've been active for a big part of my professional life in education. In a context of continuous demographic growth, it's very important to me that the City of Luxembourg anticipates the educational needs of our residents, starting with making sure that we have enough [facilities] to accommodate all children and that the quality of our education and related services is there. In terms of economy, the City of Luxembourg has 20% of the national population and 40% of the national employment. So, we need to make sure that companies are properly supported throughout their life cycle, in addition to supporting entrepreneurs who contribute to the economic dynamism of the city.
Chronicle.lu: Have you encountered any particular challenges as a non-Luxembourger/dual national (e.g. regarding language)?
Daniela Clara Moraru: When I first joined politics, my Luxembourgish was less good so I couldn't understand everything. This motivated me to significantly improve my level and now I am able to follow the political debates. However, when it comes to nuances, I'd rather make my points in French, English, Spanish or another language I learned in school and in which I have a richer vocabulary than in Luxembourgish.
Chronicle.lu: Please tell us about your involvement in the international community in Luxembourg over the years.
Daniela Clara Moraru: Since I moved to Luxembourg, I was always involved in the international community- that's my world! First of all, as an entrepreneur and business owner, I've been very active in the various international business chambers, for example the British and American Chambers of Commerce since 2004. As founder of Languages.lu, I've been in regular contact with the international community, which represents my main clientele. I've been in contact with and advised families on their children's educational and linguistic choices, either before or after they moved to Luxembourg, as well as companies. I've [also] been a founding and/or active member of many associations promoting entrepreneurship, gender equality, integration, cultural and economic relationships between Luxembourg and Romania, India, UK, etc. In addition, I am president of CSV International, which was specifically created in 2008 to facilitate the access and participation of those who don't speak Luxembourgish in politics. In 2017, I started the #letsDemystifyPolitics campaign, which includes, for example, private visits of the Parliament, the heart of the Luxembourgish democracy.