Wendy Casey, DP candidate in Kehlen; Credit: Studio Frank Weber

Ahead of the municipal (local) elections in Luxembourg, which are taking place on Sunday 11 June 2023, Chronicle.lu reached out to various candidates with links to the international community to learn about their reasons for getting involved in politics and their priorities at the local level.

This is the first year in which all non-Luxembourgish residents over the age of eighteen could register to vote in the local elections, regardless of their residency duration. By the deadline of 17 April 2023, more than 50,000 foreign residents had registered to vote, representing just under 20% of the eligible population. A total of 379 out of 3,847 candidates are non-Luxembourgers (i.e. 9.85%); 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 Wendy Casey, who is standing as a DP (Democratic Party) candidate in Kehlen.

Originally from the United Kingdom, Wendy Casey moved to Luxembourg 27 years ago. She was initially transferred from Jersey in the Channel Islands to "head up the upscale, retail banking division of Citibank". Whilst this is her first time running as a candidate, DP has been Wendy's "party of choice" since she arrived in Luxembourg.

Chronicle.lu: Why did you decide to stand in the 2023 local elections?

Wendy Casey: It sounds cliché, but I decided that if I can help improve quality of life when the world is in such dire straits, then I should step forward.

Chronicle.lu: What are your party’s major issues in your constituency?

Wendy Casey: Firstly, our incredibly fast rate of population growth. The Elmen housing construction project is creating 800 homes for around 2,400 people across a 27-hectare site in the Kehlen commune. People have already begun moving in and we may reach the 10,000 limit by 2030. We need to ensure we have an adequate infrastructure to maintain quality of life. Secondly, heavy traffic. This is especially true in the villages of Kehlen, Olm and Keispelt, and the long demanded eastern bypass of Kehlen is urgently needed. The spur road from the industrial zone would also relieve Olm traffic flow and a general ban on heavy transport through the municipality together with speeding inhibitors on accident black spots would be enormously beneficial. We will then be in a stronger position to plan and implement community spaces.

Chronicle.lu: What specific issues are you backing/promoting?

Wendy Casey: The population growth and traffic issues for sure, plus as a recently retired expat, I back the smooth integration of immigrants such as myself and a high quality of life for our senior citizens.

Chronicle.lu: Have you encountered any particular challenges as a non-Luxembourger/dual national (e.g. regarding language)?

Wendy Casey: Not really. Language can be a challenge but one that's easily overcome. The Kehlen DP group translates any matters discussed in Luxembourgish in real time - so my opinions are always heard. I've been fully embraced by the group and my drafted policies have been incorporated into our local electoral programme.

Chronicle.lu: Please tell us about your involvement in the international community in Luxembourg over the years.

Wendy Casey: I was the Vice President and Membership Director of The NETWORK, an international business organisation for women in Luxembourg. I'm the Public Relations manager of the British Ladies Club of Luxembourg, a social group which has been supporting English-speaking ladies of all nationalities for more than 50 years. I'm also a member and tremendous fan of the Irish Club [of Luxembourg] which organises some great events under the auspices of Geoff Thompson.