Luxembourg's Prime Minister Luc Frieden addresses MPs for the first time, with Claude Wiseler, Chamber of Deputies President, pictured in the background; Credit: © SIP / Julien Warnand

On Wednesday 22 November 2023, Luxembourg's Prime Minister, Luc Frieden, addressed the Chamber of Deputies (Luxembourg's parliament) for the first time in his new role as he presented the new CSV-DP coalition government programme to the deputies (MPs) gathered in public session.

Although it was intended that the 60 MPs would be the first to see the coalition agreement, the 209-page document had already been "leaked" by certain local media.

Nevertheless, in his inaugural speech to the now complete Chamber of Deputies, Prime Minister Frieden highlighted his government's key policy aspects. He emphasised the message behind the programme's title - and the new government's task - "Lëtzebuerg fir d’Zukunft stäerken" (strengthening Luxembourg for the future).

Speaking about the results of the legislative elections of 8 October 2023, he said these produced a "strong" centrist coalition. Addressing the non-Luxembourgish population (in French, rather than Luxembourgish), he acknowledged their "great contribution to the social and economic development" of the Grand Duchy and assured that "[t]heir voice will be heard".

He went on to stress the importance of democracy, describing Luxembourg as a country that provides "democracy, peace and security", although these are not guaranteed - "we, also as a new government, have to work on this every day".

Prime Minister Frieden recognised some of the most pressing challenges to tackle at present, including climate change (making progress regarding renewable energy) and digitalisation, as well as improving healthcare, "strengthening social cohesion and fighting poverty", and ensuring "decent housing for everyone". He later outlined some of his government's plans to increase the affordable housing supply in the Grand Duchy. "Our goal is a better coexistence in a modern Luxembourg," he said.

He also spoke about the need for jobs - new ones but also adapting existing jobs to "new challenges". On the subject of taxation, he mentioned foreseen measures, aimed at strengthening purchasing power, such as tax relief "for everyone", from 1 January 2024. He later spoke about planned changes to parental and maternity leave, aimed at making these more flexible, and foreseen efforts to better tackle discrimination. His speech also touched on migration policy.

The new Prime Minister told MPs that the coalition considers "the economy, social affairs and ecology" to be "closely related". "We want to achieve a better balance between these three issues," he said, later asking MPs for their "confidence" as the new government strives to "strengthen Luxembourg for the future".

Following this address, MPs will debate the coalition government programme starting on the morning of Thursday 23 November 2023.