(L-R) Natalia Zdanowska, Research Associate at LISER; Maria Eduarda De Macedo, Luxembourg City Councillor; Corinne Cahen, Luxembourg's Minister for Family Affairs & Integration; Mariana Florea, President of The NETWORK; Credit: Chronicle.lu

About 50 people came together to learn more about the "Expat Experience" at an event organised by The NETWORK, one of Luxembourg's oldest professional woman's associations, on Wednesday evening.

Speaking at this event, which took place at Amazon's offices in Luxembourg-Kirchberg, were Corinne Cahen, Luxembourg's Minister for Family Affairs and Integration, Luxembourg City Councillor Maria Eduarda De Macedo and Natalia Zdanowska, Research Associate at the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER). The main topic of the evening was voting rights for non-Luxembourgers, who can now vote in the municipal (local) elections on Sunday 11 June 2023 regardless of how long they have lived in Luxembourg. The deadline to register to vote is Monday 17 April 2023.

Minister Cahen emphasised that everyone is affected by what happens in their municipality of residence. "You're a part of it," she said, emphasising that "democracy can only happen if everybody participates." She also spoke about the importance of getting involved in one's municipality (regardless of how long one thinks they may or may not stay in Luxembourg), not only by voting but also by volunteering, joining sports clubs or participating in cultural activities, etc. "You are part of this country and it's really important that we build this country together for the future," concluded Minister Cahen.

Maria Eduarda De Macedo presented various statistics in relation to voters in Luxembourg City, where just under 6,000 foreign residents had registered to vote in the upcoming local elections by the end of January 2023; another 75,000 were eligible to vote but had not yet registered. Looking at women's political representation across the Grand Duchy, she noted that 26% of elected municipal officials were women and 16% of mayors were women.

Moreover, Natalia Zdanowska presented sociodemographic figures from the Observatoire Social Ville de Luxembourg related to spatial inequalities, including the average income of residents (depending on their gender and nationality), as well as the nationalities of foreign residents who have already registered to vote in the capital.