The parties and what they stand for in Luxembourg communal elections
The communal elections will take place in Luxembourg on October 8. The government, as well as several political parties, have doubled down in trying to get people who are still thoroughly under-represented among Luxembourg's voters to vote: foreigners.
Foreigners who are 18 years old and have lived in Luxembourg for at least five years were able to register to vote in the communal elections. This year, the deadline to register was July 13.
Some branches of the government and various political parties launched several campaigns and events to encourage foreigners to register, as the percentage of eligible foreigners who actually did so is, while increasing steadily, extremely low. A total of 34,638 foreigners are now registered to vote, representing more than 22% of foreigners who are allowed to vote, according to provisional numbers from Luxembourg's integration office.
Between October 2016 and July 2017, 9,502 people registered. In 2011, 30,937 foreigners were registered to vote in the whole of the country compared with 23,957 foreigners who were on the voters' list in 2005. Those figures represented 17% and 15% of the foreign population, respectively, although the registry accounted only for age, not how long someone has lived in the country.
In October 2016, the figure dropped to 25,501 due to the high rate of naturalisations between 2011 and 2016 (an average of 3,000 a year). Once people gain Luxembourgish nationality, they are removed from the list automatically.
Despite the government's efforts, the problem for many foreigners lies with individual parties that have done too little to reach out and connect with non-Luxembourgish voters.
Many foreigners wish for more information and greater engagement on the part of politicians, especially as the communal elections are the only ones they can vote in.
Communal elections are especially important for day-to-day life because the communal councils are responsible for everything from local schools to municipal and urban development, public transport organisation, social welfare, education grants and cultural infrastructure.
The Luxemburger Wort interviewed members of the eight parties in Luxembourg that are presenting a list in more than one commune in the upcoming election to summarise their agendas for the upcoming elections and to address more specifically their integration policies.
We also asked them what their party did to reach out to foreigners and whether they had a message for the non-Luxembourgers voting on October 8.
Click on the logo of the different parties below to read the interviews.
(Barbara Tasch, email@example.com, +352 4993732)