The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg has one of the highest proportions of foreigners in Europe – more than 43% on average. In Luxembourg City, the capital, the percentage of foreigners lies over 50% of all inhabitants. The Portuguese citizens are the largest groups of foreigners.
In general, relations between different ethnic and racial groups are smooth; incidents of racism and discrimination are rather low, though some intolerance does indeed exist. However rarely violent xenophobic incidents are recorded.
In institutional terms, Luxembourg is a constitutional monarchy, whereby the Grand Duke has only very limited powers, as conferred by the Constitution. There is one single Chamber in the Parliament, the Chambre des Députés, which votes on draft bills. All bills must be submitted to the Council of State for its opinion, as well as to the professional chambers. These chambers are public institutions. Their mission is to defend the concerns of a professional category (employees, farmers, self-employed, civil servants…).
For a bill to be passed, the Council of State must exempt the Chamber of the second constitutional vote. This means a bill has to be adopted a second time by the Chamber in a second reading, at least three months later, unless the Council of State does not formally oppose the wording of the draft bill. The latter is the usual scenario.
As far as religions are concerned, the relations between the State and religious institutions are based on the principle of reciprocal independence, meaning that the State provides for a certain protection of religious groups. The official recognition of a religion is materialised by a public convention signed between the State and the religious representative body. Such conventions exist between the State and the main religious congregations, but not yet with the Muslim community.