France and Luxembourg


Political relations

Luxembourg, which widely shares its culture, history and language with the Germanic world, is also very close to France. There is regular contact at ministerial, prime ministerial and Head of State levels.

Bilateral relations with Luxembourg are close and excellent. Our cross-border cooperation is a priority and is bolstered by the Franco-Luxemburgish Intergovernmental Commission (IGC) that was created in 2010. It meets annually and involves all cross-border cooperation actors, including ministers, prefects and local elected officials.

The intergovernmental seminar during the state visit to France by TRH the Grand Duke and Grande Duchess of Luxembourg in March 2018 saw the signing of further agreements which are followed up in this framework.
Following the 2020 renewal of the IGC for 10 years, the latest meetings have been held in Esch-sur-Alzette (October 2021) and Thionville (17 April 2023), bringing progress in the fields of mobility, teleworking, healthcare, training and culture.

French presence

French community in Luxembourg: 32,194 registered; 122,000 cross-border workers entering Luxembourg from France every day.
Luxemburgish community in France: 1,000 people.


In October 2000, the Grand Duke Henri and his spouse made a state visit to France, their first visit abroad following accession to the throne. It was the first state visit to France by a Grand Duke of Luxembourg in 40 years. More recently, TRH visited Metz (12 May 2023) and Longwy (18 June 2023).

Xavier Bettel made regular working visits to France as Prime Minister, and was received by the President of the Republic in July 2023.

The French and Luxemburgish Foreign Ministers meet regularly in both capitals, and on the sidelines of European ministerial meetings. On 24 April 2023, the two Ministers took part in a conference on the challenges facing the European Union, marking the 20th anniversary of the European (French-German-Luxemburgish) Pierre Werner Cultural Institute.

The French Minister of State for Europe and Luxembourg’s Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Jean Asselborn, also met in September 2022.

Economic relations

France and Luxembourg maintain close economic relations, with significant flows of foreign direct investment in both directions. France has a significant business presence in Luxembourg, and has a significant place in the financial sector and labour market.

The COVID-19 pandemic did however affect the volume of trade in goods between the two countries, which fell by 17% in 2020 before recovering significantly in 2021 (31%) and 2022 (13%, bringing the total to €5 billion), due to strong inflationary pressure. The French trade surplus fell by half between 2019 and 2020 to €416 million (as against €910 million in 2019), before returning to pre-COVID-19 levels in 2021 and exceeding them in 2022 (€1.1 billion).

France is Luxembourg’s third-largest supplier and second-largest customer. When it comes to services, volumes have more than doubled since 2012 (€16.3 billion in 2021), and are more than four times higher than those of goods, with France producing a record surplus of €2.4 billion in 2021.

The stock of Luxemburgish foreign direct investment in France has been rising since 2000, reaching the record level of €163 billion in 2021. Luxembourg remains the leading investor in France as immediate investing country, but is in eighth place as ultimate investing country (€35 billion). France also has a significant presence in Luxembourg (€51 billion in outward foreign direct investment stock in 2021), particularly in financial services (around 15 banks). In addition to financial services, French subsidiaries in Luxembourg are primarily active in retail (17%, with Galeries Lafayette, Fnac and Auchan, for example) and information and communication technologies (8.5%).

Trade in goods between France and Luxembourg is primarily inter-industry and industrial goods are central: the most important sectors are basic metal products and ferroalloys, non-dangerous industrial waste and air- and spacecraft.
French cross-border workers also represent 25.1% (122,000) of Luxembourg’s workforce and more than half (54% at end 2022) of the 221,600 cross-border workforce. Luxembourg therefore makes a positive contribution to the French trade balance, despite small trade volumes. Two French companies are among the country’s 20 leading employers: BGL BNP Paribas and Sodexo.

Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

Cultural ties are governed by an agreement from 1954, the 70th anniversary of which will be celebrated in February 2024. The European (French-German-Luxemburgish) Pierre Werner Cultural Institute, inaugurated in 2003, dedicates most of its research activities to European themes.

In late 2020, France’s Grand-Est Region and the Luxemburgish Ministry of Culture signed a cross-border cultural cooperation agreement centred on Esch-sur-Alzette, 2022 European Capital of Culture. The project, which covers 19 municipalities on both sides of the border, was designed bilaterally and seeks to showcase our common history and European identity.

Although action in support of the Luxemburgish language (the main teaching language in primary schools) as an integration language is of political importance, the 2018 coalition agreement does include provisions favourable to the French language. A partnership agreement on teacher training between Luxembourg’s Ministry of Education and the Lorraine School of Teaching and Education (ESPE) was concluded in May 2015 and strengthened in 2021. Since 2016, major reforms have been undertaken to diversify free state school provision and open approved European schools offering francophone sections. Luxembourg’s government aims to develop literacy in French in state elementary schools.

The country has invested in recent years in cutting-edge scientific sectors (including IT, AI, space, health and biomedical technologies, energy and materials physics) and is cooperating with France on key research focuses for our two countries. Universities in Luxembourg and Lorraine are united by various agreements, including within the “Great Region University” framework. There are two bilateral agreements in place: since 2006, between the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and the Luxembourg’s National Research Fund (FNR); and since 2013, between the French National Research Agency (ANR) and the FNR. The University of Luxembourg and Toulouse-Jean Jaurès University are cooperating in the UNIVERSEH project for a European space university. Scientific and academic cooperation was boosted by the signing of an intergovernmental agreement in 2018, strengthened by the IGC sessions in 2021 and 2023, to further existing cooperation in the medical field.

Other cooperation

Given the proximity of the Cattenom nuclear power plant to Luxembourg, our cooperation on nuclear safety and security is intense and carried out in the framework of the joint commission on nuclear security created in 1994 and the involvement of experts from Luxembourg and Germany in the security checks carried out in the plant. The most recent meeting took place on 12 June 2023.

In the security field, a bilateral agreement between France and Luxembourg on police and customs cooperation was signed on 15 October 2001, establishing a joint police and customs centre in Luxembourg that later merged with the Belgian-German-Luxembourgish police cooperation centre to create a unique quadrilateral body. The 2023 IGC session also strengthened our cooperation in this field and launched work towards the upcoming signing of administrative arrangements.

Updated: February 2024