Statement on the amendment of the Constitution

Statement on the amendment of the Constitution

Oct 22, 2021
Volt Luxemburg has a clear position on the current efforts to change the constitution.
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Luxembourg's constitution is finally to be amended. It is a project that has been underway in Parliament since 2005 (at that time still with the Juncker-Asselborn government). In the meantime, the Chamber has managed to include important changes in its amendment proposals, but there are still some very important points that leave out non-Luxembourgers. The Luxembourg Constitution would thus still not reflect the reality of the country and would continue to be strongly nationalistic. Last but not least, the possibility of replacing the second vote with a referendum is ignored and not supported by most parties. Our statement on this: There is an urgent need for important changes in the Constitution and as they are currently not foreseen by the Parliament, Volt Luxembourg is in favour of a referendum to vote against the current non-existent changes that would affect the whole population of Luxembourg.

Missing important amendments

Volt Luxembourg and Volt Europa stand for a federal Europe, an even closer Europe growing together and thus also for equal rights for all Europeans. This is currently not being taken into account. Specifically, it is about the following articles in the constitution:

Art. 10bis

« Les Luxembourgeois sont égaux devant la loi. »

  • This formulation is in and of itself very problematic. For it does subsume the idea that all non-Luxembourgers are entitled to a different right. If only Luxembourgers are equal before the law, are the others obviously not? This wording could be exploited by a begrudging government or racist judges.
  • That is why we demand an amendment according to the example of the Constitution of France, which simply states: "Tous les citoyens sont égaux".

Art. 52

«  Pour être électeur, il faut:
1° être Luxembourgeois ou Luxembourgeoise; […]
Pour être éligible, il faut:
1° être Luxembourgeois ou Luxembourgeoise;[…] »

  • Today, almost half of the population does not have Luxembourg nationality: 47.4% of the population are foreigners, mainly from other European Member States (83.6% of foreigners are EU citizens). (Statec, 2020) The result: a large part of the population is not represented in the current political system. Although many of the foreigners are well integrated and have lived in the country for decades, they have no opportunity to express their preferences and will in elections. They pay their taxes but cannot influence how their taxes are spent. Furthermore, it is deeply undemocratic that only half of the population has the opportunity to influence political decision-making by voting in parliamentary elections.
  • Since the overwhelming majority of foreigners come from other EU states, we demand that the first conditions for the right to vote and stand for election mentioned in Art. 52 be discarded and replaced by: "Être citoyen d'un État membre de l'Union européenne" (EU citizens) and as a further condition it should be stated:: "Avoir vécu au Luxembourg pendant au moins un cycle électoral, sans interruption." (have lived in Luxembourg for at least one electoral cycle (5 years) without interruption)

Referendum

Volt stands for a politically active citizenry. We believe that all citizens must be empowered to influence politics beyond elections. A constitutional amendment concerns every citizen. Apart from the problem that almost half of Luxembourg's residents would not be allowed to vote in a referendum (but, ironically, would be allowed to submit and sign a petition on it), we are generally in favour of referendums.

But above all, a referendum to confirm the Constitution is important because the Constitution is the most fundamental of all laws. The Constitution itself grants citizens this right in Art. 114, which makes it clear that after the first Chamber vote, a referendum can be held for the second vote needed to actually amend the Constitution (by confirmation by either a quarter of the Chamber or 25,000 eligible voters). (Otherwise, the Chamber must again vote in favour of the amendment by a second-thirds majority).

We also stand for the rule of law and assume that the constitution, which in our opinion should give significantly more rights to foreigners, can only be voted for by Luxembourgers. We nevertheless demand a referendum so that the Constitution incorporates the changes we demand.