Luxembourg : A case study of legislation in a mini-state

  • Martin A. Wing


Whilst Luxembourg may be classified as a mini-state, its small size and population have not removed «politics» from public administration. Having outlined the legislative system, this article examines in detail the passage of the legislation for direct elections to the European Parliament focusing on the roles and functions of the relevant actors and institutions. This case study approach reveals a smooth parliamentary stage for legislation concealing a set of devices for resolving contentious or troublesome issues : special ad hoc committees to advise on legislative drafts ; parliamentary committees ; splitting legislation so that legislators are formally committed to a principle before they have seen the details ; the use of delaying tactics to preclude discussion of alternatives. In addition to demonstrating these, the case also examines the effectiveness of the three main institutions, the Council of State, the Chamber of Deputies and the Government, particularly the predominance of
the latter, on major issues. In contradistinction, however, the Council of State, despite its formally weak status, is shown to exercise a positive influence.

How to Cite:

Wing, M., (1979) “Luxembourg : A case study of legislation in a mini-state”, Res Publica 21(4), p.623-639. doi:

Download pdf
View PDF



Published on
30 Dec 1979
Peer Reviewed