Luxembourg City, home to European institutions since 1952, is one of the three institutional seats of the European Union. Located in the heart of Western Europe, the Grand Duchy offers the advantages of its multilingualism, quality of life and ease of access.
One of three European capitals
The night of the 24 to 25 July 1952 was to enter into the history books. After 18 hours of talks, Joseph Bech, then Luxembourg's Minister of Foreign Affairs, suggested that the High Authority of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), a first stepping stone towards the European Union, should begin its work in Luxembourg. The seat of the High Authority of the ECSC remained in Luxembourg until 1968, i.e. until the merger of the executive bodies of the ECSC, European Economic Community and Euratom, from which the European Commission evolved.
From 1968 to 1980, the European Investment Bank (EIB) had its offices in the building at 2, Place de Metz, Luxembourg. The building was subsequently purchased by the Caisse d’Épargne de l’État de Luxembourg bank and leased to the EIB until 1980, when the EIB moved to its own premises on the Kirchberg Plateau.
Today, the European Commission and the Council of Ministers have their seat in Brussels. Strasbourg has been confirmed as the seat of the European Parliament, but most financial and legal European institutions have their headquarters in Luxembourg. In April, June and October, the Council of the European Union holds its sessions in the Grand Duchy.
European institutions, agencies and bodies established in Luxembourg
Luxembourg hosts a large number of European institutions, agencies and bodies, including in particular:
- the European Commission (multiple Directorate-Generals, including Eurostat and the Publications Office of the European Union);
- the European Parliament's General Secretariat;
- the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU);
- the European Court of Auditors (ECA);
- the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO);
- the Translation Centre for the Bodies of the EU (CDT);
- the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Investment Fund (EIF);
- the European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking (EuroHPC);
- the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF);
- the Euratom Supply Agency (ESA).
Two European Schools of Luxembourg (EEL I and EEL II) are intended primarily for children of the staff of the European institutions. In addition, 6 accredited European Schools are equitably distributed throughout the country.
Working and living in Luxembourg
Would you like to work for the European institutions in Luxembourg and join the 14,000 EU nationals already working there? The Grand Duchy is synonymous with quality of life! And this is also regularly confirmed by international benchmarks, such as the Mercer Quality of Living.
European institution buildings on the Kirchberg plateau
Most of the European institutions present in the Grand Duchy are located in the 'European quarter' on the Kirchberg plateau. They employ over 14,000 people from every part of the European Union. With its rich and varied architecture, the Kirchberg plateau is in constant flux; indeed it is to provide a home for new European institutions in the near future.
The 'Porte de l'Europe'
Visitors arriving from the city centre pass through the 'Porte de l'Europe', a gateway to the Kirchberg plateau.
In addition to the imposing two towers framing the Avenue John F. Kennedy, the 'Porte de l'Europe' also includes the 'Place de l'Europe', the centre of the European quarter lined with notable buildings including the headquarters of the Court of Justice of the European Union and the Alcide de Gasperi Tower.
The Alcide de Gasperi Tower
The Alcide de Gasperi Tower (Council of the European Union) was inaugurated in 1966 and was the first building specifically built in the Grand Duchy to meet the requirements of the European institutions. It was the first high-rise building in the Grand Duchy, hence its nickname of the 'Skyscraper' (Héichhaus in Luxembourgish).
While the upper floors currently house the offices of various ministries, the lower section is now part of the European Conference Centre Luxembourg (ECCL), where the European Union's ministerial meetings are held in April, June and October.
The 'Palais' and the 'Twin Towers'
The judicial institutions of the European Union have been located in Luxembourg City ever since their creation in 1952. After occupying various buildings in the city centre, the services of the Court of Justice of the European Union have been located on the Kirchberg plateau since 1973.
The 'Palais de la Cour', seat of judicial institutions, was expanded several times before being integrated into the 'Twin Towers'.
The two towers were joined by a third tower, which was inaugurated in September 2019 by the President of the CJEU Koen Lenaerts in the presence of HRH the Grand Duke of Luxembourg and Xavier Bettel, Prime Minister of Luxembourg. Currently, the third tower of the CJEU is the tallest building in Luxembourg.
The Jean Monnet buildings
The administrative services of the European Commission are housed in the Grand Duchy. From 1975 onwards, these services shared the Jean Monnet building with other European institutions including the Translation Centre and the statistics service Eurostat.
However, the building no longer meets operational requirements, and is currently under deconstruction; the various services are in substitute accommodation. The future Jean Monnet II building, for which construction work began in the spring of 2018, will offer almost twice the area to accommodate more than 3,600 officials, enabling the European Commission's services in Luxembourg to be brought together in one single building.
The Robert Schuman and Konrad Adenauer buildings
The Hemicycle in the Robert Schuman building, built between 1970 and 1973, was the first seat of the European Parliament when it was instituted in 1979, before being moved to Strasbourg definitively two years later.
The European Parliament is still present on the Kirchberg plateau, which is home to part of its General Secretariat. The Konrad Adenauer Building of the Secretariat of the European Parliament is currently being refurbished and extended in order to unite all the services of the Secretariat. The first phase of the project has been finished and works for the second part are ongoing.
The judicial institutions of the European Union
The judicial institutions of the European Union have been located in Luxembourg ever since their creation in 1952. After occupying various buildings in the city center, the services of the Court of Justice of the European Union have been located on the Kirchberg plateau since 1973.
- The 'Palais de la Cour', seat of judicial institutions, was expanded several times before being integrated into the two towers.
- The European Public Prosecutor’s Office was successfully established in Luxembourg and started operations on 1 June 2021.
- Furthermore, the Court of Justice of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) has been situated in Kirchberg since 1996.
- Additionally, the Court of Appeal and the Registry of the Unified Patent Court has its seat in the Nouvel Hemicycle building.
The financial institutions of the European Union
The main financial institutions of the European Union are also located in the Grand Duchy.
The European Investment Bank (EIB), an important financial institution in the European Union's system, has its main headquarters on the Kirchberg plateau. The main building, which was built in 1980, was extended several times and for the last time in 2008 and the EIB is currently building a third extension along Boulevard Konrad Adenauer.
The Kirchberg is also home to the European Court of Auditors (ECA) – the financial supervisory body of the EU – and the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), that was established following the 2008-2009 economic crisis.