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Luxembourg: small country, but many SEs

Although Luxembourg is a small country, its economic influence within the EU is large. SEEurope network member Patrick Thill presented at the SEEurope network meeting in Romania the system of industrial relations in Luxembourg and the current dynamics of worker participation and corporate governance in this country. What are possible explanations why they are comparatively many SEs in Luxembourg?

The presentation showed that the crisis has had an enormous impact on Luxembourg’s economy: unemployment has increased (to 6.1 per cent), as has the budget deficit and company restructuring, while, unusually for Luxembourg, there have been social unrest and tensions (demonstrations) in the face of crisis-related developments (for example, company closures). The government tried to counter this crisis via an early economic stimulus package, a rescue plan for two of its major banks and, more recently, a package of austerity measures.

The crisis, however, has not made the establishment of Luxembourg SEs more attractive. At the moment, there are 18 SEs (6th of all EEA-countries) in Luxembourg, six of which were established in 2009 and 2010. Of these 18 SEs, the majority are UFO or empty SEs, normal SEs being mainly active international companies with offices in neighbouring countries.

Patrick Thill investigated two of these Luxembourg SEs: Elcoteq SE (normal, one-tier, international, open information policy, model SE) and Algest (empty, one-tier, regional, scarce information, only available through the official register of companies). These SEs highlight the different kinds of SEs which can be found in Luxembourg.

For more information about Luxembourg’s response to the crisis and the case studies of both SEs, see Patrick Thill’s presentation.

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