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  #61  
Old 01-21-2005, 10:26 AM
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Actually in Luxembourg a subject caused quite a stir in the last days: Grand Duke Henri wanted to participate on the referendum of the EU constitution on 10th July 2005!

Just a little explanation what this EU constitution is: the EU constitution is a guideline for all 25 members of the European Union (EU) so that all countries have to adapt on the EU norms. Normally Luxembourg had no referendum for such important decisions (we had neither a referrendum for the EU enlargement nor about the Euro! ) but the EU parliament has decided that all the members have the right to vote "yes" or "no" to the referrendum. In Luxembourg it is a duty because we have less inhabitants than bigger countries.

Grand Duke Henri wanted to participate at the referrendum and vote with "yes" but he can't participate because the Grand Duke has no voting rights. He doesn't have the rights to vote at the parliament elections too, but the late Grand Duke Jean had participated at the last elections in Luxembourg in June 2004, because he is no longer the sovereign.

But with a changement in the laws GD Henri could participate but the justice minister emphasized that there is not enough time to change that law. (The only thing I have to say to that is:...if 5 months are not enough to change a law!!!! )
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  #62  
Old 01-21-2005, 09:40 PM
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I find it very stupid and illogical that monarchs can't participate in elections, while other heads of states can - for instance, PRESIDENTS! You make a very good point, drimal - that is more than enough time to change the law... (If all bills in Parliament took five months to pass, the governments of the world would never get anything done!) It seems that some members of the Luxembourg government just refuse to give the Grand Duke any political power! (And when you think about it, even very ordinary - sometimes politically ignorant citizens - have the right to vote. Why can't a well-educated, politically informed head of state vote?).
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  #63  
Old 01-22-2005, 12:31 AM
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The Drand Duke can't participate in the referendum but can other members of the Royal family vote?
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  #64  
Old 01-22-2005, 12:47 AM
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Yes. Didn't you see the pics of Guillaume, Felix, and Jean voting in June?
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Old 01-22-2005, 02:54 AM
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oh yeah...i did ^__^ thanks gaggleofcrazypeople i totally forgot about those pictures!
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  #66  
Old 01-22-2005, 04:08 AM
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yes, i must agree with everyone that it is quite stupid if the current head of state in a monarchy cannot vote in an simple election. my question for the beurocrats of a country" do they not have to live there too?" duh. so i think they should have some say so in what happens to not only them but to their respective countires as well, especially if they're paying taxes on top of it. damn red tape. but five months is a relatively short time to get things passed, especially here in the states, when it can take up to several months and even years to clear all the red tape- and that's namely due to all the checks and balances that are in place, some of it completely unnecessary.
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Old 01-22-2005, 05:32 AM
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The paradox in all this is that the Grand Duke would assent the EU resolution with his vote. And the two leading parties in Luxembourg are for the EU resolution too! So I don't understand why they don't change that stupid law quickly so that Grand Duke Henri can vote and support the EU resolution.

By the way it is good that GD Henri is giving rise to such decisions! It is positive if a modern sovereign is participating in important problems of the world either politics or other decisions and the EU resolution is an important moment I would say even a milestone in the history of Europe. A little consoltion for GD Henri will be that his three sons (Guillaume, Felix and Louis) can assent the EU resolution with their votes and his father GD Jean too.
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Old 01-22-2005, 11:19 PM
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Does Henri have any say in the government?
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Old 01-26-2005, 11:01 AM
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The Grand Duke's Prerogatives

Luxembourg is a representative democracy in the form of a constitutional monarchy.

When the Grand Duke accedes to the throne he takes the following oath as soon as possible in the presence of the Chamber of Deputies or a deputation that it has appointed:

"I swear to observe the Constitution and the laws of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, and to maintain the national independence and integrity of the territory, as well as public and individual liberties" (Article 5)

The Grand Duke's prerogatives are an expression of respect for a tradition that has been firmly anchored in the Grand Duchy's Constitution since 1868. Yet in reality it is clear that the manner in which the Grand Duke exercises his sovereignty is more pragmatic and less rigorous than the Constitution would seem to indicate.

The Grand Duke's powers are mainly listed in Articles 33 and 48 of the Constitution. The Crown's prerogatives as set out in the Constitution of 1868 were redefined in 1919: sovereign power no longer resided in the person of the sovereign but in the nation.

According to the Article 33 of the Constitution, "the Grand Duke is the Head of State, symbol of its unity and guarantor of national independence. He exercises the executive power in accordance with the Constitution and the laws of the country".

The Grand Duke represents the State in its foreign relations. He plays an essential role in exercising legislative power and justice is administered in his name. 'Justice is dispensed in the name of the Grand Duke by the courts and tribunals. Judgments and decisions are enforced in the name of the Grand Duke' (Article 49). However, he has no means of interfering in the exercise of judicial power.

His legal status is characterized by the repre-sentative character of his function, the constitutionality of his powers, inviolability of his person, freedom from responsibility and by special provisions concerning his patrimonial rights and the civil list.

The 'representative character' of the Grand Duke is based on the principle of the hereditary devolution of the Crown as set out in the Constitution. The Con-stitution places the Head of State outside and above political parties and thus guarantees his impartiality.

The 'inviolability' of the Grand Duke means that he cannot be accused or prosecuted by any person, that he cannot be tried by any jurisdiction and cannot be asked to account for his actions.

The 'inviolability' of the Grand Duke implies complete freedom from responsibility. This freedom from responsibility is general and absolute from both a penal and political standpoint.

The 'political freedom from responsibility' of the Grand Duke has ministerial responsibility as its counterpart. Any measure taken by the Grand Duke in the exercise of his political powers must in fact be countersigned by a member of the Government who takes full responsibility.

The Grand Duke promulgates the laws. 'He makes his resolve known within three months of the vote of the chamber' (Article 34).The Grand Duke makes the regulations and decrees necessary to enforce the laws, but he may never suspend the laws themselves nor dispense with their enforcement. The Grand Duke has the power to organize and supervise the administrative services and to appoint civil and military officials.

Lastly, the Grand Duke commands the armed forces in order to maintain order and security in the country.

The Constitution reserves the prerogative of mercy for the Grand Duke, which means the right to reconsider or reduce the penalties handed down by the courts.

In theory, the Grand Duke decides upon the organization of his Government, which comprises at least three members, while choosing his ministers freely and dismissing them when he deems it necessary. However, in practice, the Grand Duke chooses the mediator and/or 'formateur' (a person asked to form a government), who generally becomes Prime minister, on the basis of the election results. The 'formateur' presents the team of members of the government to the Grand Duke. They are generally leading figures in the political groups represented in the Chamber of Deputies.The Grand Duke proceeds to nominate and swear in the members of the Government.

He has the right to dismiss a minister, but has never made use of it until now.The tradition is that the entire government presents its resignation to the Grand Duke after the legislative elections.

And here is the full link where I found this very interesting text about the Grand Duke's prerogatives:
http://www.gouvernement.lu/dossiers/...erogative.html
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Old 02-28-2005, 11:57 AM
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This week I want to start interesting reports I found in a book about state visits. I translate the text and scan the pictures to post this here. :)

The state visit Part 1

The red carpet, the walking of the guard of honour, the playing of the national anthem- the journey in the name of the state begin always with the same ritual. After the greeting of state or government chiefs the high guests are leaving their luxurious limousines. Behind the police escort the convoy gets in motion. Everything is according to plan, every stage is fixed accurately.

Fine differences

Ambassador Pierre-Louis Lorenz is chief of the protocol of the goverment in the foreign ministry. In his area of work are the reception of the foreign state visitors in Luxembourg such as the organisation of the Grand Ducal state visits abroad. To be exact, he emphasizes, there fine differences in the protocol of such visits: "Besides the formal and the official state visits the last ones with a more practical character, there are short coutesy visits which needs less extravagance as the real state visits which last three or four days.

Normally twice the year Grand Duke Jean and Grand Duchess Josephine-Charlotte have done state visits in the past years:

China 1979
USA 1984
Iceland 1986
Japan 1987 and 1999
Israel 1987
Soviet Union 1989
Norway 1990
Sweden 1991
the Netherlands 1992
Poland 1993
Finnland 1993
Czech Reublic 1994
Mexico 1996
Belgium 1999 and many more countries were visited by the Grand Ducal couple to strengthen the contacts between the nations.

Before an invitation is sent, the diplomats of both countries have done great work. "The main aim is to show the good relationship between both countries, and to promote the bilateral relations", explained Pierre-Louis Lorenz.
The exact time is based on the free places in the calandary and on the workload, which the sovereign can manage. In all the years of his period of office Grand Duke Jean has managed even the hardesr visitings with a great enthusiasm, emphasizes P-L Lorenz.

... (to be continued )
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Old 02-28-2005, 12:31 PM
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State visit pictures of Grand Duke Jean and Grand Duchess Josephine-Charlotte I

1. Sweden 1983: King Carl-Gustav and and Grand Duchess Josephine-Charlotte during the dinner (the highlight of every state visit)
2. Sweden 1983: Queen Silivia and Grand Duke Jean (eight years later in 1991 the Swedish sovereigns will visit Luxembourg)
3. United States 1984: the travel with the famous "Cable Car" in San Francisco was one of the highlights of the state visit in the USA
4. and 5. the Netherlands 1992: parts of the programm were made by train (GD Josephine-Charlotte/4), (GD Jean and Queen Beatrix/5)
6. Israel 1987: the Grand Ducal couple visiting the cidatelle, a palace built 24 bef. Jesus Christ from Herodes
7. Poland 1993: the president Vaclav Havel remembered the common history of Luxembourg and Bohemia
8. Poland 1993: the Grand Ducal couple remembring five Luxembourgians who died between September 1942 and January 1943 in the cloister Leubus, the resettlement 158
9. Norway May 1990: King Olaf and Crown Prince Harald of Norway received Luxembourg's sovereigns
10. Belgium 1999: Grand Duke Jean and Grand Duchess Josephine Charlotte, King Albert II and Queen Paola in Arlon (Belgium)
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Old 03-02-2005, 11:09 AM
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The state visit Part 2

Meticulous preparation

Often the Grand Ducal couple is accompanied with a group of 30 or 40 people of delegation members or other collaborators. One have to count to the inofficial accompany the Lord Chamberlain (German: Hofmarschall) whose office is mainly involved in the preparation of the journeys, and the foreign minister, who is also representing the government. Besides there are high posed officials, managers of economy, representatives of professional chambers, commercial associations and cultural instituations. Among the accompany is also a logistic stuff with i.a. members of news and information service (SIP) of the government.

Every Luxembourgish media want to inform with text, images or sound from the state visit of the sovereign. Around 15 to 20 journalists, cameramen and photographers from the Grand Duchy are making the company during a state visit in general. The journey to the the state visit, hotel and rationing, the transport from one place to another there are organized by the SIPs. A great help is coming from the ambassador of Luxembourg (if there is one in the respective country).
"We are aware of the great role of the medias by state visits", emphasizes SIP director Mil Jung, who is travelling in an official delegation too. In public the importance of a state visite is more present by the pictures of symbolical acts than the discussions among the sovereigns.

Comparing to other foreign medias the Luxembourgish news are on one hand more willing to compromise in the case of no entry in certain places but on the other hand also very demanding: "Foreign medias are looking mainly for the glamour. The Luxembourgish journalists want real, authentic and meaningful pictures." All the more considering the satisfaction of collaboration between the news and the SIP, the chief of the SIP is really pleased.

...
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Old 03-04-2005, 11:26 AM
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State visit pictures of Grand Duke Jean and Grand Duchess Josephine-Charlotte II- The last state visit on 4.05.1999 in Japan
One of the most remarkable state visits of the late Grand Ducal couple was certainly the state visit in Japan 1999. The next pictures are witnesses of the last state visit in the reign of Grand Duke Jean and Grand Duchess Josephine-Charlotte.

1. the arriving with the playing of the national anthem
2. GD Josephine-Charlotte and Emperor Akihito of Japan . Both sovereign couples were good friends.
3. GD Josephine-Charlotte with crown Prince Naruhito and crown Princess
Masako of Japan
4. the Grand Ducal couple on an inauguration of an exhibition
5. the Grand Ducal couple, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan
6. and 7. dinner images
8. a real beautiful picture of Josephine Charlotte and Michiko
9. and 10. the gala at the end of the state visit
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Old 03-08-2005, 07:02 AM
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The State visit Part 3

Protocol in the focal point

A state visit had to be planed one, two years but at least a few months in advance. The hosting country proposes usually a framework which is worked out accurately. Every programm point has a symbolic meaning and has to be planed carefully. Which cities does the guest need to visit? A museum or a factory? Is there an exchange of official presents? Who is greeted by the several opportunities? Are contacts with the population planned? Nothing is left to chance, not even the colour of the wardrobe: the white colour for instance is a symbol of grief in some countries.

If the planing requires alot of time and care, a work group is traveling in the run-up of the state visit to discuss the last details. Among this group are members of the SIP, who checks possibilities for the medias and coordinates with the protocol.

"This can mean for example to delay a presenting to the Grand Duchess in a bigger room, so that all the photographs can photograph as a permanent record. Or, like during the State visit in Japan in 1999, to calculate the standing of the sun over the Fujisama mountain so that contre-jour photos aren't necessary", explaines SIP diector Jung.

"The biggest challenge is to show respect before the Grand Ducal couple and the protocol which is of course part of the culture of the visiting country but also fulfilling the wishes of the medias." A task which requires alot of care - especially in countries like Japan, where the protocol is very strict, discretion and politeness are crucial and the communication not easy at all.

If Luxembourg has diplomats on the place, they are of course informed of every step of the preparations. "These members have special works during state visits", praises SIP director Mil Jung the diplomats.

After all the guest should invite as a sign of thanks to a special event: to a gala dinner for example or to a cultural event. Not only there you have to be careful to respect the order of rank. Fortunately the rules for that are nowadays standards in the whole world.

"The order of rank is important in another programm point of the state visit. So it is the high guest- in the case of Luxembourg the Grand Duke- who welcomes the chief of parliament and the member of parliament of the hosting country and not the other way round. These talks such as one or two official dinners and several cultural, economical or touristical events are some of the stones from which the programm of a state visit is bulilt", explains ambassador Pierre-Louis Lorenz.

He can't remember any breakdowns: "In order to avoid breakdowns everything is planned exactly on real state visits. Every eventuality is previewed just as a second limousine which is ready for the case of the caes." Sudden changings in the programm aren't in the tradition of a state visit. "President Clinton wants to visit a Jazz concert all of a sudden, but European sovereigns are more discret."

... (to be continued)
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Old 03-08-2005, 06:37 PM
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It seems like it takes alot for these things to happen.
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Old 03-09-2005, 06:29 AM
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Thank you drimal. Wow, so much happens 'behind the scenes' in regard to State Visits. The amount of work is quite extraordinary.
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Old 03-10-2005, 05:01 AM
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hmmmm, interesting info. thanks drimal. i had no idea that much and probably more goes on in planning and executing an official state visit.
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Old 03-10-2005, 06:39 PM
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And it seems rather pointless at times. All that work for a few days of good publicity.
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Old 03-15-2005, 06:24 AM
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The State Visit Part 4

Place for innovations

Apart all the symbolics and traditions there is still place for innovations. On the last visit of the Grand Ducal couple in Japan (1999) the extension of the economical relations had a special signifiance. For that there was a dinner with the Grand Duke and representatives of Japan's economy- something which was unusual a few years ago. This proves us that the official state visit, which had been called "Dinosaurs of the diplomacy" by a political observer, are moving with the time.
It is clear for the chief of protocol of the government that these official journeys have still an important meaning: "Even in the time of global electronical communications personal contacts are still of prime importance."


Note: This long report was published in a magazine before Grand Duke Henri's throne achievement. But no matter who is the reigning sovereign, whoever is the hosting country or visiting country the order of state or official visits are similar. It is always a big extravagance for only a few days. During these days both countries want to underline the good relationships and show eachother the most beautiful sides of their countries (a bit of glorification).
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Old 03-24-2005, 05:54 AM
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State visit pictures of Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa- Czech Republic October 2002

1) official act of greeting
2) the Grand Ducal couple is greeted by Czech president Vaclav Havel and Miss Dagmar Havlova on the castle of Prague
3) visit of the foundation Vision 97
4) the president of Czech Republic Vaclav Havel and Luxembourg's foreign minister Lydie Polfer
5) the Czech president Vaclav Havel emphasized the good relationship between both countries
6) Luxembourg's delegation on the Charles bridge
7) the Grand Ducal couple of Luxembourg and foreign minister Lydie Polfer in the embassady of Luxembourg
8) Czech Republic's foreign minister Cyril Svoboda talking to Luxembourg's foreign minister
9) Grand Duc Henri and Lydie Polfer with Czech prime minister Vladimir Spidla
10)... and with the president of government Petr Pithart
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