Luxembourg, a modern, dynamic and open country standing in solidarity, has, like any other nation, an active responsibility in formulating responses to the present challenges. Our country, which has enjoyed exceptional economic growth for decades, has been able to develop its economy thanks to the security of the Euro-Atlantic area which is provided through defensive alliance that is NATO, the EU and other relevant international bodies such as the UN and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). It is important for the Grand Duchy to remain a committed and supportive actor in favour of multilateralism based on the rules, principles and values established and defended by these international reference organisations.
The usefulness and credibility of Luxembourg’s defence efforts are essential aspects of how Luxembourg perceives its role both within NATO and the EU. Similarly, the Grand Duchy intends to maintain its position at the forefront of European integration.
Faced with a severely deteriorated, increasingly unpredictable and unstable international security environment, security and defence policies must be reoriented in favour of credible deterrence and collective defence. Like its regional partners and Allies, the Grand Duchy has to readjust its defence policy. These Guidelines aim at translating this new policy into a continuous and profound transformation of the Luxembourg Directorate of Defence and the Luxembourg Armed Forces, the key actors to face current and future security challenges.
The “traditional mission” of the Luxembourg Defence, the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) activities, will be further developed. The creation and joint operation of a bi-national medium combat reconnaissance battalion with Belgium by 2030 will be at the nucleus of these efforts. In recent years, the Luxembourg Defence has also specialised in new areas such as strategic air transport, space and cyber. Contributing to the defence against new threats, special attention is dedicated to cyber threats. The same applies to security risks related to the effects and implications of global environmental changes, especially climate change. These specialisations will therefore be strengthened and further developed in the coming years.
As increased competition for natural resources is a growing source of conflict, Luxembourg Defence also has a role to play in preventing such conflicts and in the ecological transition in line with the 3rd NPSD of 2021 as well as the European ‘Green Deal’, which aims to achieve carbon neutrality by mid-century.
Human resources at the service of the Luxembourg Defence remain at the heart of this ambitious transformation. The substantial increase of the defence effort decided by the government will go hand in hand with a reasonable diversification of the fields of activity of Defence, thus creating more career opportunities for the personnel, which also paves the way for an increase of the feminisation rate in the Luxembourg Armed Forces.
The Guidelines are based primarily on the following main objectives and guidelines:
- strengthening the European defence pillar within NATO;
- strengthening the military capabilities of the EU;
- fulfilling both NATO Defence Planning Process and EU Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) commitments;
- increasing the defence effort to 1% of GDP by 2028 in line with the Luxembourg government commitment;
- continued military support for Ukraine to exercise its right to self-defence against the Russian aggressor;
- transformation of the Luxembourg Defence according to the capability requirements 1 Located in Eindhoven. emanating directly from the capability shortfalls identified first of all on the NATO and EU side, without forgetting the national requirements;
- evolution of the Luxembourg Armed Forces in line with their missions of national defence, deterrence and collective defence, crisis prevention and management as well as cooperative security;
- thorough modernisation of land reconnaissance capabilities, which remain at the heart of the Luxembourg Armed Forces’ activities, with a view to interoperability, responsiveness, robustness and operational availability in line with current and future challenges (in particular through the creation of a Belgian-Luxembourg medium combat reconnaissance battalion);
- further development of space and cyber skills and capabilities;
- development of the air component, above all in close cooperation with Belgium, the Netherlands and the other members of the European Air Transport Command (EATC);
- strengthening the development of research and innovation activities in order to maintain the technological edge and reach 2% of the defence effort in line with the commitments made in the framework of the PESCO;
- creation and identification of investment opportunities for national and European industry in close coordination with the relevant actors, including Luxinnovation, the Ministry of the Economy and the European Commission;
- development of existing partnerships within the framework of NATO, the EU, the Benelux countries and the German-led “Framework Nations Concept” (FNC);
- contributing to increasing the country’s resilience by promoting the development of a whole-of-government approach;
- contributing to the facilitation of military mobility on national soil, within the Alliance and the EU, in close coordination with the relevant actors;
- further development of stabilisation capabilities in response to agreed capability goals.
Read the Luxembourg Defence Guidelines 2035.