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Webinar - The emergence of the new Luxembourgish diplomacy – challenges, strategies, key figures

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Event date: Wednesday, 30 June 2021 02:00 pm - 04:00 pm


Emmanuelle de Foy, First Counsellor at the Belgian Embassy in Luxembourg, Co-president of the Cercle Diplomatique - Georges Santer, Ambassador - Paul Schmit, Ambassador - Corinne Schroeder, curator at the Luxembourg National Archives (ANLux) - Elena Danescu, Coordinator of EDIC University of Luxembourg


In the new landscape of international relations forged by the Second World War, Luxembourg confirmed its position as a leading player in multilateralism, a founder member of most of the major international institutions – the United Nations (1945), the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (1949) and the Council of Europe (1949) – and a founder member of the European integration process, starting with the European Coal and Steel Community (1951), whose first institutions were based in Luxembourg City. Luxembourg’s membership of Atlantic and European alliances was accompanied by a new foreign policy pursued by celebrated Foreign Minister Joseph Bech (1887-1975). When the country was liberated at the end of World War Two, Bech placed particular emphasis on the institutional organisation of the Foreign Ministry, the professionalisation of national diplomacy and the formation of a highly competent diplomatic corps to represent the country on the global stage, promote its values and defend its interests through bilateral and multilateral cooperation. For example, in 1947, following the negotiations led by Hugues Le Gallais (1896-1964), Luxembourg Minister Plenipotentiary to the United States, and Pierre Werner (1913-2002), attaché in the Ministry of Finance, the Luxembourg Government secured a loan of $12.7 million from the recently established International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) to rebuild the country – a remarkable achievement at that time. To this day, Luxembourg’s diplomacy – characterised by long-term strategies, an outstanding diplomatic corps and expertise in mediation – is still one of the country’s major assets.

Keen to delve into the institutional history of the Foreign Ministry, as revealed by archives and key stakeholders, and to explore events and key figures that highlight Luxembourg’s unique role in international relations, as seen through the eyes of experts,

The Europe Direct Information Centre at the University of Luxembourg (EDIC) and its partners – the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, the Luxembourg National Archives and the Luxembourg Cercle Diplomatique – are pleased to invite you to the webinar “The emergence of the new Luxembourgish diplomacy – challenges, strategies, key figures” on 30 June 2021 from 14:00 to 16:00 (via Webex).

The conference will be in French.

Questions may also be asked in English, Luxembourgish and German.


14:00 – Introductory remarks – Dr Elena Danescu, Coordinator of EDIC University of Luxembourg

14:10 – “Collective biographical essay on the Luxembourg diplomatic corps (1945-1973)” Dr Corinne Schroeder, Luxembourg National Archives (ANLux)

14:40 – “An outstanding Luxembourg diplomat” Paul Schmit, Ambassador, author of the book Un diplomate luxembourgeois hors pair. L’ambassadeur Hugues Le Gallais dans la tourmente de la Seconde Guerre mondiale (Luxembourg: Éditions Saint-Paul, 2019)

15:00 – “Luxembourgish diplomacy in action – a historian’s viewpoint”. In dialogue with the moderator, Ambassador Georges Santer will shed light on the development of the diplomatic service after 1973

15:30 – Debate with the audience/Question and answer session

15:50 – Closing address Emmanuelle de Foy, First Counsellor at the Belgian Embassy in Luxembourg, Co-president of the Cercle Diplomatique

16:00 – Close of the event


Presentation of the speakers (in alphabetical order)

Emmanuelle de Foy studied public and international affairs and international and European law. She holds a Master’s degree in International Trade from the Cooremans Institute. After extensive experience in the private sector, Emmanuelle de Foy joined the Belgian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, as Deputy Head of Mission. She went on to complete various missions for Belgian Embassies and worked in the Private Office of Deputy Prime Minister Joëlle Milquet (2012-2014). In 2014, Emmanuelle de Foy became Minister Counsellor at the Belgian Embassy in The Hague. Since 2018, she has been First Counsellor at the Belgian Embassy in Luxembourg. She is also Co-president of the Luxembourg Cercle Diplomatique.

Georges Santer has held many senior diplomatic positions over the course of his long career, including Secretary-General in the Luxembourg Foreign Ministry from 2002 to 2007. He has served as Luxembourg’s Ambassador to France, China, Austria and Germany. He has also held the role of Permanent Representative to the OSCE in Vienna and to the IAEA and the UNIDO at the United Nations in Vienna. Between 2007 and 2021, he served as Permanent Representative to the OECD and Permanent Delegate to UNESCO. In 2007, he was a member of the Board that coordinated the tenure of Luxembourg and the Greater Region as European Capital of Culture. From March 2019 to March 2020, he was President of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), an international organisation with 34 member countries. Since 2020, Georges Santer has been President of the Luxembourg Chamber Orchestra (OCL) and the Luxembourg City Film Festival.

Paul Schmit studied law at the University of Strasbourg and political science at Paris 2 University. After his studies, he joined the Luxembourg civil service, firstly in the Ministry of Defence (1991-1992), then in the Foreign Ministry, where he has served since 1992. He has completed several foreign missions, including in Brussels (Permanent Representations to NATO and to the European Union), Washington and Lisbon. Since 2021 he has been Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Luxembourg to Poland. Paul Schmit is the author of the book Un diplomate luxembourgeois hors pair. L’ambassadeur Hugues Le Gallais dans la tourmente de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, which was published in 2019 by Editions Saint-Paul, Luxembourg.

Corinne Schroeder holds a Master’s degree in History from the Université catholique de Louvain and a PhD in History, with a thesis entitled “The development of Luxembourg’s foreign policy seen through the prism of the Foreign Ministry (1945-1973)”. Since 2011, she has been a curator at the Luxembourg National Archives (ANLux). She has authored several research publications in her areas of expertise.

Elena Danescu is a Research Scientist at the Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History (C²DH). The focus of her research is European contemporary history (especially the history of Economic and Monetary Union and Luxembourg’s role in European integration), the history of economic theory, democratic transitions in Central and Eastern Europe, and oral history. She has authored several scholarly publications in her specialist fields. Since April 2019 she has been Coordinator of the Europe Direct Information Centre University of Luxembourg – EDIC.

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