The citizenship ministry proposed by the Comité de liaison des associations d'étrangers (CLAE ) would be in charge of implementing “a transversal policy that deals with equal rights and equal access to all areas that allow everyone to live and be part of Luxembourg society: schooling, the labour market, training, housing, health, culture, etc,” Anita Helpiquet, director of the organisation, tells Delano.
Dispatching the responsibility between existing ministries would just lead to “fragmented solutions”. For the non-profit, a new ministry, combined with a citizenship of residence, where all residents could have equal access to support and opportunities, is the most adapted approach to the grand duchy’s diverse population. According to the government, close to 50% of the country’s inhabitants do not hold a Luxembourg passport, meaning that they don’t have access to certain rights such as voting in national elections.
This would not be a ministry for ‘foreigners’ but a ministry that would be responsible for redesigning the link between all the citizens of the country around a principle of solidarity…
However, “this would not be a ministry for ‘foreigners’ but a ministry that would be responsible for redesigning the link between all the citizens of the country around a principle of solidarity that would above all make it possible to reduce the many inequalities of access that affect the entire population,” says Helpiquet. The end goal of this ministry would therefore be to encourage inclusion and citizenship participation, “because this is what creates and strengthens the relationship between all citizens of the country.”
A year ahead of the national elections, the organisation is sending a reminder that a mid- and long-term strategy is needed, and places its hopes on a future ministry within the new government that, for CLAE, should reduce social inequalities which also reinforce identity-based discourse. “We are a society with a great deal of cultural diversity, and we will only be able to relate to others if we remain open to them, while being ready to change our conception of ‘us’".