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Estonia and Luxembourg

18.12.2013


The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg recognised the Republic of Estonia on 22 February 1923 and re-recognised Estonia on 27 August 1991. Diplomatic relations were re-established on 29 August 1991.

Estonian Ambassador to Luxembourg Gert Antsu presented his credentials on 6 December 2012. The ambassador resides in Brussels and in addition to Luxembourg is also the ambassador to Belgium and Switzerland.


Previous Estonian ambassadors to Luxembourg were:

1993-1996 Clyde Kull
1996-1999 Jüri Luik
1999-2003 Sulev Kannike
2004-2009 Malle Talvet-Mustonen
2009 Karin Jaani
2010-2011 Mariin Ratnik

Estonia’s Honorary Consul in Luxembourg is Alexis Thielen.

Ambassador of Luxembourg to Estonia Michèle Pranchère-Tomassini presented her credentials on 23 November 2012. The ambassador resides in Prague. Since 26 February 2009, Luxembourg also has an honorary consul in Estonia, Vahur Kraft.

The bilateral relations of Estonia and Luxembourg are very good and quite close. Meetings of the foreign ministers take place regularly in the Baltic and Benelux countries format; the last such meeting took place on 10 December 2012 in Brussels.

Visits

to Luxembourg
July 2009 Prime Minister Andrus Ansip
May 2008 Foreign Minister Urmas Paet
May 2006 Prime Minister Andrus Ansip
October 2004 Foreign Minister Kristiina Ojuland
May 2003 President Arnold Rüütel

 

to Estonia
March 2013 Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration Jean Asselborn on a working visit
September 2011 Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn at the meeting of the Baltic and Benelux countries
May 2011 Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker
October 2008 Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration Jean Asselborn
September 2007 Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker
May 2006 Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration Jean Asselborn

 

Agreements

  • Agreement on Road Transport between Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands (came into force 1.12.94);
  • Agreement Between Estonia and the Belgo-Luxembourg Economic Union on the Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investments (came into force 23.09.99);
  • Agreement Between Estonia and the States of Benelux on Readmission of Persons (came into force 1.02.05)
  • Agreement on the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Income and Capital Tax evasion (signed 23.05.2006)

Economic Relations

Trade

The mutual visits of business delegations have taken place regularly (1999, 2003, 2005), but trade between Estonia and Luxembourg is modest.

In 2011 Luxembourg was Estonia’s 59th trade partner with a total turnover of 9.3 million euros, while in 2010 it was in 58th place with 8.4 million euros. In 2011 exports to Luxembourg totalled 1.2 million euros in value while imports totalled 8.1 million euros in value. The trade balance was negative by 6.9 million euros. Luxembourg was Estonia’s 95th export and 40th import partner.
 

Primary articles of export in 2011 were prepared food and drinks (50.5%), chemical products (14.5%), photographic, medical and measuring equipment (13.8%), and timber and wood products (8.6%).

Primary articles of import in 2011 were metals and metal products (68.4%), plastic and rubber products (12.5%), prepared food and drinks (4.5%), and textiles (3.8%).



Trade 2005-2011 (in millions of EUR)*

Year Export Import
2005 0.2 9.6
2006 0.4 12.8
2007 1.4 12.4
2008 2.5 10.8
2009 2.6 10.9
2010 0.5 7.9
2011 1.2 8.1

 

Source: Statistical Office of Estonia

Investments

As of 31 December 2011, Luxembourg had made investments in Estonia totalling nearly 247 million EUR, which was 1.9% of all investments made in Estonia and placed Luxembourg in 11th place among the countries investing in Estonia. Most of the investments went to agriculture and the manufacturing industry, but some were also made in financial and insurance activity, professional, research and technical activity, and real estate activity.

According to Bank of Estonia data, as of 31 December 2011 Estonia’s direct investment position in Luxembourg was negative 565 thousand EUR. The main sectors were financial and insurance activity, real estate, wholesale and retail trade, and professional, research and technical activity; Estonian investors have also used Luxembourg as an investment platform.

In August 2010 the Estonian government approved the decision to sell part of its unused AAU (Assigned Amount Units) quota to Luxembourg for a sum of 30 million euros. The money from the sale was invested in works to make apartment buildings more energy-efficient. In addition to Luxembourg, agreements on the sale of unused AAUs have also been concluded with companies in Austria, Spain, and Japan.

Cultural relations

Cultural relations between Estonia and Luxembourg are developing. Within the past few years, concerts have been given in Luxembourg by Villu Veski and Tiit Kalluste together with the Argentinean Pipi Piazolla, Vox Clamantis and Olav Ehala, Andres Mustonen and Ivo Sillamaa. Christmas concerts have been arranged and Aldo Järvsoo’s and Tanel Veenre’s creative works in the field of fashion demonstrated. The Luxembourgish have also had an opportunity to watch Priit Pärn’s animations and Liina Siib’s poster art works. In May 2006, Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra was at a concert tour in Estonia. The documentary film “The Singing Revolution”, about Estonia regaining its independence, has been screened in Luxembourg. Concerts have been given by the Maria Faust Ensemble, Jaak Sooäär on guitar and Tuule Kann on zither (kannel), and many others.

The Pascal Schumacher Quartet from Luxembourg has performed within the framework of the Nargen Festival in Estonia; the film “A Town Named Panic”, created in co-operation by Luxembourg, Belgium and France, has been shown during the Black Nights Film Festival.

Other highlights among the cultural events held in 2011 were the band Singer Vinger’s performance in Luxembourg and the concert and public celebration held by the European Choir of Estonians in May. In June the Midsummer holiday was celebrated; singer-actors Marko Matvei and Anto Siimson performed at the celebration.

In 2010 the 92nd anniversary of the Republic of Estonia was celebrated in Luxembourg in the restaurant of the Jean Monnet building (JMO) in Kirchberg, complete with the dance troupe “Känd ja käbid”. In March an exhibit of the paintings of Tiina Laan-Dondelinger, an Estonian artist living in Luxembourg, was opened in the Estonian Embassy in Brussels. In October 2010 Estonia’s flagship rock group Ultima Thule gave a concert in Luxembourg. Theatrical performances have also been organised: the Randlase Theatre’s performance of “Under Under”, and the traditional theatre troupe Loomine also gave a performance of their production “Carmen Alexandrinum”. A concert by the music group Vennaskond and a literature evening with the author Leelo Tungal as well as a book sale have also taken place in Luxembourg.

Luxembourg has also been represented in Estonia through many cultural events. In September 2010 the contemporary music ensemble from Luxembourg called United Instruments of Lucilin (a string quartet along with a pianist, saxophone player and percussionist) performed chamber music by Arvo Pärt as well as contemporary Luxembourgish works during the weeks dedicated to Pärt’s 75th birthday.

Relations between the two countries in the cultural realm are also helped along by Honorary Consul of Luxembourg in Estonia Vahur Kraft. In March 2011 the exhibit “Luxembourg – A Photographic Journey by Hot-Air Balloon”, by photographer Rob Kieffer, was on display in the Viru Keskus shopping centre. The exhibit featured an overview of the Grand Duchy through aerial photographs taken from the basket of a hot-air balloon. Another event the honorary consul helped to organise was in April 2011, when the Luxembourg-USA soul-funk group Funky P Society performed at Tallinn’s Rock Café within the framework of the Jazzkaar music festival.

Estonians in Luxembourg

About 400 Estonians live in Luxembourg; the majority of them work in EU institutions. The Luxembourgish Estonian Society (LES) arranges numerous joint events. The homepage of the LES can be found at  www.les.lu.The society’s children’s choir participated in the Youth Song and Dance Celebration held in Tallinn in 2011.

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© Estonian Embassy in Belgium and Luxembourg Rue Guimard 11/13, B-1040, Brussels tel. (32) 2 779 07 55, e-mail: saatkond@estemb.be