Dear AMCHAM members and friends,
Welcome to the first AMCHAM.lu Newsletter edition of the New Year!
We hope you all had a restful, happy and successful break and are now returning to living and working in Luxembourg with renewed energy, new ideas and a commitment to make Luxembourg strong and successful for business and our entire population. It takes all of us to build a village!
I want to start by congratulating our Prime Minister and his government for following through on the commitment he made during his state of the nation speech last year to fix the problem of spousal/partner work permits for non-EU citizens resident in Luxembourg. For many years, AMCHAM and our members have been interested in and concerned about the issue of improving the expat work permit approval process. We have consistently argued for accelerating the process, streamlining the paperwork, and creating provisions that simplify and more effectively enable accompanying non-EU citizen spouses and partners with residency in Luxembourg to have permission to work before they start job searching and likewise allow them to set up companies and become entrepreneurs. While progress has gradually been made over the years, we have continually argued that the rules and procedures were unnecessarily cumbersome, unnecessarily took too much paperwork and time and, since 95% of the accompanying spouses /partners have been women, effectively constituted a structural discrimination barrier against women at the very time that other efforts were being so loudly advocated to help and support women entering and thriving in the workplace.
Coming out of Covid and returning to a state of full employment existing all across the Luxembourg economy at all levels, from the lowest jobs to the highest, it has been clear that Non-EU citizen spouses and foreigners wishing to work are not a threat to the employment of resident Luxembourg citizens and instead should be looked at as assets helping to solve our present employee shortages. So, on this basis, we have put a significant effort since the Autumn of last year to renew our advocacy to end this discriminatory practice harming women, their families, and companies urgently in need of quality employees.
We in AMCHAM call out with most sincere thanks and appreciation; Ambassador Thomas Barrett, Deputy Chief of Mission Michael Konstantino, Giovanni Patri, Michèle Detaille and her principal deputy at FEDIL, René Winkin, Finance Minister Yuriko Backes, Norbert Becker, CSV Deputy Laurent Mosar, ERS Founder and General Manage Sylvie Schmit-Verbrugghen, LuxRelo Co-Founder & CEO Stéphane Compain and our other interested partners and advisors. We likewise compliment Foreign Minister Asselborn and his team for their excellent work drafting the new legislation, which will very soon bring this matter to a just and fair situation. We encourage the members of the Chamber of Deputies to pass this legislation with all due haste to put this matter of unintended discrimination behind us (and gently ask them to also look further into speeding up the paperwork processing to reduce approval time to help us avoid losing the employee candidates we so urgently need). And again, our thanks to Prime Minister Bettel for his vision and leadership.
We are delighted as our first interview of the year to present the Ambassador of the Czech Republic to explain the objectives, challenges and accomplishments of the just completed Czech EU presidency. What an exciting and critical time Ambassador Bärtl and his country faced during this period! We are excited to share this information with you and most sincerely thank the Ambassador for his hard work during this period and for sharing the details of this journey with our readers and us!
In this newsletter, we’ve also included a link to a white paper prepared by COMO’s co-founder and CEO, Angela Nickel. It’s well worth reading carefully and having a serious conversation since Angela has produced a significant and profound vision of the future of the digital world.
As I write these Chairman’s remarks, we are sold out for our 31st of January New Year’s reception sponsored by BCEE and LaLux Assurance with Prime Minister Bettel as our Guest of honor. However, if you’d like your name added to our waiting list in case an opening becomes available, please email Daniel@AMCHAM.lu with your contact information. We guarantee that we will make every effort to accommodate everyone who wishes to join us.
Please, also look at our upcoming events posted in this Newsletter and on our website. Please pay special attention and sign up for our Masked Ball on the 3rd of March and our International Women’s day with PWC on the 8th of March!
Lastly, please click HERE to access our membership application form if you are not yet an AMCHAM.lu member (or contact me personally at Paul@AMCHAM.LU). There are excellent reasons and benefits to be part of our AMCHAM.lu family, and all nationalities are always most welcome. Join us. You will be glad you did!
With my respect and very best regards,
Chairman and CEO