Contemporary history of Luxembourg Contemporary history of Europe

Luxembourg: from steel to the knowledge economy and beyond

22 June 2021

Luxembourg city
Webinar with Franz Clément, Researcher at the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER) - Elena Danescu, Coordinator of the Europe Direct Information Centre (EDIC) at the University of Luxembourg.

To reflect on the history of the Luxembourg economy and sketch out future scenarios, the Europe Direct Information Centre (EDIC) at the University of Luxembourg and its partners, the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER) and the Luxembourg national innovation agency Luxinnovation, are pleased to invite you to the online webinar “Luxembourg: from steel to the knowledge economy and beyond”.

Despite its small size in terms of geography (2,586km2) and population (626,100 people on 1 January 2020), Luxembourg has an open, dynamic, innovative economy that is one of the most successful at international level – in 2019 its GDP per capita was 261% the European average and its growth rate was the third highest of the EU’s then 28 Member States – and also one of the least affected by the COVID-19 crisis. This can be explained by its sector-based structure, in which activities and services related to the financial centre, together with information and communication technologies, transport and non-market services, play a key role; by the existence of a highly qualified, multilingual, mobile (cross-border) workforce; and also by the proactive economic policy pursued by the country’s authorities throughout its history. Looking back, we can see that Luxembourg has gone through several transitions and dealt with a number of serious crises. Following on from the predominantly rural economy of the 19th century, the first half of the 20th century was characterised by an industrial economy based on the iron and steel industry and the latter part of the century by a service-based economy centred around the financial centre, ultimately leading to the emergence of an information and knowledge economy which is gradually taking shape in the 21st century.


Tuesday, 22 June 2021

14.00 - 15.30 CET

Online - Webex




Introductory remarks
Dr Elena Danescu, Coordinator of EDIC University of Luxembourg

Luxembourg: The path from the steel economy to the knowledge economy
Dr Franz Clément, Researcher at the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER)

Looking always to the future (Luxinnovation role in building an innovation-based economy in Luxembourg) 
Audio-visual documentary
Debate with the audience / Question and answer Session
15.30 Close of the event



Franz Clément graduated in political science from the Université catholique de Louvain and completed a postgraduate degree in sociology of work at Nancy 2 University. He holds a PhD in Sociology from the CNAM (Conservatoire national des arts et métiers) in Paris. He is a researcher in social sciences at the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER) in Esch-Belval. He has led various studies and authored publications on social dialogue in Luxembourg and the Greater Region and on cross-border workers in this area.

Elena Danescu is a Research Scientist, PhD in the Contemporary History of Europe Department at the Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History (C²DH), University of Luxembourg . Her research expertise is focused on: History of economic thought; contemporary history of Europe; oral history; democratic transitions in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. She has authored various academic publications in her specialist areas. Since April 2019 she is the Coordinator of the Europe Direct Information Centre University of Luxembourg – Belval.