With a population not much different from Bristol and covering less space than the county of Dorset, Luxembourg’s significance belies its diminutive size. According to the and IMF and WB it has the world’s greatest GDP per head of population and it was one of the founder members of NATO, the European Union, the United Nations and the Western European Union.

"Throughout history this spot of land has always played a strategic role, situated as it is at the heart of Europe; it was the site of a Roman fortress and in the 16-17th centuries was an important bastion along the Spanish Road when that country was Europe’s pre-eminent superpower."

Today Luxembourg finds itself culturally something of a mix of Romance and Germanic Europe. It is the only remaining Grand Duchy in the world, a parliamentary representative democracy hemmed in by Belgium, France and Germany. The strength of the steel industry has declined in recent years to be replaced by finance, especially in Luxembourg City.