Year of EU entry: Founding member / Capital city: Luxembourg / Population: 0.5 million
The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is a small country surrounded by Belgium, France and Germany, and its history has been inextricably linked with that of its larger neighbours. Luxembourg has been under the control of many states and ruling houses in its long history, but it has been a separate, if not always autonomous, political unit since the 10th century.
Letzeburgesch, the national language, is similar to German. German is the first foreign language for most Luxembourgers and is used in the media. French is the administrative language.
The economic structure of Luxembourg is based mainly in banking, insurance, and the steel industry. Agriculture and wine production are also important. Many of Luxembourg's speciality dishes are appropriate to forest areas, like jugged hare and Ardennes ham. Other local dishes include trout and pike from the rivers. Luxembourg shares the Moselle valley with Germany and its local white wines are well known.