Jean-Louis Schiltz, GHF Board Member

Jean-Louis Schiltz
Minister, Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, Communications and Defence, Luxembourg

Jean-Louis Schiltz, Luxembourg’s Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, Communications and Defence, has pursued three often simultaneous careers – political, legal and academic.

Jean-Louis Schiltz has made a number of instrumental contributions to humanitarian and development assistance. During Luxembourg’s Presidency of the European Union in 2005 Schiltz, as his country’s Minister for Development Cooperation, became the key figure in the negotiation of an agreement whereby the European Union states all undertook to spend 0.7% of their gross domestic product on development aid by 2015. The negotiations on the revision of the Cotonou Agreement were also successfully concluded under his chairmanship and the revised accord was signed in Luxembourg in 2005. He coordinated the EU’s response to the Asian tsunami.

Schiltz has an extensive legal background. He studied law, receiving master’s degrees at the Universities of Luxembourg and the Sorbonne in Paris. He followed up with a post-graduate degree in business law. For the next 15 years, from 1989 until 2004, he practiced law in Luxembourg. The author of a number of articles on banking and insurance, Schiltz was co-editor of a journal called Assurances et Responsabilité which was edited by the Luxembourg section of the International Association of Insurance Law of which he was a member. He was also a member of the editorial board of the monthly publication European Lawyer, and of the International Bar Association. During 13 of these years he taught civil and business law at the Centre Universitaire de Luxembourg and continued to teach at the University of Paris.

This period also saw Jean-Louis Schiltz start his political career by being elected General Secretary of the Christian Social Party in 2000. He was re-elected twice and held the post until 2006. He was primarily responsible for elaborating a new political programme for his party and led the Christian Social Party’s succesful campaign in the legislative election. In 2004 he won a seat in the Luxembourg Parliament and that same year he was appointed Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs.

In 2006 Schiltz acquired yet another ministry, that of Defence, at his age then of 41. At his initiative the Luxembourg army underwent a radical shake-up in 2007.

In his quality as Luxembourg’s Minister of Communications, Schiltz is responsible for the development of Luxembourg’s information and communication infrastructure. As a result, he is the author of the LuxConnect initiative, a very active network linking Luxembourg with centres that provide access to the internet abroad. Its purpose is to strengthen Luxembourg’s outside connections and to facilitate investments in the TICs.

Jean-Louis Schlitz was on the Luxembourg fencing team that won the country’s championship in 1983. (P.Ress)


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