|Luxembourg. A part of the Holy Roman Empire until that anachronism was extinguished by Napoleon, this tiny Grand Duchy was placed under Dutch control in 1815. In 1890 it became independent because of the rule of primogeniture: with no male heir to the Dutch throne, it was decided that a Dutch Queen could not also serve as Grand Duke of Luxembourg. It was overrun by the Germans (who hardly noticed they had done so) in 1914. It regained its independence in 1918. Marched through by German troops again in 1940, it was annexed to Nazi Germany, 1942–1945. After the war, it joined the BENELUX. It signed the Treaty of Brussels in 1948 and joined NATO in 1949 and prospered as a significant banking center and entrepôt. As one of the founding members of the European Community, and given its central location and nonthreatening size, it hosts several important European Union organs. In 2000 the aging Grand Duke, Jean, abdicated in favor of his son, Henri. The dynasty is descended from the Bourbons and the House of Nassau and may claim valid connection to the early Capetian rulers of France.|
|Luxembourg Compromise (1966). A formula by which any member of the European Community could veto a proposal that it believed touched upon its |
vital national interests. It increased the power of the national governments compared with the European Commission and European Parliament.