Luxembourg’s small population and three official languages (French, German, Luxembourgish) make it unusual in terms of its media landscape. The majority of Luxembourgers speak four languages, with French spoken by 98% of the population, while English is spoken by 80%, German by 78% and the national language Luxembourgish by 77%.
According to the Media Pluralism Monitor 2022, the three official languages lead to a complex linguistic situation and a limited and highly fragmented media market, which also suffers from high concentration of ownership. Luxembourgish is the most widely used language on TV channels and radio stations, while German has traditionally been the language of choice for the written press, although content is now available in all languages in all media.
In terms of media literacy, the outlook is positive. Internet user skills in Luxembourg are above the EU average, according to the 2022 European Commission DESI index, and there are many initiatives that aim to promote media literacy within and outside formal education. Notable among these is the governmental initiative BEE Secure that aims to promote safe, responsible and positive use of information technology.
Additionally, a 2021 journalism state financing law requires news publishers who want to qualify for additional funding as ‘citizen publishers’ to show how they are contributing to the public’s media literacy skills.
EDMO hub membership
- Luxembourg is part of the EDMO BELUX hub (with Belgium).
- Media company RTL is the Luxembourgish partner in the hub.
- Mediawijs (Belgium) is the key media literacy partner within the hub.
Who is responsible for media literacy at a national level?
In Luxembourg, the Ministry of Education, Childhood and Youth brings together under its auspices different government entities that contribute to the promotion of media literacy in the many different areas in which the Ministry leads national policy. The provisions on media literacy are part of broader policies that set out the missions of each of the following entities:
The Coordination Service for Educational and Technological Research and Innovation (SCRIPT) is one of the key drivers of the Luxembourg education system. Through its five divisions, it drives pedagogical and technological innovation throughout the education system and ensures quality assurance mechanisms in both education and teaching practice. SCRIPT is instrumental in the development and implementation of media literacy initiatives in formal education, which it develops, supports or delivers independently and in collaboration with a wide range of national stakeholders.
The National Youth Service (SNJ) is the counterpart of SCRIPT in the field of non-formal education. Organised in four operational divisions, the SNJ contributes to:
- the development of quality and innovation in the Children and Youth sector and offers different programmes for children and youth groups. In this context the SNJ developed the National Reference Framework on Non-Formal Education for Children and Young People, which defines several fields of action in the area of early childhood, school-age children and youth, setting general objectives and basic pedagogical principles in the work of childcare and education services, mini-care centres, parent assistants and youth services in these fields of action, one of them being ‘language, communication and media’.
- the offer of educational programmes by coordinating the governmental initiative BEE SECURE and providing different media education programmes for groups in the Marienthal youth centre.
BEE SECURE, the Luxembourg Safer Internet Centre, is a government initiative involving the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth, the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Family, Integration and Greater Region. BEE SECURE is coordinated by the National Youth Service (SNJ) and operated in cooperation with the consulting service Kanner-JugendTelefon (KJT), Luxembourg House of Cybersecurity, the Luxembourg Police and the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
Along the 4 pillars of its activity, namely awareness raising and information, guidance and counselling, reporting of illegal content and trend monitoring, BEE SECURE offers a variety of services and resources around the safe, responsible and positive use of the internet and digital technologies:
- awareness-raising materials
- a counselling and reporting service (BEE SECURE Helpline and BEE SECURE Stopline)
Other government stakeholders:
Under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture, the National Centre for Audiovisual Media has as its mission, according to the law of 18 May 1989, “to introduce the public to the knowledge and use of audiovisual means of communication for cultural and educational purposes”. The CNA offers a variety of initiatives and projects related to film education and the use of media in both formal and non-formal education, as well as training for teachers.
The Luxembourg Independent Authority for Audiovisual Media (ALIA) was assigned the statutory mandate “to encourage the development of media literacy for citizens of all ages in all sectors of society” with the entry into force of the amended law of 27 July 1991 on electronic media on 12 March 2021, transposing the Audiovisual Media Services Directive into national law. As a national regulatory authority, it now has reporting obligations to the European Commission on media literacy and as part of this, ALIA is encouraging enhanced coordination in the sector. ALIA is represented in the European Commission’s Expert Group on Media Literacy as well as in all thematically related working groups of ERGA and EPRA and is a permanent Council member of PEGI.
In 2020, the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth launched its initiative “einfach digital – Zukunftskompetenzen fir staark Kanner“, which replaced the previous digital strategy “Digital4Education” launched in 2015. The initiative consists of four main projects:
- launch of a general framework for media education and education through and about media (Medienkompass), first published in 2020 to provide a practical tool for teachers to take a transversal approach to educating children and young people about digital and analogue media. The guide, which is available in German and French, is based on the European Digital Competence Framework for Citizens and was updated in 2022 to include data and AI literacy.
In addition to the guide, the eduMedia website was launched by SCRIPT, providing teachers with resources, teaching materials, a media passport for primary schools and training opportunities.
- the introduction of Computational Thinking and Coding in primary schools (see below in more detail)
- the introduction of Digital Sciences as a new subject in secondary education, which makes reference to digital citizenship and production of information, with a focus on using the principles of technology and automation to develop skills to solve ecological, societal, and technological problems (MENJE, 2021).
- a national awareness campaign on the use of screens aimed to raise awareness among parents about their role in their children’s use of digital media.
The aforementioned National Reference Framework on Non-Formal Education for Children and Young People defines acquiring media literacy skills as a priority for youth work.
In 2021, the Ministry of Digitalisation presented the National Action Plan for Digital Inclusion, encompassing a total of 40 initiatives around three strategic axes designed to counteract the digital divide in society by targeting those population groups in Luxembourg that were identified to be digitally disadvantaged.
Within the framework of the 4th National Cybersecurity Strategy (2021-2025), the existing range of education and training in formal, non-formal education as well as vocational training and life-long learning in the area of cybersecurity is strengthened and supplemented. Training and awareness-raising programmes are also offered more widely. The strategy is part of a continuous process of improving coordination and procedures in the field of information security.
What is the status of media literacy in the national school curriculum?
In the context of the aforementioned “einfach digital” strategy, from the 2020-2021 school year, Coding and Computational Thinking were introduced in Luxembourg primary schools in cycle 4 as part of mathematics lessons. From the school year 2021-2022, these topics were then introduced in cycles 1-3 of Luxembourg primary schools in all subjects as a cross-cutting task.
In a pilot phase, launched in September 2021, 18 secondary schools started teaching Digital Sciences in the first year of classical and general secondary education. In the school year 2022-2023, the course was extended to all first-year secondary classes, while the pilot phase to introduce the course for the second year of secondary education was launched. From 2024-2025, the course will be extended to all lower classes of secondary education.
The BEE SECURE training on safe and responsible use of the Internet is officially recommended for Cycle 3.1 in Luxembourg primary schools.
Status of initiatives targeted at those not in formal education
There are several initiatives which address population groups outside formal education.
Through a systematic and widespread training offer, BEE SECURE covers a large part of the Luxembourg population, with a special focus on three target groups:
- Children and young people both within formal and non-formal education (in schools as well as in care structures such as day-care centres, youth centres, etc).
- Parents, teachers and educators, trainings are delivered in cooperation with the Training Institute for Education (IFEN), the National Youth Service (SNJ), and the non-profit association Interactions a.s.b.l .
In 2020, for the first time, BEE SECURE created a training programme for people with special needs. In close cooperation with APEMH, CONEX, Klaro and the LIGUE HMC, educational material on cyberbullying was developed for people with intellectual disabilities.
In addition, BEE SECURE provides valuable information to the general public through its website, social media channels and the national press. BEE SECURE also runs one additional website aimed at young children aged 4-6 years.
At its youth centre in Marienthal, the SNJ offers non-formal educational activities in the field of media literacy that enable children and young people to reflect about the way media content is produced through learning by doing.
In cooperation with the CNA, SNJ organises the long-standing media competition “Crème Fraîche“, a video and screenplay competition for young filmmakers from Luxembourg aged 12-30 held during the Luxembourg City Film Festival, hence promoting the production of and learning about video as an integral part of image education and youth work.
In 2016, the Luxembourg Tech School (LTS) was launched in cooperation between Digital Luxembourg and the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth through SCRIPT and the Centre for Educational Management (CGIE). The extracurricular school concept, targeting 15-20 year old students, aims to familiarise students with coding, game development, big data analysis and financial technology applications (FinTech), combining technology, creativity and business.
Launched in 2017 through the collaboration of several ministries and the European Commission, the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition Luxembourg brings together private and public stakeholders to jointly take coordinated action against the digital skills shortage in Luxembourg. Operated as an open network, the coalition aims to provide offers for the acquisition and development of digital skills at all levels of the economy and society through the active participation of its members to jointly identify and share best practices and offer training opportunities in their respective sectors and fields.
In the context of the aforementioned “National Action Plan for Digital Inclusion”, in February 2022, the Ministry for Digitalisation launched the web portal “zesummendigital.lu”, providing an overview of stakeholders fostering digital inclusion in Luxembourg, including a wide range of local actors, such as municipalities, senior citizens’ clubs, libraries and non-profit associations whose main activity is not necessarily focused on teaching digital literacy, but is geared towards serving specific population groups to which they cultivate a proximity, making them privileged partners in the delivery of a digital literacy offer tailored to these very target groups. The platform also contains an inventory of a wide range of publications, resources and tools promoting digital skills.
In response to the growing demand for digital skills in the Luxembourg labour market, the Digital Learning Hub (DLH) was launched in May 2022. The new structure for vocational training aims to offer both upskilling and reskilling opportunities for any adult resident or non-resident who wishes to educate themselves in the four areas of coding, cybersecurity, blockchain or design thinking. The innovative educational offer is provided in partnership with the French coding school “Ecole 42”, which finds its Luxembourg flagship in the DLH. DHL’s innovative learning concept is based on the principles of peer-to-peer learning, project-based pedagogy and gamification. Extra flexibility and accessibility is provided by the fact that no special entry requirements or previous qualifications or degrees are needed to join the programme.
For a global overview of all relevant initiatives in Luxembourg tracing the country’s digital transition, please refer to the website https://digital-luxembourg.public.lu/ , launched in 2014 and hosted by the Ministry of State’s Department for Media, Telecommunications & Digital Policy (SMC). The platform includes an overview of initiatives undertaken by different stakeholders to promote the development digital skills.
Other stakeholders: (a non-exhaustive overview of those actors in Luxembourg dedicating a significant part of their activities to media literacy education)
Agence Nationale pour l’information des Jeunes (The National Agency for Youth Information)
Kanner-Jugendtelefon (runs BEE SECURE Helpline and Stopline)
RGBe-motion Luxemburg asbl (Co-organiser of the cross-border video competition “Créajeune” for non-professional creatives aged 12-29 from the Greater Region)
Zentrum fir politesch Bildung (Centre for Citizenship Education, an independent foundation, created in 2016, which aims to promote active citizenship)