The politicians tried very quickly to attract international organisations to the city, but for a long time those attempts were without success. And then, suddenly, in 1952, came the great opportunity for which they had been waiting, the chance to complete their task after so long. The Foreign Ministers of the first European Community, the Coal and Steel Community, chose Luxembourg as their provisional headquarters. The proverb goes that it is only that which is provisional which is destined to last: today Luxembourg, alongside Strasbourg and Brussels, is one of the three headquarters of the European Union. (European Institutions established in Luxembourg are: The European Court of Justice, The European Investment Bank, The European Court of Auditors, The Secretariat of the European Parliament, certain Services of the Commission and The Office for Publications etc.)
The impact of all this upon the city has been considerable. From the beginning of the Sixties, a European quarter has developed, on the Kirchberg plateau, linked to the city by the Pont Charlotte. Almost 8,000 officials now work there. According to Jean Monnet, it can be said of Luxembourg that, "the small city has become a cross-roads of Europe".
The evolution of a financial centre in Luxembourg from the end of the Sixties further accentuates the international character of the city. In 1960 the number of banking establishments was 17. That number has grown to 218 by 1994. The effect of so many banks taking root has not always been favourable, mainly because a number of fine dwellings, which had once belonged to city folk, have now been replaced by modern constructions without charme.
In spite of its modest demographic dimensions (approximately 100,000), Luxembourg has become a metropolis, as much in these activities in the service of the international community as in the composition of its population (over 60 % of its inhabitants are foreigners, the great majority nationals of countries in the European Union). Today the city is a microcosm of the Europe of tomorrow.