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Arcelor Mittal, the world's largest steel producer with headquarters in Luxembourg City, is still a reminder of these times.After the decline of the steel industry in the 1970s, the country focused on establishing itself as a global financial centre and developed into the banking hub it is reputed for.In 1842 Luxembourg joined the German Customs Union (Zollverein).This resulted in the opening of the German market, the development of Luxembourg's steel industry, and expansion of Luxembourg's railway network from 1855 to 1875, particularly the construction of the Luxembourg-Thionville railway line, with connections from there to the European industrial regions.Over the centuries, the City and Fortress of Luxembourg, of great strategic importance situated between the Kingdom of France and the Habsburg territories, was gradually built up to be one of the most reputed fortifications in Europe.After belonging to both the France of Louis XIV and the Austria of Maria Theresia, Luxembourg became part of the First French Republic and Empire under Napoleon.In 1437, the House of Luxembourg suffered a succession crisis, precipitated by the lack of a male heir to assume the throne, which led to the territories being sold by Duchess Elisabeth to Philip the Good of Burgundy.In the following centuries, Luxembourg's fortress was steadily enlarged and strengthened by its successive occupants, the Bourbons, Habsburgs, Hohenzollerns and the French.
Since Sigismund had no male heir, the Duchy became part of the Burgundian Circle and then one of the Seventeen Provinces of the Habsburg Netherlands.
Since the beginning of the 21st century, its governments have focused on developing the country into a knowledge economy, with the founding of the University of Luxembourg and a national space programme, projecting the first involvement in a robotic lunar expedition by 2020.
Luxembourg is a founding member of the European Union, OECD, United Nations, NATO, and Benelux, reflecting its political consensus in favour of economic, political, and military integration.
Please discuss this issue on the article's talk page. It is bordered by Belgium to the west and north, Germany to the east, and France to the south.
Its capital, Luxembourg City, together with Brussels and Strasbourg, is one of the three official capitals of the European Union and the seat of the European Court of Justice, the highest judicial authority in the EU.