Jersey will this week host the third annual political summit with the Government of Guernsey and the departmental council of Ille-et-Vilaine to review ways in which the three jurisdictions have been working together, following a cooperation agreement signed in 2017.
The meeting on Thursday 16 May will bring together the Ille-et-Vilaine President, Jean Luc Chenut, and Guernsey’s Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq, member of the Policy & Resources Committee with responsibility for external relations, with Jersey’s Minister for External Relations, Senator Ian Gorst.
For the first time, the Préfète of Brittany, Michèle Kirry, will also be attending as an observer and will cover items under her remit (emergency planning as well as customs and immigration) on behalf of the French State.
The meeting will also be an opportunity to provide French counterparts with a Brexit update.
Senator Gorst said: “In light of Brexit, it is vital that Jersey, and the Channel Islands as a whole, can strengthen existing relationships with our European neighbours. France has significant cultural, political and economic links with Jersey, so it is important that we continue to develop these at both regional and national levels.
“Jersey first signed a cooperation agreement with the French department in 2008, which was renewed in 2014, and joined by Guernsey in 2017. Collaborative working has allowed us to look at our educational links, youth mobility, sports exchanges and cultural initiatives. I have been pleased by the growth in cooperation we have seen each year between our communities, and I am delighted that Jersey is hosting this year’s summit.”
Deputy Le Tocq said: “It will be a pleasure for me to attend the third annual summit of the governments of Guernsey and Jersey and the authorities of Ille-et-Vilaine, after Guernsey formally joined the cooperation agreement in 2017. Guernsey has important social and cultural links with the region of Brittany, and the department of Ille-et-Vilaine in particular, and the cooperation agreement that we have allows us to build on and strengthen these links as well as to discuss some new areas for potential joint working with some of our closest neighbours.
“As the UK continues its negotiations to withdraw from the EU, it is important for Guernsey to continue to develop its existing relationships, and the cooperation agreement is an important factor in facilitating this work.”
Président Chenut said: "It is with great pleasure that I will join our partners in Jersey and Guernsey for the annual plenary meeting of the Ille-et-Vilaine cooperation with the Channel Islands.
“I welcome this partnership, in the service of shared development, between our territories whether on educational, cultural, tourism, economic or environmental issues.
“The Department of Ille-et-Vilaine will continue to engage in the years to come in these exchanges placed under the sign of proximity and cordiality.”
Government of Jersey Press Release.