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Statement from Chief Ministers of Jersey and Guernsey

31 July 2012

Ministers from Jersey and Guernsey met in St Peter Port today (31 July 2012) at the Islands’ first formal joint ministerial meeting. The Chief Ministers led the discussions, which built on existing cooperation between the 2 governments and agreed areas where the Islands can work together more closely in the future on their external relations.

A new framework for inter-Island political cooperation was established when Jersey’s Chief Minister, Senator Ian Gorst, and Guernsey’s Chief Minister, Deputy Peter Harwood, met on 18 May 2012. That meeting led to an undertaking to more closely co-ordinate and share resources, and in turn led to today’s meeting. The Chief Ministers expect further formal meetings to take place biannually, alternately hosted by each Island.

External relations

Topics under discussion included aligning the conduct of external relations with the UK, Europe and France, and co-ordinated European policy, including Ministerial support for the Channel Islands Brussels Office.

Deputy Harwood said “Today’s meeting was constructive and productive. The discussions will enable our islands to take a more strategic approach to common external engagement. The benefits of working together in our engagement with the wider world are clear, in terms of both efficiency and effectiveness.

“Today’s discussions are only one aspect of the stronger working relationship that is being established between Guernsey and Jersey. I am delighted that Policy Council members and departmental boards are meeting, speaking and working with their counterparts in Jersey to find areas where working together can lead to clear mutual benefits.”

Common ground

Senator Gorst said “Today’s meeting has allowed us to develop further our common priorities. By working more closely together we can make our case more effectively to the international community and ensure that the benefits of cooperative working make a difference to our own communities.

“There is much common ground between the Council of Ministers and Guernsey’s Policy Council. Today’s joint summit meeting has found new ways of exploiting that commonality to our mutual advantage. I am pleased to say that today’s talks have been productive and I very much hope that future meetings will maintain the positive dialogue that we enjoy with Deputy Harwood and his ministerial colleagues.”

During the discussions it was agreed that the next meeting would take place in Jersey in late 2012, and that the focus should be on the potential for greater sharing of public services across the islands.

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