21 January 2015
The Chief Minister of Jersey, Senator Ian Gorst, and the Chief Minister of Guernsey, Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq, will travel to France on Thursday (22 January 2015) to sign a cooperation agreement with La Manche and Lower Normandy.
President Laurent Beauvais will sign on behalf of Lower Normandy and President Jean-François Le Grand will sign on behalf of La Manche. Representatives of Alderney and Sark will also be present and will be signing the agreement as associate members.
The purpose of the agreement is to develop institutional partnerships and strengthen exchanges in the areas of economic development, tourism, education and culture between Lower Normandy, La Manche, the Government of Jersey and the States of Guernsey. A letter of intent, paving the way for this agreement, was signed by Senator Gorst and President Beauvais in Jersey in May 2013.
Senator Gorst commented “I am very pleased to be signing this agreement on behalf of Jersey. France is our nearest neighbour and it is important that we continue to develop new links and strengthen existing relationships at regional and national levels.
"Through the successful establishment of a joint Bureau des Iles Anglo-Normandes with Guernsey, we are now well resourced to do this in partnership across both islands. This cooperation agreement further emphasises the Channel Islands’ commitment to working closely and productively with our partners in Normandy.”
Historic shared culture
Deputy Le Tocq added “I am delighted to be further strengthening our relationship with La Manche and Lower Normandy, and to be doing so not just in partnership with Alderney and Sark but also with Jersey. We have a historic shared culture with our Norman cousins, and many shared interests including business, transport, energy and education. Our ability to work together more strategically on these issues will be strengthened by this agreement.”
Jersey currently has a partnership agreement with La Manche, which dates back to 2008. Annual summit meetings are held between the two jurisdictions to further work on joint projects and initiatives. The agreement that is to be signed on 22 January will extend the scope of this existing cooperation to include Lower Normandy and Guernsey.