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Ministers attend second annual Channel Islands-Ille et Vilaine Summit

03 July 2018

​Guernsey has hosted the second annual summit with Jersey and the department of Ille et Vilaine, following the signing of a cooperation agreement in June 2017 to promote greater partnership working between the three jurisdictions.

Jersey first signed a cooperation agreement with the French department in 2008, which was renewed in 2014, and the two jurisdictions have met annually to explore opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation. Last year, Guernsey joined the partnership for the first time.

Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq, member of the Guernsey Policy & Resources Committee with responsibility for External Relations, Senator John Le Fondré, Chief Minister of Jersey, and Jean-Luc Chenut, President of the Conseil Départemental of Ille-et-Vilaine, jointly chaired the summit where various subjects were discussed. These included educational links; youth mobility; sports exchanges; cultural initiatives; and economic opportunities. Guernsey also signed a framework agreement with the departmental council of Ille et Vilaine to collaborate on overseas aid projects under the mandate of the Overseas Aid & Development Commission.

The Chief Minister of Jersey, Senator John Le Fondré said:

“I am delighted to have attended my first summit, as Chief Minister, with the authorities of Ille et Vilaine and the government of Guernsey. France, as our nearest neighbour, has significant cultural, political and economic links with the Island and it is important that we continue to develop these at regional and national levels. As former Vice-President of the Jersey section of the L’Assemblée Parlimentaire de la Francophonie, I am particularly aware of the opportunities available to both jurisdictions through closer cooperation.”

Jersey’s Minister for External Relations, Senator Ian Gorst, who also attended the conference commented:

“In light of Brexit, it is critical that Jersey, and the Channel Islands as a whole, are able to build on existing relationships with our European neighbours and to develop a greater understanding of our value as a partner. This year is the tenth anniversary of our signing an agreement with Ille et Vilaine, and I am delighted by the growth in cooperation we have seen year-on-year between our communities, and now Guernsey as well. 

Member of the Guernsey Policy & Resources Committee with responsibility for External Relations Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq said:

“It was a pleasure for me to host the second annual summit of the governments of Guernsey and Jersey and the authories of Ille et Vilaine, after Guernsey formally joined the cooperation agreement last year. Guernsey has important existing social and cultural links with the region of Brittany, and the department of Ille et Vilaine in particular, in which both the port of St Malo and Dinard Airport are situated. 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.

At this time of change, as the UK looks to start 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. In particular, the signing of the framework agreement with the department of Ille et Vilaine for collaboration on overseas aid projects is an example of how the cooperation agreement is leading to the development of concrete, joint projects that can provide benefits to both our jurisdictions.”

President Conseil Départemental of Ille-et-Vilaine, Jean-Luc Chenut said:

“I am very pleased to have attended the annual summit as part of the cooperation agreement between Ille et Vilaine and the Channel Islands. The geographic proximity of our territories provides us with opportunities for cooperation on economic, touristic, educational, cultural and environmental matters for the mutual benefit of all three jurisdictions. It is for this reason that the Conseil Départemental of Ille-et-Vilaine is fully committed to pursuing the already longstanding cooperation with the Channel Islands.”

Alongside the formal summit agenda items, Brexit and its implications for the Channel Islands was also discussed.

The next summit will be hosted in Jersey in 2019.

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