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Guernsey and Jersey renew partnership with Ille-et-Vilaine and sign new partnership with Brittany

09 June 2023

Guernsey has hosted the annual political summit with the departmental council of Ille-et-Vilaine, and for the first time has hosted a meeting with the regional council of Brittany.

During the summit, the governments of Guernsey and Jersey renewed their partnership (Memorandum of Understanding) with the departmental council of Ille-et-Vilaine for another three years. Jersey has enjoyed fifteen years of joint working with the departmental council and Guernsey officially joined the partnership in 2017. The Memorandum of Understanding facilitates joint working in a number of areas, including education, youth mobility, culture, arts, overseas aid, transport and trade. 

Guernsey and Jersey have also signed for the first time a Memorandum of Understanding with the region of Brittany. This partnership will open discussions on economic development issues, education, and training, as well as maritime links encompassing transport, tourism, and relationships between ports and marine renewable energies.

The meetings covered many regional issues, as well as enabling discussions with regional partners on strategic issues such as broader political relationships and areas of mutual interest within Europe and the EU. 

At the meetings Guernsey was represented by Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq, member of the Policy and Resources Committee with responsibility for external relations; Jersey was represented by the Chief Minister, Deputy Kristina Moore, and Minister for External Relations, Deputy Philip Ozouf; the departmental council of Ille-et-Vilaine was represented by Michèle Motel, departmental councillor responsible for international solidarity and cooperation; the regional council of Brittany was represented by its Vice President, Daniel Cueff; and the Préfecture of Brittany, representing the French State in the region, was represented by diplomatic advisor Jean-Baptiste Chauvin.

Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq, member of the Policy & Resources Committee with responsibility for external relations, said:

“It was a great pleasure to host the annual summit of the governments of Guernsey and Jersey and the authorities of Ille-et-Vilaine, and to welcome representatives from the regional council of Brittany who joined these engagements for the first time.

“Guernsey has important existing social and cultural links with the department of Ille-et-Vilaine and our annual summit gives us an opportunity to review the constructive and varied work carried out by our jurisdictions together during the year on matters covered by our partnership. Renewing this partnership for a further three years further underlines the value we place on maintaining and strengthening our relationship with the department. The summit also enabled us to reaffirm Guernsey’s continued support for joint overseas aid projects, through the collaboration of the Overseas Aid & Development Commission and the department of Ille-et-Vilaine.

“I was also pleased to be able to sign a new partnership with the regional council of Brittany, which will enable us to deepen the connections that we have with the whole of this significant region to the south of us. In the French political system regions have different mandates and responsibilities to departments and so this new partnership will enable us to focus on new areas as well as build on our existing links, working with some of our closest neighbours. I look forward to the further development of projects under this cooperation agreement to the benefit of us all.” 

Deputy Kristina Moore, Chief Minister said:

“I was very pleased to join our French colleagues in Guernsey for a Summit with the Department of Ille-et-Vilaine and the Region of Brittany, alongside the Minister for External Relations.

“We spoke about several thematic issues of mutual interest, including maritime links, sport, and culture. We also renewed our existing partnership agreement with the Department and formalised links with the Regional of Brittany through the signing of a new agreement.

“As a government we are determined to work together with our French counterparts to find positive outcomes for us all.”

Deputy Philip Ozouf, Minister for External Relations said: “I was delighted to travel to Guernsey for the annual summit of the governments of Jersey and Guernsey and the Department of Ille-et-Vilaine, and for the first time to meet with partners from the regional council of Brittany.

“Jersey has a close and productive relationship with our cousins in Ille-et-Vilaine based on our shared history and personal connections. Since we entered into this more formal partnership, we have seen an increase in activity and projects across areas including culture and education. The fact that we are renewing our partnership is testimony to the enduring nature of our links and I look forward to working together on projects over the next three years.

“For the first time we signed a new partnership with the regional council of Brittany, which can only strengthen our existing relationships. I am excited about the opportunities that this will lead to for future collaboration. Our regional links with Brittany are very important to us and formalising this can only make our connection stronger.” 

Jean Luc Chenut, President of the departmental council of Ille-et-Vilaine said: “It is with pleasure that I am alongside our partners in Jersey and Guernsey who do us the honour of welcoming us on the occasion of the annual cooperation meeting between our Department and the two Bailiwicks.

“This is an opportunity for us to renew the partnership which materializes the friendship and close relations between our jurisdictions. The new cooperation agreement will give new impetus to the long-standing links between Ille-et-Vilaine and the Channel Islands on various themes: education, tourism, international solidarity and the environment in particular. 

“I am very attached to this collaboration and I wish to ensure the strengthening of these close and sharing ties that contribute to the enrichment of our respective jurisdictions over the long term.” 

Loïg Chesnais-Girard, President of the regional council of Brittany said: 

“While Brexit could have divided us, it has instead helped to bring the Channel Islands becoming closer to Brittany and Normandy. I thank our partners in Jersey and Guernsey for having favoured the path of dialogue and cooperation. I am convinced that this path will best defend the interest of all our citizens.”

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