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Channel Islands representatives make official visit to Paris

15 February 2024

Representatives from Guernsey and Jersey made an official visit to Paris this week for a series of political engagements with members of the French National Assembly and the Senate.

The Channel Islands delegation was led by Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq, Member of the Policy & Resources Committee with responsibility for external relations (Guernsey), and Deputy Kirsten Morel, Minister of Sustainable Economic Development (Jersey).

During the visit, the delegation convened productive sessions at the British Embassy, and met with regional MPs and Senators, the President of the Foreign Affairs Commission, the UK Ambassador to UNESCO, and the Irish Ambassador to France. These discussions provided a platform to raise awareness among French political stakeholders about the Channel Islands. Topics of discussion encompassed connectivity and sea links, focusing on vital regional connections with Normandy and Brittany, renewable energy, and initiatives aimed at bolstering ties with the central administration in Paris.

Ministers prioritised the Channel Islands’ commitment to fostering positive relations with France and other European partners, while maintaining close co-operation across various shared interests. Guernsey and Jersey have memorandums of understanding with the region of Normandy and department of La Manche, as well as with the region of Brittany and department of Ille et Vilaine, fostering collaboration between jurisdictions and underscoring the enduring historical bonds with France.

Deputy Kirsten Morel emphasised Jersey’s enduring political, cultural, and economic ties with France, stressing the importance of deepening these connections with our nearest neighbour: “Our discussions underscored the importance of regional co-operation between the Channel Islands and France and our joint commitment to further developing this collaboration. Additionally, we’ve engaged with principal political stakeholders in Paris discussing key areas of interest such as connectivity. This engagement allowed us to explore potential economic and commercial ties, working towards a sustainable and resilient future, for which France plays an important role.”

Reflecting on the visit, Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq remarked: “France is a key European partner, with whom we share historic, cultural and geographic links. As Guernsey continues to develop its international identity and bilateral relations with partners around the world, this visit provided a timely opportunity to further strengthen our working relationship with the central authorities in Paris as part of our good neighbour policy, supporting the ongoing and positive engagement that we have with our regional partners in Normandy and Brittany. The visit enabled discussion on a range of issues that are priorities for Guernsey, such as energy and connectivity, on which we have shared interests with France. I look forward to continuing to work closely with our sister island of Jersey as we continue to further develop this relationship with our closest European neighbour.”​​

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