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Government of Jersey’s relationship with Portugal (FOI)

Government of Jersey’s relationship with Portugal (FOI)

Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 21 March 2019.
Prepared internally, no external costs.


I should be grateful if you could disclose information (eg digital documents, physical files, statistics and so on) which concerns the Government of Jersey's relationship with Portugal (including the autonomous region of Madeira).


How far does the relationship date back to? Does it go beyond the Friendship Agreement (1998). I should be grateful for a copy of the Friendship Agreement (1998).


Irrespective of Brexit, finance and tax, does the Government of Jersey intend to enhance its relationship with the Government of Portugal (including the autonomous region of Madeira) particularly at a cultural-level? If so, please disclose supporting documentation such as forward engagement planners, a redacted Portugal country policy / strategy fit for public consumption.


Irrespective of 2011 Census data and using current data (post 2011), how many Portuguese nationals (including from the autonomous region of Madeira) or of Portuguese origin / ethnicity are resident in Jersey?



In 1998 a Friendship Agreement was signed by the Bailiff and Madeiran President to mark the close links between the two communities and to promote co-operation between the Islands. The relevant document is attached.

Jersey-Madeira Agreement


The Government of Jersey continues its work to maintain and develop positive relationships with its European partners, including Portugal.

  • the Ambassador of Portugal to the UK, made an official visit to Jersey on 20-21 September 2018. The visit focused on strengthening the bilateral links between Jersey and Portugal

  • the Bailiff of Jersey and Chief Minister of Jersey made a recent visit to Madeira on 14-15 March, on the invitation of the President of the Autonomous Region of Madeira

A policy document is currently under development and will be released at a later date. This policy document is exempt from release under Article 35 (Formulation and Development of Policy) of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011.


The most recent information collected by Statistics Jersey relating to the number of people born in Portugal or Madeira (or of Portuguese / Madeiran ethnicity), was the 2011 Census. Information was not collected relating to nationality.

The 2011 census recorded:

  • 7,031 residents who were born on Portugal / Madeira (representing 7% of the population)

  • 8,049 residents considered their ethnicity as Portuguese or Madeiran (representing 8% of the population)

The above figures can be found in Chapter 2 of the census report which is available online at:

2011 Census results

Article applied

Article 35 Formulation and development of policies

Information is qualified exempt information if it relates to the formulation or development of any proposed policy by a public authority.

Public Interest Test

The Scheduled Public Authority (SPA) is withholding the release of the requested policy document as this is not in final form and relates to the ongoing formulation and development of wider policy and procedure by the public authority.

Article 35 is a qualified exemption, which means that a public interest test is required to be undertaken by the SPA. It is therefore necessary for the scheduled public authority to examine the circumstances of the case. Following assessment the SPA has to decide whether, on balance, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

Although there is a need for transparency, accountability, financial and good decision making by public authorities this information relates to ongoing work and the requested document is not in final form. Government require safe space in order to complete policy work before release of related documentation.

It should also be noted that once a policy is formulated and published, the public interest in withholding information relating to its formulation is diminished, however, the use of the exemption can be supported if it preserves sufficient freedom during the policy formulation phase to explore options without that process being hampered by some expectation of future publication.

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