Guernsey has attended a series of political meetings in France with regional partners to discuss joint working and matters of mutual interest.
Meetings took place with the departmental council of Ille et Vilaine and regional council of Brittany, as well as an annual political summit with the regional council of Normandy and departmental council of La Manche.
Guernsey has had a cooperation agreement with the departmental council of Ille et Vilaine since 2017, which was renewed in 2020 for a further three years.
Jersey is also included in the cooperation agreement, which facilitates joint working in a number of areas, including education, youth mobility, culture and arts, overseas aid, transport and trade. The departmental council of Ille et Vilaine hosted the 2022 annual summit in Rennes in May. This visit to Rennes enabled further discussions on these issues, with a particular focus on cultural and artistic joint collaboration.
Guernsey also attended the annual political summit with the regional council of Normandy and the departmental council of La Manche, being hosted in Caen.
The co-operation agreement was first signed in 2015 between Jersey, Guernsey, La Manche, and the region of Lower Normandy (which is now unified with Upper Normandy), and was re-signed at the summit this week for a further three years. Alderney and Sark are associate members of the agreement. The summit focussed on the consequences of Brexit and its impact on travel, trade and fishing; joint working in areas including education, culture and sport; and the impact of climate change on coastal environments.
Guernsey will host the two annual political summits in 2023, with Ille et Vilaine in the spring and Normandy and La Manche in the autumn.
Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq, member of the Policy & Resources Committee with responsibility for external affairs, said: “It was a pleasure to return to France to attend meetings in person with our regional counterparts in Brittany and Normandy, in particular for the annual summit with the region of Normandy and the department of La Manche. The summit gives us an opportunity to review the positive and varied work carried out by our jurisdictions together during the year.
“We can also discuss and learn from each other about some of the wider issues that are affecting all of us, including the impacts of Brexit on travel and trade and the common experiences of climate change and its impact on our coastal environments. We were able to step back and look objectively at the impact that Brexit and the Covid pandemic has had on the travel links as well as the economic and social relationships.
After two years of restricted travel as a result of the pandemic, I am pleased that we can now return to France to continue these valued regular engagements with our closest neighbours which enables us to strengthen our relationships and support joint working in a number of areas of mutual interest for all our jurisdictions.”