Friday 01 December 2023
Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq, member of the Policy & Resources Committee with responsibility for external relations, visited Brussels on 28-29 November 2023. The visit formed part of the regular political level engagement by the Channel Islands with the EU stakeholders and Institutions.
The programme was centred around a panel event on the benefits of minority language regeneration, that was organised in collaboration with the Brussels based offices of the Northern Ireland Executive, Welsh Government, Scottish Government and Isle of Man Government, and moderated by the European Language Equality Network. The symposium discussed ways in which to further develop language recovery across the jurisdictions. Guernsey was represented at the event by Sir Richard Collas, Chair of the Guernsey Language Commission, and Professor Julia Sallabank, a member of the Commission, who both focussed on the work being carried out to support Guernésiais.
In addition to the language event, Deputy Le Tocq held meetings with the Belgian Permanent Representation - the incoming EU Presidency; the UK Ambassador to the EU; and representatives of other small non-EU jurisdictions ("Third Countries"). During the two days, Deputy Le Tocq discussed areas of priority for both Guernsey and the EU including cooperation on energy security and climate change, highlighting ongoing work in Guernsey on sustainable finance.
Speaking after the visit, Deputy Le Tocq said:
"It was excellent to be back in Brussels meeting face-to-face with representatives of European Member States, as well as with other non-EU jurisdictions. Regular engagement is an essential part of our long-standing good neighbour policy. In particular, the language regeneration event was extremely successful and demonstrated the importance of engaging with European partners on a wider platform of cultural matters, highlighting commonalities between the Channel Islands and Member States in terms of support for our distinct heritage and culture. I look forward to continuing to develop our relations with European Institutions and Member States on these matters and seeking further opportunities to engage on this wide platform of interests."