Wednesday 03 May 2023
The Minister for External Relations of Guernsey, Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq, and the Minister for External Relations of Jersey, Deputy Philip Ozouf, visited Brussels on 2-3 May 2023. The visit formed part of the regular political level engagement by the Channel Islands with the EU Institutions.
Their programme included meetings with the Permanent Representatives (Ambassadors) to the EU of Luxembourg, Latvia, Estonia and Ireland, the Diplomatic Counsellor of Spain to the EU, the UK Ambassador to the EU, and representatives of the Devolved Administrations' representative offices in Brussels. The Ministers also hosted a roundtable discussion with other non-EU jurisdictions ("Third Countries") to discuss priorities in EU engagement.
During the two days Ministers discussed the development of the digital agenda in the EU and in the Islands, as well as cooperation on energy security and climate change. Ministers highlighted the ongoing work in both Islands on sustainable finance and discussed wider financial services interests. Ministers were pleased to build on existing cooperation with Member States, drawing attention to the significance of existing people-to-people links between Guernsey and Jersey and European partners.
Speaking after the visit, Deputy Ozouf 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. Direct engagement with the EU in Brussels can positively promote areas of interest for us and ensure the Channel Islands are properly understood. I am looking forward to continuing to build on discussions, particularly in the highly topical areas of digital development, sustainable finance and energy security.
Deputy Le Tocq commented:
"It was a pleasure to meet again with representatives in Brussels. Regular engagement with EU partners is an essential part of our long-standing good neighbour policy as we continue to work with the EU institutions on various matters. It also supports our regular engagement with Embassies in London as we develop and strengthen our bilateral relationships with other jurisdictions. During these meetings I was pleased to discuss financial services and to focus on growth areas for Guernsey such as sustainable finance, as well as the ways in which we are looking to establish a new energy strategy which embraces our commitment to climate change alongside our European neighbours."