Ministers from Guernsey and Jersey are today (18/09/2020) attending the annual political summit with the region of Normandy and the department of La Manche. Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, attendees will not meet in person, but will hold the summit via videoconferencing.
The annual summit has been held since 2015, when a cooperation agreement was signed between Jersey, Guernsey, La Manche, and the region of Lower Normandy (which is now unified with Upper Normandy). Alderney and Sark join the meeting as associate members of the agreement.
As part of the cooperation agreement, representatives from each jurisdiction meet each year to explore how they can work together.
The summit will focus on three main issues which affect all parties: the impact of COVID-19, Brexit and its potential impact, and fishing.
The following representatives will be attending:
- Jersey will be represented by Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondré, and Minister for External Relations, Senator Ian Gorst
- Guernsey will be represented by Member of the Policy and Resources Committee with responsibility for external relations, Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq
- Alderney will be represented by Vice-President James Dent
- Sark will be represented by Chief Secretary Zannette Bougourd
- Normandy will be represented by President Hervé Morin and Vice-President Anne-Marie Cousin
- La Manche will be represented by President Marc Lefévre and Vice-President of the departmental council, Jean Morin
Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondre, said: “‘Given the unprecedented times in which we find ourselves, it is even more important than usual that we continue to build on and strengthen the ties we enjoy with our neighbours in the Normandy region.”
“Today’s virtual summit represents an important part of this work and I’m grateful to our regional friends for a productive discussion.”
Minister for External Relations, Senator Ian Gorst said: “The Normandy Summit provides a welcome opportunity for us strengthen the long-standing relationship with our nearest neighbours.
“This is particularly important, given the international scope of the challenges we face. Britain’s departure from the EU, and the outbreak of COVID-19 have had – and will continue to have – effects across borders and communities. Meanwhile, ongoing discussions about fisheries require ongoing cooperation and negotiation.
“I look forward to having productive discussions with our colleagues from Normandy and La Manche, and ensuring that we can continue to work together for our mutual benefit.”
Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq, Member of the Policy and Resources Committee in Guernsey with responsibility for external relations, said: “I am pleased to be attending the annual summit of the governments of the Bailiwick of Guernsey and Jersey and the authorities of Normandy and La Manche, which provides the opportunity to continue engagement with our closest neighbours and regional partners.
The next summit will be held in Jersey in 2021.
Government of Jersey News Release.