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Channel Islands ministers resume visits to Brussels

Ministers from Jersey and Guernsey have visited Brussels for their first in-person meetings with EU politicians since the coronavirus pandemic.

The regular visits were put on hold in March 2020 due to travel restrictions.

The Minister for External Relations of Guernsey, Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq, and the Minister for External Relations of Jersey, Deputy Philip Ozouf, visited on Monday and Tuesday.

Deputy Ozouf said the visit was a “key priority”.

Their trip included meetings with the Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU, as well as representatives of Poland, Switzerland, the UK and the Head of the City of London office in Brussels.

Matters discussed by the ministers included the Ukraine, energy security, climate change, financial services and sustainable finance.

They also met the EU Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginius Sinkevičius, regarding ongoing technical discussions on fisheries matters.

‘Better understood’

Speaking after the visit, Deputy Ozouf said: “Having face-to-face meetings with the most senior Brussels based representatives from across Europe has given us the opportunity to explain the value of Jersey to the EU and discuss numerous areas of mutual interest.

“Continued engagement with European partners and institutions can ensure Jersey is better understood.”

Deputy Le Tocq commented: “This is an essential part of our valued engagement with EU partners, supporting our long-standing good neighbour policy as we continue to work with the EU institutions on various matters.

“I was pleased to be able to reiterate Guernsey’s support to Ukraine, including on sanctions, and underline our alignment with EU partners.

“As discussions take place this week at COP27, we were pleased to continue engagement on financial services and focus on areas such as sustainable finance and addressing climate change alongside European stakeholders with whom we share our heritage.”

Source: BBC