The Chief Minister, Senator Ian Gorst, and the Chief Minister of Guernsey, Deputy Peter Harwood, will visit Brussels on 8 and 9 January 2014. The visit will be coordinated by the joint Channel Islands Brussels Office.
During the two days, the Chief Ministers’ itinerary will include meetings with:
• senior political advisers to EU Commission President Barroso and to EU Tax Commissioner Semeta;
• the Director General of the Commission’s Internal Market and Services division (DG MARKT);
• Members of the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) and Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) Committees;
• the German and Irish Permanent Representatives (Ambassadors) to the EU;
• the Swiss Ambassador to the EU;
• the head of the Centre for European Policy Studies (a leading think tank).
Senator Gorst said: “The success of the Brussels office has been an example of joint working between our two islands at its best. I am therefore very pleased to be attending these meetings alongside Peter. It is important that the Channel Islands are recognised as positive contributors to the EU economy, and that key decision makers in Brussels are kept informed of our continuing support for international transparency and cooperation in tax matters.
“There are opportunities for Island businesses to benefit from and contribute to the European economy, and it is through direct engagement in Brussels that we have the best chance of ensuring that both the Channel Islands and Europe can continue to benefit from this relationship.”
Deputy Harwood commented: “I am delighted that Ian and I are undertaking this important set of meetings together. Many of the decisions made in Brussels impact significantly on us, directly or indirectly. For that reason it is vital that those who make decisions and those who influence decisions have as full an understanding of the Channel Islands as possible.
“Our message will be simple. We are good, responsible and co-operative neighbours, and want to ensure that our working relationship with the EU reflects that. We have an important part to play in supporting the European growth and economic stability agendas – but to do that, we need to ensure fair access to the EU market place for our businesses.”