The Minister for External Relations, Senator Sir Philip Bailhache, is to address the Groupe d’Études des Îles Anglo-Normandes at the Assemblée Nationale in Paris on Wednesday (12 February 2014).

The Groupe d’Études des Îles Anglo-Normandes is the Assemblée Nationale’s equivalent of the UK Parliament’s All-Party Parliamentary Channel Islands Group. Its 16 members span the French political spectrum and they share an interest in issues relating to the Channel Islands.

The invitation for Senator Bailhache to meet the group follows the recent removal of Jersey from the French Government’s list of jurisdictions deemed to be non-cooperative in the exchange of tax information.

Senator Bailhache said: "This visit will provide a valuable opportunity to address any questions that members of the Groupe d’Études may have about Jersey’s recent removal from the French Government’s list of non-cooperative jurisdictions. It will also give me the chance to correct any possible misconceptions that might have arisen concerning Jersey’s inclusion on the list in the first place.”

As well as addressing these issues, Senator Bailhache will explain how the Channel Islands are developing trade, cultural and political links with France through the newly established Bureau des Îles Anglo-Normandes (BIAN) in Caen.

Senator Bailhache added: “Through direct engagement with this influential group of politicians, we will also be seeking to develop the mutually beneficial links that exist not only with our neighbouring French departments, but also with central government in Paris.

“I will be explaining how BIAN will enable us to do that, and how the Channel Islands Brussels Office is helping us to represent the Channel Islands at a European level. Our objective is to strengthen our relations at every level of French politics and Wednesday’s meeting will be an important part of this process.”