Local politians from Normandy will in Jersey tomorrow (Wednesday 29 May) as part of an ongoing programme aimed at increasing collaboration on major projects.
One issue that could be on the agenda is renewable energy. Jerseyâ€™s environment minister said recently that the island should attract more companies to the island specialised in this field and Normandy has a growing reputation in the sector.
Cherbourg is becoming a major centre for both wind and sea energy solutions and the Jersey minister Robert Duhamel said that the islandâ€™s high tidal range should be exploited.
Normandy firms are already working with nearby Alderney on tidal energy and Normandy is at the heart of Franceâ€™s renewable energy programme. There are plans a sea wind farm off the coast of the D-Day beaches and another planned off the coast of Fecamp. There are also several options to harness tidal energy.
Mr Duhamel wants to use some of up a Â£5 million innovation fund set by the economic development department to pursue renewable energy projects. Jersey has a plan to lower carbon emissions to 20% of 1990 levels before 2050.
The Normandy politians taking part in the talks include the President of the Manche council Jean-FranÃ§ois Le Grand, and Manche Prefet Adolphe Colrat. They will be met by Jersey chief minister Ian Gorst and assistant chief minister Sir Philip Bailhache.
Discussions will be conducted in working groups covering strategy, education, sport, culture, economic development, tourism and environment. Mr Duhamel will chair the working group on the environment.
â€˜We have established a long-standing and productive dialogue with the department of La Manche, which allows us to share views and methodologies on a number of key topics. I am pleased that we are able to welcome our French colleagues back to Jersey and I look forward to building on progress made in previous meetings,â€™ said Senator Gorst.
The working strategy groups have been ongoing since 2006 and they meet a couple of times a year. â€˜Manche is committed to maintaining a dialogue and developing projects covering all these sectors with our neighbours in the Channel Islands,â€™ said a Manche council spokesman.