In the heart of London, where global power dynamics collide, a small team in External Relations is workings to promote Jersey’s interests in Europe — meet the European Relations Team.
In the post-Brexit era, the European Relations Team, alongside our counterparts in CIBO (Channel Islands Brussels Office) and BIAN (Bureau des Iles Anglo-Normandes) in Caen, need to work hard to ensure the Island’s interests are represented with European partners. By being strategically positioned in London, we wield unprecedented access to a myriad of European embassies, allowing us to represent the Island’s interests seamlessly.
Far from the glitz and glamour that might be imagined, our day-to-day work is focused heavily on diplomacy and relationship building, where even the simplest engagement requires significant preparation. Armed with an in-depth understanding of each country and insights from our own government policy experts, the team ensures that Jersey’s voice resonates with our European stakeholders.
Picture this: a lone representative stepping into a room filled with senior diplomats, navigating complex geopolitical issues making new connections, and recalling details of past meetings – it’s not a feat for the faint-hearted! The team’s ability to articulate Jersey’s constitutional position and unique identity, sometimes in multiple languages, shows the types of skills required to be successful with this portfolio.
Beyond diplomatic receptions and ministerial meetings, the team serves as the primary gateway for European countries seeking to engage with Jersey. From direct policy discussions to facilitating high-profile visits, we play a pivotal role in showcasing Jersey’s distinct identity and constitution. Recent months have seen the likes of Ambassadors from Estonia, Spain, Germany, and Belgium gracing the island, each visit meticulously tailored to meet specific objectives and requirements.
The true mark of success, however, lies in the aftermath of a reception or a visit. As the Ambassadors depart, the European Relations Team works to ensure each engagement becomes a catalyst for opportunity, including the possibility of progressing new partnership agreement and unlocking economic, diplomatic, and people-to-people links for the island.
In essence, the European Relations Team isn’t just an envoy sent into a diplomatic maze; we are at the heart of Jersey’s active participation in European affairs. We help to ensure that the island is not merely a spectator, but an influential player in international and domestic matters that shape its future.