11 May 2015Asset management analysis

European Commission 'recognises' Guernsey’s €200bn contribution

The Chief Minister of Guernsey has praised the good understanding the European Commission has around the financial contribution Guernsey makes to the European economy, which could be worth as much as €200 billion in inward investment.

Jersey’s Chief Minister Ian Gorst and deputy Jonathan Le Tocq met  with MEPs from the UK, Germany, Ireland, France, Luxembourg, Denmark and Portugal recently to discuss the contribution that the islands' finance sector makes to the EU's economy and the jobs that it supports, both within the EU and in the islands.

Deputy Le Tocq said: “The Channel Islands' funds sector is a conduit for around €200 billion of inward investment into Europe. That supports growth and jobs across Europe, and is vital for jobs and economic growth on our islands. We are an important economic partner of the EU, and that is the message that we have been delivering in Brussels – that continued access to European capital markets for the Channel Islands is good for the EU.

"We had the opportunity to discuss that with Commissioner Jonathan Hill, who is responsible for financial stability, financial services and capital markets, and with the UK Permanent Representation in Brussels. I was pleased with the growing recognition that the Channel Islands is an important economic partner of the EU.”

Senator Gorst said: “The islands’ economic contribution is increasingly well-understood in Brussels. The meetings we had with the members of the Economic Affairs and Tax Committees, as well as Lord Hill, demonstrate the importance of continuing to engage at the senior level of the European Parliament and the European Commission.

“In our meeting with the Chair of the Tax Committee, Alain Lamassoure MEP, we were able to offer our expertise and input into the work that they are doing over the next few months on tax transparency. Our meetings with Luxembourg’s and the Netherlands' Permanent Representatives to the EU also means that we have a growing understanding of the emerging priorities of the next two EU Presidencies, and that they have an understanding of areas where we can offer input."

The Chief Ministers also met with representatives from Scotland, the City of London, Andorra, the Faroe Islands, Gibraltar and the Isle of Man, among others at a briefing event organised by the Channel Islands Brussels Office.

Deputy Le Tocq said it was important to speak directly with the decision-makers of the relatively new Juncker Commission.

“Meeting Commissioner Moscovici was important for two reasons – firstly, to enhance awareness and understanding of the Channel Islands, and secondly to understand future developments on tax co-operation. My message was that we are part of the European mainstream on tax transparency, and should be seen as partners, not problems, for the Commission. It was heartening to hear that that is indeed how the Commissioner also sees us,” he said.