News from Council
With this message I would like to share with you some highlights of this week’s Council meetings.
A major topic was the approval of CERN’s Medium Term Plan (MTP) 2017-2021, along with the budget for 2017. In approving the document, Council expressed its very strong support for the research programme the MTP outlines for the coming years.
Another important topic this week was the formal approval of the High Luminosity LHC project, HL-LHC. This comes as extremely good news not only for CERN, but also for particle physics globally. HL-LHC is the top priority of the European Strategy for Particle Physics in its 2013 update, and is part of the 2016 roadmap of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures, ESFRI. It was also identified as a priority in the US P5 strategy process, and in Japan’s strategic vision for the field. It secures CERN’s future until 2035, and ensures that we will achieve the maximum scientific return on the investment in the LHC. The Finance Committee passed some HL-LHC contract adjudications this week, allowing construction work to begin without delay.
Council also noted that the measures put in place in 2010 to rebalance the Pension Fund show the desired effect with an improved funding ratio over the years.
Enlargement was also high on the agenda, with confirmation that Romania is depositing its documents of accession to Membership with UNESCO, and progress being made with many other countries. Following a report from the fact-finding task force to India, Council gave the go ahead to submit the model agreement for Associate Membership to the Indian government. A task force will be going to Lithuania next week.
Finally, Council and its committees applauded the superb performance of the LHC and the excellent accomplishments of the CERN scientific programme in general.
The Directors and I would like to emphasize that these results were only possible thanks to the dedication and competence of the CERN personnel.
In conclusion, this has been a constructive week with many positives to take forward.