Welcome to the CERN Council
The role of the Council stems from the Convention for the Establishment of a European Organization for Nuclear Research, by which CERN was founded in 1954. It is the Organization’s supreme decision-making authority and is composed of two delegates from each of CERN’s twenty-one Member States and determines the Organization’s policy in scientific, technical and administrative matters.
The Convention bestows upon the Organization the mission of providing for collaboration among European States in fundamental research in the field of particle physics, through two main activities: the construction and operation of a research laboratory with particle accelerators and detectors, as well as related infrastructure, and the organisation and sponsoring of international cooperation in the field.
CERN stands astride the Swiss-French border, close to Geneva, and is one of the jewels in Europe's crown, a demonstration of what can be achieved through worldwide collaboration. Today it hosts around 11,000 scientific users from its Member and Associate Member States and other regions in the world who come to CERN to pursue their research work at the Organization’s facilities.
The Council governs CERN by defining its strategic programmes, setting and following up its annual goals, approving its budget, based on proposals by the Director-General, who is the Organization’s chief executive officer and legal representative, appointed by the Council. The Council typically meets four times a year, under the chairmanship of the President, with the Director-General acting as Secretary.
The Scientific Policy Committee (SPC) and the Finance Committee (FC) are the two main advisory bodies of the Council and meet in the days leading up to the Council Session. The Tripartite Employment Conditions Forum (TREF) discusses matters of remuneration and employment conditions. The Standing Advisory Committee on Audits (SACA) advises on the effectiveness of the organisation’s audit structure. The Pension Fund is overseen by the Pension Fund Governing Board, which reports to Council.
Through the Council's adoption of the first European Strategy for Particle Physics in July 2006 and the subsequent Strategy Update in May 2013, CERN asserts its mandate of organising international co-operation in the field of particle physics and related fields both inside and outside the Laboratory. Updates of the Strategy, at intervals of at least five years, start with a broad consultation of all stakeholders in Europe's particle physics community and culminate in a meeting of the European Strategy Group, dedicated to preparing the Update document for adoption by the Council at a special Session. The Council delegates responsibility for the implementation of the Strategy to the CERN Director-General and follows up European Strategy matters under dedicated agenda items, usually at its September Session.
I hope these pages will help keep you informed about the issues addressed by the CERN Council, the decisions that have been taken and other news in its various fields of activity.
Sijbrand de Jong
President of the CERN Council