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Welcome to the CERN Council

Government representatives of twenty-one European States meet regularly in the CERN Council to address research in elementary particle physics and related subjects. These meetings are conducted in accordance with an international treaty, the CERN Convention.

The Convention bestows upon the Organization two missions, namely the operation of laboratories and the organisation and sponsoring of international co-operation in the field.

The first mission relates to the governance of the CERN Laboratory in Geneva, which is also the seat of the Organization. This is the world's largest elementary particle physics laboratory and provides research infrastructure for around 8,000 scientific users from the Member States and other regions in the world.

The CERN Laboratory stands astride the Swiss-French border close to Geneva and is one of the jewel's in Europe's crown, a demonstration of what can be achieved through European collaboration. The Council governs the CERN Geneva Laboratory by defining its strategic programmes, setting and following up its annual goals, approving its budget and appointing its Management; the Laboratory is led by the Director-General who in respect of the Laboratory under his direction is also the formal representative of the Organization.

In its role as governing body of CERN, the Council meets four times a year, bringing together around one table delegations from its twenty-one Member States, under the chairmanship of the President of Council and with the Director-General acting as secretary.

The second of the missions has been actively addressed since the adoption of the "European Strategy for Particle Physics" in July 2006. Dedicated "European Strategy Sessions" are held for this purpose. The main European Strategy Session takes place in September of each year, coinciding with the normal CERN Council Session, but shorter European Strategy Sessions can also be held at other times of the year, if so required.

The bulk of the organisation and preparation for the European Strategy Sessions of Council is undertaken by a Secretariat led by the Scientific secretary who is also the acting secretary at these Council Sessions.

As you can see, this web page branches off into two separate pages, reflecting the manner in which the Council addresses the two missions of the Organization. I sincerely 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.

Angieszka Zalewska

President of the CERN Council