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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 11,000 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 first "European Strategy for Particle Physics" in July 2006 and of the subsequent Strategy Update in May 2013. In this context, the Council has assumed full responsibility for defining the strategic orientations of European particle physics, a bottom-up process that starts with a broad consultation with all stakeholders in Europe’s particle physics community and culminates in a dedicated meeting of the European Strategy Group, bringing together representatives of the CERN Member States, of the major European laboratories active in the field, of particle physicists from outside Europe and of related domains of physics, at which the Strategy and its subsequent updates are drafted. The Strategy is then validated at a dedicated "European Strategy Session" of the Council, the last of which was held on 28 May 2013 in Brussels. Responsbility for following-up the implementation of the Strategy is then delegated to the CERN Director-General and European Strategy issues are addressed by the CERN Council under a dedicated agenda item, usually at its September Session.

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