HUNDRED AND NINETY-SEVENTH SESSION OF THE COUNCIL
19-20 March 2020
COUNCIL MESSAGE CONCERNING THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS
The CoVid-19 outbreak threatens the lives and health of hundreds of thousands of people, and affects the everyday lives of millions. The scientific communities of the CERN Member States, Associate Member States and partners are now mobilising their efforts in their national laboratories, especially at light sources, to maintain operations to help develop a cure. During this first remote meeting of the CERN Council, our thoughts go out to all those who have suffered or are suffering directly as a consequence of the coronavirus. We have particular admiration for those in the medical profession around the world who are so selflessly putting themselves in the front-line of this battle. As host to a global community, CERN is particularly sensitive to the evolution of the pandemic. Most of the countries affected by CoVid-19 have links to CERN, and we are thinking of all those touched by the virus at this time.
DIRECTOR GENERAL’S REPORT
The Director-General gave an oral report on the following matters:
- News on the ILC in Japan
- CERN’s response to the coronavirus crisis and next steps
The Council took note of the Director-General’s report and expressed profound gratitude to her, to the members of the CoVid-19 response team and to all CERN personnel for their exemplary response to the coronavirus crisis, aimed at safeguarding the health and well-being of everybody on the site and of securing the Organization’s projects and facilities until such time as it was safe for activities to resume.
PROPOSAL TO RESTRUCTURE THE BNP PARIBAS FORTIS LOAN
The Council decided to approve a proposal by the Management to restructure the BNP Paribas Fortis loan on the understanding that the outcome of the negotiations should not increase the debt of the Organization and that the use of the funds thereby released should be decided in the framework of the next Medium-Term Plan.
Council Resolution concerning the admission of the Republic of Estonia as Associate Member in the pre-stage to Membership at CERN
The Council decided to adopt a Resolution admitting the Republic of Estonia as an Associate Member State of CERN in the pre-stage to Membership, subject to the signature and entry into force of the Agreement annexed to the Resolution.
Implementation of the Council’s decision regarding Observer Status for States
The Council decided to approve the implementation arrangements for the new policy of Observer status for States.
The Council decided to approve the appointment of Ms Maria Annunziata Rucireta as an expert member of the Audit Committee for a period of three years, from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2023.
SUBJECTS TO BE ADDRESSED BY THE 2020 COUNCIL WORKING GROUP ON THE GOVERNANCE OF CERN
The Council decided to approve the list of subjects to be addressed by its Working Group on the governance of CERN.
The Council heard a presentation by the Strategy Secretary, Professor Abramowicz, on the draft update of the European Strategy for Particle Physics and the accompanying deliberation document submitted by the European Strategy Group following its drafting session in Bad Honnef in January 2020. The Council expressed its deep appreciation to Professor Abramowicz and all the members of the Strategy Secretariat, the Physics Preparatory Group and the European Strategy Group, as well as to all the related support services at CERN and in Bad Honnef, for their great efforts that had resulted in the high-quality documents submitted.
After discussion, the Council agreed that:
- it would not be appropriate to release the documents to a wider audience or for the Council to make any further comment on their content for the time being;
- the Extraordinary Session scheduled on 25 May in Budapest should be cancelled and replaced by a new Extraordinary Session, to be held by videoconference on the same date;
- the purpose of the new Extraordinary Session on 25 May would be further discussion on how to proceed with the draft Strategy update.