HUNDRED AND NINETY-NINTH SESSION OF THE COUNCIL
18-19 June 2020
DIRECTOR GENERAL’S REPORT
The Council heard an oral report by the Director-General on CERN’s response to the COVID-19 crisis and the gradual, flexible and safe plan for the restart of activities on the CERN sites.
2021 FIVE-YEARLY REVIEW OF THE FINANCIAL AND SOCIAL CONDITIONS OF MEMBERS OF THE PERSONNEL
The Council unanimously decided to approve the Management’s proposal identifying the financial and social conditions to be reviewed for staff members, fellows and associated members of the personnel in the framework of the 2021 five-yearly review of the financial and social conditions of the members of the personnel in accordance with §§ 3 c), 9 b) and 14) of Annex A1 of the Staff Rules.
STATUS OF AND RE-START PLAN FOR LS2 AND THE ACCELERATORS AND LIU AND HL-LHC EVM
The Council heard an oral report by the Director for Accelerators and Technology, Dr Bordry, covering in particular the earned-value management (EVM) status of the LHC Injector Upgrade (LIU) and High-Luminosity LHC (HL-LHC) projects, namely 94% and 34% respectively, with 96% and 44% of the cost-to-completion committed. The Council took note that LS2 and the LIU and HL-LHC projects had been on schedule up to mid-March 2020, that most activities on the sites had shut down due to the COVID-19 crisis but a gradual and cautious re-start had begun on 18 May, and that a preliminary, ambitious but realistic schedule had now been developed in coordination with the fixed-target and LHC experiment collaborations.
STATUS OF AND RESTART PLAN FOR THE EXPERIMENTS
The Council heard an oral report by the Director for Research and Computing, Professor Elsen, on the data analysis, detector design and ASIC development work accomplished by the experiments during the lockdown, the logistics challenges still facing the collaborations as high-priority activities on the CERN sites gradually resumed, and the experiments’ revised plans for the completion of the Phase 1 upgrades and preparation of the Phase 2 upgrades during the remainder of LS2.
The Council voiced appreciation to everyone involved in the accelerators, the experiments and the computing, whether at CERN or in the participating institutes, for the impressive work done in spite of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 situation.
REVISED 2020 BUDGET
The Council took note of document CERN/FC/6415-CERN/3501 and of a presentation by the Director for Finance and Human Resources, Dr Steinacher, outlining the adjustments to and reprofiling of the 2020 budget made necessary by the impact of the COVID-19 situation on CERN’s activities and schedule, and the consequent reduction of the cumulative budget deficit (CBD), which would be some 90 MCHF lower than had been projected in the final 2020 Budget.
MEDIUM-TERM PLAN FOR THE PERIOD 2021-2025 AND DRAFT BUDGET OF THE ORGANIZATION FOR THE SIXTY-SEVENTH FINANCIAL YEAR 2021
The Council heard an oral report by the Director-General outlining the main changes in expenditure compared to the previous year’s Plan, primarily as a result of the November 2019 decision to defer the start of LS3 by one year to January 2025, the restructuring of the BNP Paribas Fortis loan, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the scientific priorities of the update of the European Strategy for Particle Physics;
The Council took note that the restructuring of the BNP Paribas Fortis loan and continued scrutiny of expenses to optimise the use of resources and identify savings would make additional resources available for the maintenance and consolidation of site infrastructure, buildings and technical galleries, the reinforcement of accelerator R&D and other items without increasing the peak and width of the CBD curve.
2021 BUDGET: SCALE OF CONTRIBUTIONS
The Council took note of document CERN/FC/6414-CERN/3500 and unanimously decided to approve the percentage scale of contributions for 2021, set out in Table 1, to be applied to the final Budget for 2021 in 2021 prices.
CERN ENVIRONMENT REPORT 2017 – 2018
The Council heard a presentation of the CERN Environment Report 2017-2018 by Dr Cennini of the occupational Health, Safety and Environmental protection unit, and agreed that a revised version, amended to take account of the changes suggested by the SPC, could be made public on a dedicated web page.
- Five-year review of Turkey's Associate Membership - report by the fact-finding task force
The Council took note of the information set out in document CERN/3510/C and, in particular of the task force’s conclusion that Turkey continues to fulfil the criteria and obligations for Associate Membership, and invited the Director-General to communicate the successful outcome of the review to the Turkish authorities.
- Organisation and work of task forces – Cyprus, Latvia, Pakistan
The Council decided to establish fact-finding task forces for Cyprus and Latvia and agreed upon the organisational details for the work of the Pakistan task-force in the COVID-19 context.
- Update on contacts with other non-Member States
The Council heard an oral report by the Director-General on the latest contacts with Brazil, Estonia, Japan, the Russian Federation and the United States of America.
ELECTIONS AND APPOINTMENTS
The Council decided that the position of Chief Executive Officer of the Pension Fund for the next three-year period should be submitted to a competitive process.
The Council re-elected Professor J. Schieck as Vice-President of the Council for a second period of one year with effect from 1 July 2020.
Annual Progress Report for 2019
The Council unanimously decided to approve the 2019 Annual Progress Report set out in document CERN/SPC/1135/Rev-CERN/FC/6386/Rev-CERN/3477/Rev.
Financial Statements of CERN FOR 2019
The Council took note of the External Auditors’ unqualified audit opinion on both the Annual Progress Report and the Financial Statements for 2019 and, on the recommendation of the Finance Committee, unanimously decided to approve the Financial Statements for the 2019 financial year set out in document CERN/FC/6408-CERN/3495 and to grant discharge to the Director-General.
Financial Statements of the CERN Pension Fund
The Council took note of the External Auditors’ unqualified audit opinion on the Financial Statements of the Pension Fund and on compliance with the relevant rules and regulations and, on the recommendation of the Finance Committee, unanimously decided to approve the Financial Statements of the CERN Pension Fund for the 2019 financial year set out in document CERN/FC/6410-CERN/3497, and to grant discharge to the Chief Executive Officer.
The Council further expressed appreciation to the External Auditors from the National Audit Office of Finland for their work on the annual reports and financial statements of both CERN and the Pension Fund, particularly under the challenging conditions that had prevailed in the first half of 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis.
CERN against COVID-19 task force
The Council heard a presentation by the convenor of the “CERN against COVID-19” task force, Dr Di Girolamo, and expressed appreciation to the task force members for their efforts to harness the energies, technologies and competencies of the CERN community and to make such worthy and well-appreciated contributions to the global fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
2020 update of the European Strategy for Particle Physics
- heard a presentation of the 2020 update of the European Strategy for Particle Physics by the Strategy Secretary, Professor Abramowicz,
- expressed satisfaction with the work of the European Strategy Group and its subsidiary bodies, and with the overall outcome and conclusion of the Strategy update process; and
- unanimously decided to adopt the Resolution set out in document CERN/3493/C/Rev. thereby updating the European Strategy for Particle Physics.