TWO-HUNDRED-AND-FOURTEENTH SESSION OF THE COUNCIL
14-15 December 2023
The President announced, with regret, that a former delegate for Poland, Professor Ryszard Sosnowski, had passed away on 6 December 2023 at the age of 91. Professor Sosnowski had been the principal driving force behind Poland’s push for CERN membership, which had culminated in 1991 when it had become CERN’s 16th Member State. Professor Sosnowski had been the Council delegate for Poland from 1991 until 2003, and Vice-President from 2000 to 2003. The Council observed a minute’s silence in his memory
The President reported that, since the last Council Session, he had attended the inauguration ceremony of the Science Gateway on 7 October, meetings of the Council’s subordinate bodies and had convened meetings of the President’s Group and Council office holders. He had also travelled, by invitation, to Bucharest for the 11th Christmas Lecture „Horia Hulubei” at the National Institute of Physics and Nuclear Engineering, to DESY in Hamburg for the ICFA seminar and to Paris for a meeting of the French inter-ministerial committee for the FCC. At the invitation of the French delegation, he had also attended the visit to CERN of the President of the Swiss Confederation, A. Berset, and the President of the French Republic, E. Macron.
The Director-General reported on the status of the Future Circular Collider (FCC) Feasibility Study, underlining that the mid-term report on the Study would be examined by the Council at a dedicated Session on 2 February 2024. She further reported on developments in China regarding the Circular Electron-Positron Collider (CEPC) and in the United States regarding the “P5” strategy-setting process. Finally, she reported on the visit of the President of the Swiss Confederation, A. Berset, and the President of the French Republic, E. Macron, and on the encouraging visitor numbers to CERN since the Science Gateway had opened its doors to the general public on 8 October, namely 61 000 visitors, corresponding to nearly half the previous total number of visitors in a single year.
The Council heard a report by the Chair of the Pension Fund Governing Board (PFGB), Mr Malmberg, covering the matters discussed at the PFGB’s meeting on 23 November, including the key member and beneficiary administration activities in the third quarter of 2023, the Fund’s preliminary nominal investment performance for 2023, which had stood at +1.27% at 30 November 2023, the five-year annualised return of +3.27% and the Fund’s long-term performance.
- Review of factors used in the Rules and Regulations of the CERN Pension Fund
The Council heard a presentation by the Pension Fund CEO, Mr Heron, outlining proposed amendments to the Rules and Regulations of the Pension Fund concerning the factors pertaining to anticipated (early) retirement and the purchase of additional periods of membership. On the recommendation of the Finance Committee, the Council approved the proposed amendments to the Rules and Regulations of the Fund, as set out in the annex to document CERN/FC/6749-CERN/3768, for entry into force on 1 July 2024 and 1 February 2024 respectively.
PROPOSED MODIFICATIONS OF CERN'S PRE-RETIREMENT MEASURES
Following a presentation by the Director for Finance and Human Resources, Mr Bello, and on the recommendation of the Finance Committee, the Council approved the proposed introduction of a pre-retirement allowance for the Part-time Work as a Pre-retirement Measure Programme (PTP) with a view to improving the uptake of this voluntary programme.
REVISION OF THE STAFF RULES AND REGULATIONS - LEAVE IN THE EVENT OF ILLNESS OF A CLOSE RELATIVE (ARTICLE R.II.4.27) - DUTY TRAVEL (ARTICLE R.V.1.27) - PROGRESSIVE RETIREMENT ALLOWANCE (R V 1.31)
The Council heard a further presentation by the Director for Finance and Human Resources, Mr Bello, on the proposed modifications to the 11th edition of the Staff Rules and Regulations relating to leave in the event of illness of a close relative, duty travel and the progressive retirement allowance. On the recommendation of the Finance Committee, the Council approved all the proposals set out in document CERN/FC/6747-CERN/3770.
PROPOSAL TO POSTPONE THE START OF THE NEXT FIVE-YEARLY REVIEW OF THE FINANCIAL AND SOCIAL CONDITIONS OF MEMBERS OF THE PERSONNEL
The Council heard another presentation by Mr Bello and, on the recommendation of the Finance Committee, approved the Management’s proposal to start the next five-yearly review process at the end of 2025, rather than at the end of 2024, with a view to its reaching a conclusion in 2027. The Council expressed its appreciation to the staff for having agreed to the proposal, which would permit the entire exercise to be conducted by the next Management team. It also warmly thanked the outgoing Chair of the Tripartite Employment Conditions Forum (TREF), Professor Åsman, for her service in that capacity over the past six years.
THE COST-VARIATION INDEX FOR 2024
The Council took note of document CERN/FC/6744-CERN/3772 and approved:
- a basic salary and stipend index of 0.29%, and a subsistence allowances and family benefits index of 1.3%, bringing the overall cost-variation index for the personnel budget to 0.44%, including the applicable indexation for home leave of 7.8%;
- a materials budget cost-variation index of 3.26%; and
- an interest and financial costs index of 0.0%.
The Council further took note that the above cost-variation indices for the personnel budget, the materials budget and interest and financial costs resulted in an overall 2024 cost-variation index of 2.09%. In line with the corridor principle, the indexation of the Member and Associate Member States’ contributions would be limited to 2%.
BUDGET OF THE ORGANIZATION FOR 2024
The Council took note of the final budget for 2024, as set out in document CERN/FC/6745-CERN/3773.
REPORT ON NON-LHC EXPERIMENTS
The Council heard a presentation by the Director for Research and Computing, Professor Mnich, on the non-LHC experiments, covering the set-up and measurements of the CLOUD experiment; the progress of work at the CERN Neutrino Platform on the cryostats for the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE) at the Long Baseline Neutrino Facility (LBNF) in the United States; developments with respect to the SCOAP3 consortium for open access publication and missing contributions to it from Member and Associate Member States; an update on the recruitment of experiment associates (EXAS); and the first scientific event in the Science Gateway, on 31 October, to celebrate 50 years since the discovery of neutral currents and 40 years since the discovery of the W and Z bosons.
The Council heard a presentation by the Director for Accelerators and Technology, Dr Lamont, on the status of the High-Luminosity (HL-LHC) project, covering the in-kind contributions being provided by international partners; the status of the construction and testing of the MQXFA inner triplet quadrupoles and cryo-assemblies in the United States; the successful training of the MQXFB inner triplet quadrupoles at CERN; the development of the MgB2 superconducting links; the conclusions of the HL-LHC cost and schedule review by the CERN Machine Advisory Committee (CMAC) at its meeting held on 13–16 November 2023; and the earned-value status of the project, namely 74% of the budget committed and a schedule variance of 5.9 months compared to the 2022 cost and schedule review.
The Council then heard a presentation by Professor Mnich on the good progress made on the Phase 2 upgrades of the ATLAS and CMS experiments over the course of 2023, on the status of the components that were on, or close to, the critical paths, on the challenges for 2024, and on the project management workshops organised with the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation (IPA).
The Council received an update from Dr Lamont on the status of the accelerator complex, covering the availability and performance of the LHC and the injector chain in 2023; the luminosity achieved at the LHC in Run 3 to date; the schedule for the 2023-2024 end-of-year technical stop and the 2024 physics run; and the lessons learned from the five main events that had caused 60% of the accelerator downtime in 2023.
Professor Mnich then gave a presentation covering the highlights of the LHC collaborations’ activities during 2023 and the evolution of Tier-0 data archiving and data processing at WLCG sites.
REPORT ON ECFA ACTIVITIES
The Council heard a presentation by the Chair of the European Committee for Future Accelerators (ECFA), Professor Jakobs, on the major ECFA activities in 2023, including implementation of the Detector R&D roadmap, the ICFA Seminar at DESY, Hamburg, the Restricted ECFA (RECFA) country visits in 2023 and joint ECFA-NuPECC-APPEC meetings. Since it was the last meeting attended by Professor Jakobs is the capacity as ECFA Chair, the Council expressed its appreciation to him for his tireless work over the course of his three-year term of office.
REPORT FROM THE LDG
The Council heard a presentation by the Chair of the Large Particle Physics Laboratory Directors Group (LDG), Dr Newbold, focusing primarily on the progress made so far in the five key areas of the Accelerator R&D Roadmap, namely high-field magnets, radiofrequency, muons, energy recovery linacs and plasma acceleration, as well as on sustainability. He also highlighted recent efforts towards community engagement, in particular the first open meeting of the LDG, which had taken place in Frascati over the summer and had been attended by representatives of 19 major laboratories across three continents.
REPORT FROM THE EUROPEAN PARTICLE PHYSICS COMMUNICATION NETWORK
The Council took note of document CERN/SPC/1228-CERN/3787, which contained a summary of the activities of the European Particle Physics Communication Network (EPPCN) in 2023.
TIMETABLES FOR COUNCIL SESSIONS AND COMMITTEE MEETINGS IN 2024 AND 2025
The Council approved:
- a revised timetable for Council Sessions and Committee meetings for 2024, including modification of the Finance Committee dates for June;
- the timetable for Council Sessions and Committee meetings for 2025, as set out in document CERN/3777.
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CERN RESPONSE TO THE AGGRESSION AGAINST UKRAINE
a) Termination of the International Cooperation Agreement between CERN and the Russian Federation
The Council decided to adopt the Resolution set out in document CERN/3757, and thus, inter alia:
- to terminate the International Cooperation Agreement between CERN and the Russian Federation, together with all related protocols and addenda, with effect from 30 November 2024;
- to terminate, mutatis mutandis, all other agreements and experiment memoranda of understanding allowing the participation of the Russian Federation and its national institutes in the CERN scientific programme, with effect from 30 November 2024.
b) Termination of the International Cooperation Agreement between CERN and the Republic of Belarus
The Council decided to adopt the Resolution set out in document CERN/3758, and thus, inter alia:
- to terminate the International Cooperation Agreement between CERN and the Republic of Belarus, together with all related protocols and addenda, with effect from 27 June 2024;
- to terminate, mutatis mutandis, all other agreements and experiment memoranda of understanding allowing the participation of the Republic of Belarus and its national institutes in the CERN scientific programme, with effect from 27 June 2024.
All CERN Council Resolutions can be found here.
Council Working Group on the Governance of CERN
The Council decided to approve Part 3 of the Working Group’s report, which set out its considerations on the governance of a future flagship project at CERN, as well as on CERN’s participation in projects outside CERN, and the consolidated overall report by the Working Group incorporating Parts 1, 2 and 3. The Council also approved the publication of the key considerations on the governance of future flagship projects at CERN.
ELECTIONS AND APPOINTMENTS
a) Scientific Policy Committee
On the recommendation of the Scientific Policy Committee, the Council reappointed Dr Hugh Montgomery as Chair of the Committee for a second term of office of one year with effect from 1 January 2024.
On the recommendation of the Scientific Policy Committee, the Council appointed Professor Pilar Hernández as Vice-Chair of the SPC for a single term of office of one year with effect from 1 January 2024.
b) Finance Committee
The Council reappointed Dr Laurent Salzarulo as Chair of the Finance Committee for a second period of one year as of 1 January 2024.
The Council reappointed Dr Mathias Hamberg as Vice-Chair of the Finance Committee for a period of six months from 1 January to 30 June 2024.
The Council re-elected Professor Eliezer Rabinovici as President of the Council for a third and final period of one year as of 1 January 2024.
The Council re-elected Professor Eric Laenen as Vice-President of the Council for a third and final period of one year as of 1 January 2024.
On the recommendation of TREF, the Council appointed Ms Nathalie Prentout as the new Vice-Chair of TREF for a first term of office of three years as of 1 January 2024.
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE SPC MEMBERSHIP SELECTION COMMITTEE
The Council established the SPC Membership Selection Committee in line with the SPC’s revised Terms of Reference that came into force on 1 November 2023.
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