TWO-HUNDRED-AND-TENTH SESSION OF THE COUNCIL
15-16 December 2022
The President noted that many things had changed since he had taken up office in January 2022, the Laboratory had been in the “red zone” of the COVID-19 colour-coded scheme, and the speed with which the Laboratory had managed to return to near-normal operations by the summer of 2022 had been a matter of great satisfaction. Nevertheless, the knock-on effects of the pandemic, added to other serious issues that had arisen in 2022, presented great challenges for the Organization in the coming months and years. Since the September Council Session, as well as attending many meetings of the Council’s subsidiary bodies, advisory committees and working groups, he had had direct talks with each of the 23 Member State delegations concerning the package of measures developed by the Management to mitigate the impact of high inflation and high projected electricity prices, which would be discussed later on the agenda.
The Director-General gave an oral report on the following:
- Second edition of the Sparks! Serendipity Forum at CERN
- CERN and the Environment Workshop
- Protocol visits in 2022
- CERN’s 70th anniversary celebrations in 2024.
THE COST-VARIATION INDEX FOR 2023
The Council took note of document CERN/FC/6627-CERN/3688, and unanimously decided to approve:
- a basic salary and stipend index of 2.38%, and a subsistence allowances and family benefits index of 2.68%, bringing the overall cost-variation index for the personnel budget to 2.44%, including the applicable indexation for home leave of 11.02%;
- a materials budget cost-variation index of 14.99%; and
- Pran interest and financial costs index of 0.0%.
The Council further took note that, based on the breakdown of the 2023 draft Budget, the above indices resulted in an overall cost-variation index of 8.87%. While the “corridor principle”, approved by the Council in June 2009 (CERN/FC/5366-CERN/2864) and extended in June 2012 (CERN/FC/5644-CERN/3023), limits the indexation of Member States’ contributions to 2.0%, the mechanism for the indexation of contributions for 2023 and future years was discussed by the Council under the next agenda item, in the framework of a multi-pronged package of possible measures, developed by the Management to mitigate the impact of inflation and electricity prices on the Budget.
PROPOSED PACKAGE OF MEASURES TO MITIGATE THE IMPACT OF INFLATION AND ELECTRICITY PRICES ON CERN’S BUDGET
The Council heard a presentation by the Director for Finance and Human Resources, Mr Bello, detailing the impact of the current high inflation and high projected energy prices on CERN’s Budget in the short and the long term, recalling the measures already taken to mitigate that impact and outlining a multi-pronged package of possible additional measures, involving all stakeholders, that the Management had drawn up at the Council’s request.
In the discussion that ensued, the representatives of the Member and Associate Member States expressed a wide variety of preliminary positions regarding the possibility of and time frame for potential additional contributions, and the Management agreed to provide additional information in preparation for a possible decision in March.
The Council unanimously decided to approve a “crisis levy” of 2.5% on the basic salaries of staff members for the year 2023, to be compensated by the granting of five days of additional leave. The Council expressed its appreciation to the staff for their willingness to accept a crisis levy on salaries in 2023, thereby showing their support for and commitment to the Organization.
The Council took note of recommendations by the Scientific Policy Committee and the Finance Committee for it to approve the proposed strategy for the reduction of Budget expenses from 2024 to 2032, but decided to defer the matter to its March Session.
FINAl budget of the Organization for the sixty-eighth financial year 2022
The Council took note of the final 2023 budget in 2023 prices, as set out in document CERN/FC/6628-CERN/3689.
The Council heard a report by the Chair of the Pension Fund Governing Board (PFGB), Mr Malmberg, covering the discussions at the PFGB’s meeting on 24 November, the key member and beneficiary administration activities of the Pension Fund Management Unit, the follow-up to various matters referred to the PFGB by the Council and the Audit Committee, and the latest macroeconomic and investment market developments and outlook and the Pension Fund’s response, in particular:
- the Fund’s investment performance of -7.34% as at 31 October 2022 in the context of continued market volatility, improving to -6% over the past month;
- the decrease in the funding ratio of the Fund according to the best-estimate assumptions from 77% to 72% over the course of 2022; and
- the PFGB’s conclusion that the long-term funding plan remains viable and that periods where actual performance falls below the required rate of return have occurred in the past and are unavoidable over long periods.
Modifications to the Staff Rules and Regulations concerning the process for approving amendments to the Staff Rules and Regulations
The Council took note of document CERN/FC/6630-CERN/3692 and, on the recommendation of the Finance Committee, unanimously decided to approve the proposed amendments to the cover page, the preamble and Articles S I 1.01 and S I 1.02 of the Staff Rules and Regulations with immediate effect.
Proposed amendments to the 11th Edition of the CERN Staff Rules and Regulations: Editorial changes and Clarification of the articles relating to paternity/co-parent leave (S II 4.03 and R II 4.24)
The Council took note of document CERN/FC/6631-CERN/3693 and, on the recommendation of the Finance Committee, unanimously decided to approve the proposed amendments to Articles S II 4.03 of the Staff Rules and R II 4.24 of the Staff Regulations for entry into force on 1 January 2023.
The Council further took note of the editorial amendments to the English and French versions of the Staff Rules and Regulations, as set out in the respective language versions of the document.
CERN Health Insurance Scheme – Guarantee of health insurance coverage
The Council took note of document CERN/FC/6632-CERN/3694 and, on the recommendation of the Finance Committee, unanimously decided to:
- approve the principle that health insurance coverage must be guaranteed, including in the event of the Organization’s dissolution, until the death of the last member of the CERN Health Insurance Scheme (CHIS);
- request that the Director-General introduce provisions to that effect into the CHIS Rules;
- request that the Director-General further investigate the practical arrangements required to ensure the implementation of this guarantee, including, but not limited to, through the establishment of a foundation under Swiss law.
Proposed amendments to the Rules of the CERN Pension Fund related to the Graduate Programme Review
The Council took note of document CERN/FC/6633-CERN/3695 and, on the recommendation of the Finance Committee, unanimously decided to approve the proposed amendments to the Rules of the CERN Pension Fund relating to the introduction of the new graduate programmes, for entry into force on 1 January 2023.
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 successful operation of the various facilities in 2022, a selection of the results and plans of the NA62, COMPASS and NA61/SHINE experiments and activities at the Neutrino Platform, and updates on Member and Associate Member State participation in the SCOAP3 consortium and on the Quantum Technology Initiative.
The Council heard a presentation by the Director for Accelerators and Technology, Dr Lamont, outlining the progress of the High-Luminosity LHC (HL-LHC) project, including the status of the civil engineering work and magnet testing; the conclusions and recommendations of the cost and schedule review on 15-16 November; and the project’s earned-value management status, namely that 51% of the costs had been charged and 67% committed.
The Council heard a second presentation by Professor Mnich on the progress of the Phase 2 upgrades of ATLAS and CMS, in particular of the ATLAS inner tracker pixel chip and the CMS high-granularity calorimeter, inner tracker and outer tracker; on the latest developments aimed at reducing reliance on institutes in the Russian Federation and Belarus; and on the measures being taken to boost the human resources working on the upgrades and to speed up production.
Finally, the Council received updates from Dr Lamont and Professor Mnich on the status of the accelerator complex and selected physics highlights from the LHC experiments, respectively. Dr Lamont reported on the status of the accelerator complex, covering: the updated accelerator schedule for 2022 and draft schedule for 2023; the availability of the various links of the injector chain in 2022; highlights of the achievements at the various facilities; recent statistics for physics production at the LHC, operational efficiency and luminosity production; and the progress of CERN’s application for ISO 50001 certification.. Professor Mnich reported on the status of the LHC experiments and computing, covering: the integrated luminosity recorded by the experiments during the 2022 LHC run; highlights of the collaborations’ activities during the year and of the latest physics results; the maintenance and repair work scheduled for the year-end technical stop; the smooth operation of the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid throughout the year; and the status of the collaborations’ efforts to find a common approach for the authorship of publications involving scientists affiliated with Russian and Belarussian institutes and the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR).
The Council congratulated all the teams involved on the progress achieved in challenging circumstances during 2022.
FCC FEASIBILITY STUDY STATUS REPORT
The Council heard a presentation by the FCC Feasibility Study Leader, Dr Benedikt, on the status of preparations for the 2023 mid-term review and on the first contacts with the communes in France and Switzerland located along the proposed path of the FCC tunnel.
LARGE PARTICLE PHYSICS LABORATORY DIRECTORS GROUP (LDG) PROPOSAL FOR THE ADMISSION OF A LARGE PARTICLE PHYSICS LABORATORY TO THE LDG
The Council took note of document CERN/SPC/1195/RA-CERN/3683/RA and, on the recommendation of the Scientific Policy Committee, decided to admit the Daresbury Laboratory as a member of the LDG.
TIMETABLE FOR COUNCIL SESSIONS AND COMMITTEE MEETINGS IN 2024
The Council took note of document CERN/3698 and unanimously decided to approve the timetable for Council Sessions and committee meetings for 2024, as set out therein.
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Estonia’s transition to Membership (designation of the Task Force)
The Council decided, by consensus, to establish a fact-finding task force in accordance with the applicable procedure set out in document CERN/2918/Rev., with the following composition:
• the CERN Director for International Relations (Convenor),
• the CERN Director for Research and Computing,
• the CERN Adviser for relations with Estonia,
• Dr F. Buzatu, Council Delegate for Romania.
Request from Brazil for an extension of the deadline for ratification of the Associate Membership Agreement
The Council heard a presenatation by the Director for International Relations, Ms Warakaulle, outlining the request by Brazil for a 12-month extension of the applicable deadline for completion of the internal procedures relating to the ratification of the Associate Membership Agreement and accession to the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities, and decided, by consensus, to approve amendments to articles IV.1 and III.2 of the Agreement between CERN and Brazil concerning the granting of the status of Associate Membership of CERN and to authorise the signing of the resulting exchange of letters by the Director-General.
ELECTIONS AND APPOINTMENTS
a) Scientific Policy Committee (SPC): - Composition of the SPC: appointment of two new members and reappointment of three members
On the recommendation of the Scientific Policy Committee, the Council decided:
- to appoint Professor P. Burrows and Professor M. Kado as SPC members for a first period of three years as of 1 January 2023; and
- to reappoint Professor K. Blaum, Professor N. Glover and Professor P. Hernández as SPC members for a second period of three years as of 1 January 2023.
b) Re-election of the President of Council
The Council re-elected Professor E. Rabinovici as President of the Council for a second period of one year as of 1 January 2023.
c) Re-election of one Vice-President of Council
The Council re-elected Professor E. Laenen as Vice-President of the Council for a second period of one year as of 1 January 2023.
d) Audit Committee - Appointment of the Chair
The Council appointed Professor J. Schieck as Chair of the Audit Committee from 1 January 2023 to 30 September 2025.
e) Audit Committee – Extension of the term of office of one expert member and appointment of the Vice-Chair
The Council extended the term of office of Ms M. A. Rucireta as expert member of the Audit Committee for an additional two-year period, from 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2025, and elected her as Vice-Chair of the Committee, from 1 January 2023 until 31 March 2025.
f) Audit Committee – Appointment of two expert members
The Council appointed Mr C. Mancinelli and Mr P. Owen as expert members of the Audit Committee for a period of three years, from 1 January 2023 to 31 December 2025.