The Convention bestows two missions upon the Organization, namely the operation of laboratories and the organisation and sponsoring of international co-operation in the field of elementary particle physics.
The second of the Organization's missions has been actively addressed since the Council's adoption of the first "European Strategy for Particle Physics" in July 2006 and its subsequent adoption of the Strategy Update in May 2013 and in June 2020. 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 the broad consultation of all stakeholders in Europe’s particle physics community and culminates in a dedicated meeting of the European Strategy Group, which brings together representatives of the CERN's Member States and of the major European laboratories active in the field, particle physicists from outside Europe and specialists in related fields of physics.The Strategy updates are drafted at this special "drafting" session of the European Strategy Group and are then validated at a dedicated "European Strategy Session" of the Council. After these sessions held in Lisbon in July 2006 and in Brussels in May 2013, the session foreseen in Budapest in May 2020 had to be cancelled due to the Covid crisis and the strategy has been updated by the Council in June 2020.
Responsbility for following-up the implementation of the Strategy in the interim period between updates is delegated to the CERN Director-General, and the CERN Council addresses European Strategy issues under a dedicated agenda item, usually at its September Sessions.