The June meeting of Council is always a very busy one, having approval of the next year’s budget and the MTP as fixed agenda points. This year in addition, we had discussions on enlargement, as well as on the pension fund. I’d like to use this message to bring you up to date on all of those matters.
I’ll begin with the good news that the 2015 budget and MTP were recommended for approval by Finance Committee on Wednesday, and approved by Council on Thursday. This is extremely good news, and a solid vote of confidence from Council in the current economic situation. Coupled with that, I am pleased to report that at the half way stage of 2014, some 89% of budget contributions for the year have been received.
Turning now to enlargement, I can inform you that the task force that went to Pakistan came back with a positive report, and as a consequence Council has authorised us to finalise discussion with Pakistan for Associate Membership. Council also authorised a fact-finding task force to visit Croatia following their application for Associate Membership.
Finally, I’d like to turn to a subject close to the hearts of those of you who are members of the CERN pension fund. As you are certainly aware, Council agreed in 2010 to a package of measures including an annual transfer of funds from the CERN budget to the pension fund over a period of 30 years to allow CERN to address the fund’s structural deficit. The positive effects of these measures are already beginning to show, with the pension fund in better health than it has been for many years. However, this question is now back on the table. It was discussed this week, and will be discussed again in future Council meetings.