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CERN and EU Commission agree on closer scientific partnership

Geneva, 17 July 2009. Today in Brussels, CERN1 and the European Commission are to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which aims to enhance the long-standing partnership between the two organizations. The MoU will provide a structured framework for cooperation across a broad range of issues of common interest, with emphasis on consolidating and further developing the European Research Area and facilitating the implementation of the European Strategy for Particle Physics, as defined by the CERN Council.

The President of the CERN Council, Professor Torsten Åkesson welcomed the signing of the MoU: "The CERN Member States have given the Organization the responsibility to operate laboratories for research on high energy particles and the organization of international co-operation in this domain. To do this, CERN operates its world-leading laboratory and the CERN Council ensures a coherent European Strategy for Particle Physics. The EU is promoting cooperation in research between Member States with the aim of creating the European Research Area. We recognize each other's roles and look forward to working together for the benefit of European research."

EU Commissioner for Science and Research Janez Potočnik said: "Since its founding 55 years ago, CERN has been a shining example of international collaboration of excellence in particle physics. It contributes to realizing the European Research Area, this single market for research and knowledge that we strive to build. At a time when the EU needs to step up investment and cooperation in research, closely engaging organizations of the calibre of CERN in the process will be a strong asset."

The MoU provides for the European Commission and CERN to:

  • Cooperate in order to consolidate and further develop the European Research Area in all its important dimensions, as well as in the following up and implementation of the European Strategy for Particle Physics as defined by the CERN Council.
  • Consult and exchange information on issues of mutual interest.

Cooperation between the two sides will be based on areas of common interest, with due regard to their respective competences, institutional settings and operational frameworks.

The two sides agree that there exists an enormous potential for cooperation in a remarkably broad range of areas, such as: research programming, training and mobility of researchers, science education, open publishing, technology transfer, innovation, building next generation infrastructures (including e-infrastructures) and global scientific cooperation.

CERN’s Director-General, Professor Rolf-Dieter Heuer said: “Links between CERN and the EU have strengthened as Europe has pursued the goal of creating a European Research Area. This has allowed CERN to benefit from European support for projects as varied as Grid computing and future accelerator R&D, as well as numerous Marie Curie fellows whose careers have received a boost thanks to European funds. This MoU allows CERN and the EU to drive forward the collaboration for the benefit of European science and ultimately for all of us.”

For the text of the MoU in the Official Journal see:
http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/[... - 710kB PDF]


Notes for editors

The European Strategy for Particle Physics was adopted by CERN Council on 14 July 2006. The European Strategy Session of Council provides the organizational structure to implement and update the strategy as defined in the Strategy Statement approved by Council. (http://council.cern.ch, "European Strategy Sessions" )


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CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is the world's leading laboratory for particle physics. It has its headquarters in Geneva. At present, its Member States are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Romania is a candidate for accession. Israel is an Associate Member in the pre-stage to Membership. India, Japan, the Russian Federation, the United States of America, Turkey, the European Commission and UNESCO have Observer status.