At its 161st meeting at CERN1 today, the CERN Council unanimously voted to admit the Republic of Serbia to Associate Membership as the pre-stage to Membership of CERN. This status will come into force following signature of the related Agreement by the two parties and notification to CERN of ratification by the Serbian Parliament. This development was warmly received by all delegations in Council.
“It’s a pleasure to welcome Serbia back into the family,” said CERN Director General Rolf Heuer. “Serbia’s Associate Membership is good for CERN and good for Serbia, giving CERN access to Serbian scientific expertise, while Serbian science and industry will benefit from access to one of the world’s leading centres for science and innovation.”
“This is indeed a most welcome ‘comeback’ to CERN, as a part of Serbia’s effort to contribute to a leading scientific multicultural institution,” said Serbia’s Ambassador to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva Dr Uglijesa Zvekic. “This an invitation for the Serbian scientific community to invest even more in research and innovation. We are all confident that Serbia will stand up to this opportunity.”
Serbian scientists have an involvement with CERN that goes back to the very origins of the Organization: Yugoslavia was a founder Member State of CERN in 1954, and remained a Member State until 1961. Nevertheless, scientists from the former Yugoslavia continued to be involved with CERN. Through the 1980s and 90s, Serbian physicists were active in the DELPHI experiment at CERN’s LEP facility, and have long been active in the ISOLDE facility, which carries out a range of research from particle astrophysics to medical physics. Serbia formally rejoined the CERN family in 2001 through a Co-operation Agreement, leading to involvement in both the ATLAS and CMS experiments at the LHC. Serbian industry has participated successfully in the construction of both detectors, and Serbia is also active in grid computing.
Following notification of ratification, Serbia will join Israel as an Associate Member State of CERN. After a maximum period of five years, Council will decide on the admission of Serbia to full Membership.
Council delegates also congratulated CERN and all participating collaborations on the excellent performances of the LHC, its experiments and computing infrastructure in 2011, which have brought CERN to the threshold of new physics.
“We all knew what a great machine the LHC is, but few would have anticipated a performance as good as this,” said Council President Michel Spiro. “Council’s congratulations go to all concerned with the LHC, the experiments and the computing, whose efforts have brought us to the brink of new discoveries.”