European Organization for Nuclear Research to start assessing Latvia's readiness for associated membership

  • 2020-07-06
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - The Council of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) has decided to set up a working group tasked with assessing Latvia's readiness to become an associated member of CERN, LETA was told at the Education and Science Ministry. 

The ministry informed that the forming of the working group is a significant step in Latvia's path to membership in the organization. "That means that representatives of CERN's voting member states and representatives have given a positive assessment of the membership application drawn up by the Latvian Education and Science Ministry and Riga Technical University (RTU), as well as the work Latvia has done as it prepares to become an associated member of CERN," representatives of the Education and Science Ministry said. 

Education and Science Minister Ilga Suplinska (New Conservative Party) believes that Latvia's accession to CERN in the status of associated member, like Latvia's recent admission to the European Space Agency as an associated member, can be regarded as a significant indicator of the quality and competitiveness of the Latvian science sector.

The minister believes that Latvia's associated membership in CERN will facilitate Latvian scientists' involvement in international research programs and promote interdisciplinary studies, as well as allow to attract international researchers to Latvia, thus promoting Latvia's economic growth.

The Education and Science Ministry expects Latvia to join CERN as an associated member around mid-2021. 

As reported, On February 24, in Meyrin, Canton of Geneva, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics submitted a letter signed by the Latvian Minister of Education and Science, Ilga Suplinska – Latvia’s application for membership in the European Organization for Nuclear Research, in the presence of Fabiolai Gianotti, Secretary of the CERN Council and the organisation’s Director-General.

The European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) is an international organisation operating for the most part in research on particle physics. It was established in 1954 by 12 European countries. CERN currently has 23 Member States – Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Cyprus and Slovenia are in the pre-stage to Membership; Croatia, India, Lithuania, Pakistan, Turkey and Ukraine are Associate Member States.

In 2019, the Latvian Government supported Latvia becoming an Associate Member State of the organisation from 2021 onwards. CERN’s main function is to provide the particle accelerators and other infrastructure needed for high-energy physics research. CERN hosts a large computing facility processing data from experiments, and it also happens to be the birthplace of the World Wide Web.