CERN Council has authorized Director General Fabiola Gianotti to enter into negotiations with Latvia on an association agreement with CERN.
Following the signature of the agreement and its ratification by the Saeima, Latvia will become the associated Member State of CERN as soon as 2021.
CERN's expert working group, meeting with policy makers, representatives of scientific institutions and entrepreneurs, assessed Latvia's readiness to become an associated Member State of CERN, following three main criteria:
- whether Latvia has political will and adequate financial instruments that ensure a meaningful participation in CERN's scientific programs in the long term;
- how strong the country is in the high energy physics community, whether it is sufficiently funded to participate fully in CERN science projects;
- whether Latvian production companies have the appropriate capacity to allow them to participate successfully in CERN procurements.
The report of the CERN expert working group, prepared after the visit to Latvia, concludes that the delegation has had a positive view of the understanding of the Latvian government and representatives of parliament and its readiness to provide sufficient funding for Latvia's participation in CERN in the long term.
Five scientists from Latvia are already working at CERN. Four of them participate in an experiment aimed at observing and detecting new physics phenomena using the Large Hadron Collider.
“Latvia's accession to CERN – one of the world's most prominent and prestigious science consortia – will allow Latvian scientists to make scientific discoveries in international, interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral partnerships, while the interaction of the research business environment will promote innovation,” said the Minister for Education and Science Ilga Šuplinska.
CERN has been the world's leading scientific center for more than 60 years.
As reported by LSM earlier this year, President Egils Levits made a visit to the facility in January.