Govt approves Estonia's full membership in CERN

CERN headquarters, in Meyrin, near Geneva, Switzerland.
CERN headquarters, in Meyrin, near Geneva, Switzerland. Photo: Salvatore Di Nolfi / EPA / Scanpix

The Estonian government at its sitting on Thursday approved Estonia's full membership in the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), opening opportunities for Estonian entrepreneurs to engage in world-class scientific cooperation.

CERN's aim is to ensure international cooperation in fundamental nuclear research.

«Full membership status in CERN is crucial for Estonia, as it removes the financial caps on participating in tenders and employment contracts for us,» Estonian Minister of Economy and IT Tiit Riisalo said.

«Joining CERN enables Estonian entrepreneurs to benefit from knowledge transfer, especially in the high-tech sector, and broadly opens up opportunities to participate in CERN's tenders. Currently, Estonian entrepreneurs lack access to tenders with an annual cash flow exceeding the membership fee, and the total amount for procurement contracts and personnel costs is limited,» he noted.

The minister added that full membership in CERN gives Estonia voting rights, allowing the country to participate in the organization's decision-making processes.

In the association agreement that came into force in February 2021, Estonia committed to achieving full membership in CERN after a two-year period as an associate member and no later than within five years.

The CERN convention and its accompanying financial protocol will come into force on the date when Estonia deposits its instrument of accession with the director-general of UNESCO. From that day, Estonia will become a full member of CERN. The protocol on the privileges and immunities of CERN will come into effect 30 days after the instrument of accession is deposited.

CERN was established on Sept. 29, 1954, when the Convention for the Establishment of a European Organization for Nuclear Research came into force. The organization's headquarters is located in Geneva. CERN has 23 member countries, including most EU member states.