The government is discussing a draft agreement on Thursday for Estonia's accession to the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) as an associate member. Should the agreement be approved by both government and parliament, it would pave the way for full membership some years later, Baltic News Service reports.
CERN is the largest particle physics lab in the world. Membership would allow Estonian companies to participate in research tenders, as well as enabling Estonian engineers to cooperate more closely with international colleagues. Ten engineers work at CERN per researcher, according to BNS.
Estonia's membership has been on the table at least since 2017, and the country was invited to join by CERN itself in 2018.
Since CERN is an international organization and membership brings with it tax considerations, the agreement must be ratified by the Riigikogu.
Once ratified, the draft agreement needs CERN approval, then the agreement will be signed.
After two to five years as an associate member of CERN, Estonia is eligible for full membership, which would require a new agreement to replace the one being drawn up now.
After an associate membership period of two to five years, Estonia will become a full member of CERN by signing a new agreement to replace the agreement in question.
Founded in 1954 and based in Geneva, Switzerland, CERN has 23 member states at present, all from Europe, with the exception of Israel. CERN is an official United Nations Observer.
One of its most well-known activities involve operating the Large Hadron Collider and related experiments.
Editor: Andrew Whyte