The council of the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) has invited Estonia to begin membership negotiations. Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) proposed in February this year that Estonia should join.
The government supported the prime minister's proposal in February for Estonia to apply for membership in CERN. The positive feedback to the first inquiry means that now the government can submit an official application, after which preparations will begin. "The membership negotiations are a long process. At the earliest we can sign the agreement in a year," Ratas explained.
According to Ratas, membership in CERN will spur innovation in the Estonian economy and contribute to economic growth. "We need to become a full member of CERN for our researchers, engineers, and entrepreneurs to be able to fully use the opportunities offered by it," said Ratas, who visited CERN this January.
After joining CERN Estonian companies will be able to bid in tenders of the top-level research organisation. Estonian engineers will be able to cooperate more closely with their colleagues: even though CERN is a research organisation, ten engineers work there per each researcher.
With its 22 member states, CERN manages the largest particle physics laboratory in the world. The Estonian Research and Development Council also supports becoming a member of CERN.
CERN membership has been accounted for in the state budget strategy for 2018–2021, involving €1.43 million per year in funding as of 2019.
Editor: Dario Cavegn