Geneva, 11 May 2009. This afternoon, a meeting took place in the Ministry of Science and Research in Vienna between Austrian Science Minister Johannes Hahn, CERN1 Director-General Rolf Heuer, and CERN External Relations Coordinator Felicitas Pauss. In a constructive working meeting, Minister Hahn explained the reasons for wishing to end Austrian membership of CERN at the end of 2010.
Professors Heuer and Pauss expressed the view of the CERN management that it is in Austria's interest to remain a member of the Organization. It was agreed that further discussions at an expert level should be held at a later date, with the aim of preserving the legitimate interests of both Austria and CERN.
Any formal resolution of this matter falls within the competence of the CERN Council as the Organization's supreme decision-making body.
CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is the world's leading laboratory for particle physics. It has its headquarters in Geneva. At present, its Member States are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Romania is a candidate for accession. Israel is an Associate Member in the pre-stage to Membership. India, Japan, the Russian Federation, the United States of America, Turkey, the European Commission and UNESCO have Observer status.