Education and Science, EU – Baltic States, Latvia

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Rinkevics voices support for Latvia's membership of CERN

BC, Riga, 23.05.2017.Print version
Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics confirmed the ministry's commitment to facilitating Latvia's course towards a full membership of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) during the meeting with a delegation from CERN and representatives from the Riga Technical University writes LETA.

He emphasized the importance of CERN not only in the field of fundamental research, which would offer avenues for advancing science in Latvia, but also opportunities for practical cooperation between Latvian businesses with CERN as a major user of outsourced engineering and computing services in Europe, the Foreign Ministry said.

Rinkevics admitted that Latvia still has lots of ground to cover to build the sector of elementary particle research and called on Latvia's academic institutions for closer cooperation towards this goal.

The head of the delegation, CERN's Director for International Relations, Charlotte Lindberg Warakaulle, thanked Rinkevics for the warm welcome and recognized that a political commitment to cooperation with CERN in the long term is a vital condition for a country's membership of the organisation. Other aspects evaluated are whether the country has a sufficiently developed particle physics sector and competitive companies that could deliver equipment and materials required for research.

Warakaulle commended support from the Foreign Ministry for Latvia's CERN membership and said she was convinced that an agreement will be reached in the near future on further practical steps in the strengthening of cooperation between Latvia and CERN.

The officials and scientists from the CERN are visiting Riga this week to take part in the CERN Science Week organized together with the Riga Technical University (RTU) and the Latvian Ministry of Education and Science. As part of their visit, the CERN delegation will also meet with the senior leadership of the RTU, the Minister of Education and Science, and Members of the Saeima (the Latvian parliament) to discuss Latvia's potential membership of CERN. At a round table, Latvian companies and CERN officials will share views on cooperation between the industry and CERN.

CERN was established in 1952 to create a world-scale centre for fundamental research in nuclear physics and elementary particles. The members of CERN are 22 EU member states alongside a number of associated members and observers from across the globe. CERN is operating the world's leading network of particle accelerators, including the Large Hadron Collider, the world's largest physical experimental facility ever built.

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