Member States (October 2019)
Member States (October 2019) (Image: CERN)

The CERN convention was signed in 1953 by the 12 founding states Belgium, Denmark, France, the Federal Republic of Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Yugoslavia, and entered into force on 29 September 1954. The Organization was subsequently joined by Austria (1959), Spain (1961-1969, re-joined 1983), Portugal (1985), Finland (1991), Poland (1991), Czechoslovak Republic (1992), Hungary (1992), Bulgaria (1999), Israel (2014), Romania (2016) and Serbia (2019). The Czech Republic and Slovak Republic re-joined CERN after their mutual independence in 1993. Yugoslavia left CERN in 1961.

What does membership mean?

Member States have special duties and privileges. They make a contribution to the capital and operating costs of CERN’s programmes, and are represented in the Council, responsible for all important decisions about the Organization and its activities.

Who are our Member States?

Today CERN has 23 Member States: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom.

Cyprus and Slovenia are Associate Member States in the pre-stage to Membership. Croatia, India, Lithuania, Pakistan, Turkey and Ukraine are Associate Member States.

Who has Observer status?

Japan, the Russian Federation and the United States of America, as well as the European Union, JINR and UNESCO currently have Observer status.

Over 600 institutes and universities around the world use CERN’s facilities. Funding agencies from both Member and Non-Member States are responsible for the financing, construction and operation of the experiments on which they collaborate. CERN spends much of its budget on building machines such as the Large Hadron Collider and it only partially contributes to the cost of the experiments.

Can non-members join CERN?

Non-Member States with co-operation agreements with CERN include Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, North Macedonia, Georgia, Iceland, Iran, Jordan, Korea, Malta, Mexico, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Peru, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam.

CERN also has scientific contacts with Cuba, Ghana, Ireland, Latvia, Lebanon, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mozambique, Palestinian Authority, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia, Uzbekistan.

How else do Member States exchange information?

Thematic forums bring together experts from CERN and Member States to exchange information and develop coherent strategies. Associate Member States may also participate. Existing forums are:


There are also recognised networks with their own governance: