ESPPU diagram

Timeline of the present European Strategy Update process with the green checkmarks symbolising the completed stages.


The update of the European Strategy got under way in September 2018 when the CERN Council established a Strategy Secretariat. Chaired by Halina Abramowicz, former chair of the European Committee for Future Accelerators (ECFA), the Secretariat included Keith Ellis (chair of CERN’s Scientific Policy Committee), Jorgen D’Hondt (ECFA chair) and Lenny Rivkin (chair of the European Laboratory Directors' Meeting).


The Secretariat of the European Strategy Group (ESG), which was assigned the task of organising the update process, chose to broadly follow the steps of the previous two strategy processes concluded in 2006 and 2013.  To inform this vital process, the ESG Secretariat called upon the world-wide particle-physics community across universities, laboratories and national institutes to submit written input by 18 December 2018. Input was submitted via a portal on the Strategy Update website. The 160 proposals submitted by the community are available here


The Physics Preparatory Group (PPG) then proceeded to organise an Open Symposium that took place in Granada (Spain) on 13-16 May 2019, at which the whole particle physics community was invited to debate scientific input into the strategy update. The event included some 130 presentations and attracted over 600 participants.


A Briefing Book based on the discussions was then prepared by the Physics Preparatory Group and submitted to the ESG for consideration during a week-long drafting session which took place in Bad Honnef (Germany) on 20-24 January 2020.


A special ECFA-EPS session during the European Physical Society Conference on High Energy Physics (EPS-HEP) in Ghent, Belgium, provided another important opportunity for the community to provide input for the ESG’s Drafting Session.


The composition of the ESG and the PPG is established by the CERN Council.


The timeline for the European Strategy Update is summarised in the panel above. Originally scheduled to conclude at a dedicated meeting of the CERN Council in May 2020, approval of the strategy was moved due to the COVID-19 pandemic to the regular CERN Council meeting in June 2020.