Group photo of the General Assembly in Prague
The GA decision means that starting 2024, ELI ERIC will oversee both high-power laser facilities, ELI Beamlines and ELI ALPS, under one unified management structure.
"This integration shows the strength of international cooperation and emphasises our commitment to collaboration," commented Prof. Gábor Szabó, Managing Director of ELI ALPS. "Moreover, it opens up a world of possibilities for Hungarian researchers and the industrial sector."
The acquisition mechanism will see ELI ERIC obtaining a controlling stake in ELI-HU Kft., a non-profit entity currently under the University of Szeged's umbrella. This approach, based on corporate law, empowers ELI ERIC to implement a cohesive management system and to manage the Hungarian research facility.
“We fully support this initiative,” said László Bódis, Deputy State Secretary in the Hungarian Ministry of Culture and Innovation. “Our Ministry, representing the Hungarian Government as a Founding Member and Host of ELI ERIC, is committed to ensuring ELI ERIC succeeds as an integrated organisation.”
This merger comes a year after the incorporation of ELI Beamlines, marking a significant milestone. These strategic decisions align with the ELI ERIC Statutes, promising a smooth transition and potent commencement of joint operations.
Along with this landmark decision, the GA gave its nod to the Employment Policy, ensuring a unified employment contract adapted to local law, offering uniform conditions for all ELI ERIC staff.
“We are committed to nurturing talent in our Member states and Europe broadly,” said Allen Weeks, ELI ERIC Director General. “Having consistent and attractive working conditions for our staff at both locations is a key aspect of our integration strategy.”
In a noteworthy addition and future indication of that strategy, the Romanian Delegation joined the ELI ERIC GA meeting for the first time. Romania will join ELI ERIC as a Founding Observer from 1 January 2024. That is a necessary step towards Romania's goal of becoming a future Host Member and integrating the ELI NP Facility into ELI ERIC's fold. To mark the occasion, the GA Delegates were treated to a dinner reception at the Romanian Embassy in Prague, hosted by the Ambassador of Romania to the Czech Republic, Antoaneta Barta.