The easing of health and safety restrictions has put protocol visits back on the agenda at CERN. The President of Croatia, an Associate Member State, honoured CERN with his presence on Thursday, 7 April. Zoran Milanović was welcomed at LHC Point 5 by the sub-prefect for Gex and Nantua, Pascaline Boulay, along with a CERN delegation that included the Director-General, Fabiola Gianotti, and several CERN Directors.
Accompanied by the spokesperson of the CMS experiment, Luca Malgeri, President Milanović took a dive into the world of CMS with a visit to the exhibition that tells the story of this large LHC experiment, before plunging, more literally this time, into the depths of the experiment area. During his visit of the CMS technical galleries and caverns, he was shown both the LHC tunnel and the majestic detector, before returning to the surface to round off the day’s activities with a discussion with representatives of CERN’s Croatian community.
This community has grown steadily in the several decades since collaboration between CERN and Croatia began. In the 1990s, when this collaboration was ramped up, Croatian scientists participated mainly in the SPS heavy-ion experiment programme and in the preparations for the ALICE experiment. The contributions of Croatian users became more diversified following the signature of the International Cooperation Agreement in 2001, and even more so when the country became an Associate Member State in 2019. Since then, around forty Croatian scientists have been involved in the ALICE and CMS experiments, as well as in non-LHC experiments, such as ISOLDE.