9 January 2017

Post of Professional Secretary

(Maritime, Response, Fish)


Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates for the post of Professional Secretary for the Maritime Working Group, the Response Working Group and the Group on Ecosystem-based Sustainable Fisheries at the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission - Helsinki Commission (HELCOM) Secretariat. The post, which is based in Helsinki, Finland, at the Commission's Secretariat, will become vacant on 1 March 2018.

The post is open to nationals of the Contracting Parties to the Helsinki Convention and nationals of any other state which is a Member State of the European Union.

HELCOM is an intergovernmental organization established for the purposes of the Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area, 1992, consisting of Denmark, Estonia, the European Union, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Sweden. The aim of the Convention is to restore the ecosystems of the Baltic Sea Area and preserve its ecological balance by preventing pollution from all sources reaching the Baltic Sea and ensuring the sustainable use of natural resources within the Baltic Sea Area.

The Commission is administered by its international Secretariat based in Helsinki, Finland. The Secretariat consists of an Executive Secretary, three Professional Secretaries, Communication Secretary, Administrative Officer and general and project staff. The Commission works in English.

HELCOM has over 40 years of experience of unique cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region bringing together the Contracting Parties and engaging actors from different institutions, sectors and interest groups in a common mission to reach a good environmental status of the Baltic Sea. The main duty of HELCOM is to make policies and recommendations on relevant measures to be implemented by the Contracting Parties. HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP), including its follow-up commitments, is the main programme for action.

The Maritime Working Group works to prevent any pollution from ships, including deliberate operational discharges as well as accidental pollution. The group works to ensure that adopted regulations are observed and enforced effectively and uniformly through close international co-operation and to identify and promote actions to limit sea-based pollution while ensuring safe navigation. The Maritime group organizes regular meetings involving representatives from inter-governmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, maritime transportation authorities and pollution incident response organizations. The group works closely together with other international bodies such as the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

The Response Working Group works to ensure swift national and international response to maritime pollution incidents, to ensure that in case of an accident the right equipment is available and routines are in place to respond immediately in co-operation with neighbouring states, to analyze developments in maritime transportation around the Baltic and investigate possible impacts on international cooperation with regard to pollution response and to coordinate the aerial surveillance of maritime shipping routes to provide a complete picture of sea-based pollution around the Baltic, and to help identify suspected polluters. The Response group coordinates two joint aerial surveillance flights a year as well as other operational exercises to combat pollution. The group works closely with other relevant international bodies including BONN Agreement, and the International Maritime Organization (IMO), to ensure international measures are suitably applied and implemented in the Baltic.

The Group on Ecosystem-based Sustainable Fisheries deals with fisheries in relation to the implementation of the ecosystem-based approach. Moreover, the group will respond to the need to find solutions on how the sector could further contribute to reaching the Good Environmental Status of the Baltic Sea by 2021. The group will involve representatives from fisheries and environment authorities of the Baltic Sea countries, as well as EU, and HELCOM observers and others as appropriate.


The Professional Secretary is responsible for:

  • the management and facilitation of the work of the Maritime Working Group, the Response Working Group and the Group on Ecosystem-based Sustainable Fisheries as well as projects related to these;

  • the overall coordination, implementation and further development of matters related to sea-based sources of pollution;

  • ensuring a swift national and trans-national response to marine pollution incidents in close cooperation with the Contracting Parties to the Helsinki Convention;

  • tasks connected with environmentally friendly shipping, safety of navigation, sustainable fishing and aquaculture and preparedness for and response to marine pollution;

  • other tasks entrusted to him/her by the Executive Secretary.

The common requirements and duties for the Professional Secretaries as well as the post description of the vacancy are attached (see below).

Qualifications and experience

The person to be appointed shall have:

  • knowledge from the work carried out in HELCOM and sound understanding of the role of HELCOM and its Secretariat;

  • a university degree in maritime science or law or corresponding education;

  • a minimum of five years of relevant professional experience on national level;

  • proven strong team-orientated skills;

  • excellent organizational and administrative skills and proven ability to deliver to tight timelines.

A thorough knowledge of the English language and the ability to draft quickly and concisely in English are essential, as is computer literacy. Professional experience from international policy-making is an asset.

Terms of appointment

The salary, which is non-incremental, is approximately 5.800 EUR per month. The salaries paid by the Commission are exempt from Finnish income tax. In addition, certain allowances may be payable depending on personal circumstances.

The initial appointment is for three years, the first six months of which shall be a probationary period, with the possibility of a prolongation for another period not exceeding three years (3+3 years, maximum 6 consecutive years altogether).

The selected candidate is expected to take up his/her duties on 1 March 2018.



Applications consisting of a cover letter with motivation and a CV should be sent, preferably by e-mail, to Administrative Officer Satu Raisamo ( on 31 March 2017 at the latest. Applications received after that date will not be taken into consideration.

The interviews are planned to take place in June 2017.

 Related information