As of 19 May 2020, HELCOM has 63 observers contributing actively to the protection of the Baltic Sea, of which:
- 2 governments (Belarus and Ukraine),
- 18 intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) and
- 43 international non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
Observers can take part in the meetings of the various HELCOM bodies and are allowed to make statements. HELCOM may also invite any state that is not party to the Helsinki Convention to be represented at its meetings.
Applying for observer status
Intergovernmental and international non-governmental organisations may apply for observer status to the Helsinki Commission. An organisation must show that it can contribute to matters dealt with by HELCOM, that it has a membership in a wide number of the Baltic Coastal States and an organised internal structure.