Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission


Updated 30 June 2020

Current vacancies


Applications are invited for the post of Professional Secretary at the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission – Helsinki Commission (HELCOM) Secretariat to coordinate the work related to three subsidiary bodies of HELCOM: Working Group on Reduction of Pressures from the Baltic Sea Catchment Area (Pressure), the Group on Sustainable Agricultural Practices (Agri) and the HELCOM-VASAB Working Group on Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP WG). The post, which is based in Helsinki, Finland, will become vacant on 1 July 2021.

HELCOM is an intergovernmental organization (Denmark, Estonia, the European Union, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Sweden) with its headquarters (Secretariat) in Helsinki, Finland, working to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea. At present there are around 30 staff members at the HELCOM Secretariat and the working language is English. For more information about HELCOM, please visit our home page:

The Pressure group provides the necessary technical underpinning to the work on nutrient and hazardous substances inputs from diffuse sources and point sources on land, including to the follow-up of the implementation of the nutrient reduction scheme. The group investigates implementation progress to identify gaps and reduction potential in different land sectors and in non-Contracting Parties and comes up with proposals for measures or actions to address these. It also leads the work on marine litter in HELCOM, including addressing sources on land and coordination of implementation of the HELCOM Regional Marine Litter Action Plan, and the work on underwater noise, in cooperation with other subsidiary bodies. The Pressure group is a permanent subsidiary body.

The Agri group deals with agriculture in relation to the implementation of the ecosystem-based approach and responds to the need to find solutions how the sector could further contribute to reaching Good Environmental Status of the Baltic Sea. The mandate of the Agri group is time-limited (the current mandate is until 2022).

The joint HELCOM-VASAB MSP group works to ensure cooperation among the Baltic Sea Region countries for coherent regional Maritime Spatial Planning processes. The mandate of the MSP group is time-limited (the current mandate is until 2021).


The Professional Secretary is responsible for:
– the management and facilitation of the work of the HELCOM Pressure and Agri groups and HELCOM-VASAB Maritime Spatial Planning group, and projects related to these;
– the compilation, analysis, assessment and presentation of information related to the above-mentioned areas and drawing of appropriate conclusions;
– relating land-based pollution and maritime spatial planning issues to the overall priorities and other areas in the work of the Helsinki Commission;
– linking the implementation of activities of the Helsinki Commission related to the above-mentioned fields to other international frameworks and marine environment protection policies to address these; and
– other tasks entrusted to him/her by the Executive Secretary.

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

Qualifications and experience

The person to be appointed shall have:

– advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in environmental engineering and/or science or other related field, and a minimum of five years of relevant professional experience at national or international level;
– familiarity with the policies addressing land-based pollution including to limit inputs of hazardous substances and nutrients and how they relate to the protection of the marine environment;
– experience from working on development and/or implementation of legislation, policies and projects addressing pollution sources on land;
– knowledge of the work carried out in HELCOM and sound understanding of the role of HELCOM and the Secretariat;
– excellent social skills and an ability to build both internal and external networks;
– the ability to work both as a positive team member and individually;
– proven organizational and administrative skills.

Professional experience from international policy-making is highly desirable. Knowledge of maritime spatial planning is an advantage.

A thorough knowledge of English language and the ability to draft quickly and concisely in English as well as computer literacy are essential.

The Professional Secretary is required to travel frequently and to accept irregular working hours.

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 successful candidate is expected to take up his/her post in July 2021.


Applications consisting of a cover letter with motivation and CV should be sent by e-mail to Administrative Officer Riina Kero ( by 30 September 2020 at the latest. Applications received after that date will not be taken into consideration.

Shortlisting and call for interviews will take place during October/November 2020 and the interviews will tentatively take place online in December 2020, during week 49.