Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission

HELCOM at work

Working groups

Handling specific topics related to the Baltic Sea’s environment or maritime activities, the HELCOM Working Groups (WGs) and affiliated Expert Groups are major contributors to our work, gathering science and technical expertise and translating their findings into policies, strategies or recommendations.


HELCOM is involved in a variety of regional projects dealing with specific issues pertaining to the Baltic Sea, either as project lead or as a partner. In general, the projects support other HELCOM processes and are a valuable source of knowledge and expertise. The projects also serve as platforms for our cooperation with other organizations.


HELCOM Recommendations provide guidance on areas of concern on the protection of the Baltic Sea environment and are to be implemented by the Contracting Parties through their national legislation. Over 260 HELCOM Recommendations have been adopted so far.


The various HELCOM bodies such as the HELCOM Working Groups or Expert Groups regularly conduct meetings to discuss and decide on issues at hand, often several times per year. All meeting information and documents are published on the HELCOM Meeting Portal (requires sign-in).

Ministerial Meetings

Every few years, HELCOM arranges a Ministerial Meeting, bringing together the Ministers of all Baltic Sea countries in charge of HELCOM (usually those dealing with the environment or maritime affairs) and the EU Commissioner for the Environment. These meetings result in agreements at the highest political level and chart our major strategic directions.


From environmental assessments to guidelines and action plans, our publications contain a unique wealth of information on the Baltic Sea marine environment and maritime activities, and facilitate the work of scientists and policy makers working in the region. Our main publication series is the Baltic Sea Environment Proceedings (BSEP). ​​


Events are an important part of our calendar, with HELCOM participating in many fora throughout the Baltic Sea region and beyond. HELCOM also regularly holds Stakeholder Conferences that bring together a wide array of interested parties to provide input on HELCOM work.

News & media

HELCOM regularly publishes news articles, press releases and blogs, and offers a variety of services to our media partners such as interviews, articles written by our experts or background information on all Baltic Sea environmental matters including maps and data material.