Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission


HELCOM has eight main groups – the HELCOM Working Groups – which handle specific topics related to the Baltic Sea’s environment or maritime activities. The groups are major contributors to the HELCOM work, gathering science and technical expertise and translating their findings into policies, strategies or recommendations best suited for responding to a particular issue affecting the Baltic Sea.

The work carried out in the HELCOM Working Groups usually needs to be further approved by the HELCOM decision making bodies such as the Heads of Delegation or the Meeting of the Helsinki Commission.

The HELCOM Working Groups are mainly composed of national experts, usually from a Ministry or a national agency and who are officially nominated by a HELCOM Contracting Party. The groups are led by a Chair elected by its members, and are serviced by a HELCOM Professional Secretary. The groups usually have two main meetings per year, in spring and in autumn.

In addition, HELCOM also has a variety of expert groups and networks that are supervised by and fall under the responsibility of a main HELCOM Working Group.

HELCOM Working Groups

WG GEAR – HELCOM Working Group on the Implementation of the Ecosystem Approach
WG Maritime – HELCOM Maritime Working Group
WG Sea-based pressures – HELCOM Working Group on Reduction of Pressures from Sea-based Sources
WG Response – HELCOM Response Working Group
WG BioDiv – HELCOM Working Group on Biodiversity, Protection and Restoration State of the Environment and Nature Conservation
WG Fish – HELCOM Working Group on Ecosystem-based Sustainable Fisheries
WG Source to sea
– HELCOM Working Group on the Source to Sea Management of Nutrients and Hazardous Substances and Sustainable Agricultural Practices
– Joint HELCOM-VASAB Maritime Spatial Planning Working Group

HELCOM Expert Groups


WG BioDiv

WG Fish

WG Source to sea

WG Maritime

WG Sea-based pressures

WG Response