Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission

Reserve your seat at the HELCOM high level debate

​​​​High level politicians and professionals on Baltic environmental policy will debate next week about strategic directions for future HELCOM cooperation in protecting the Baltic Sea. The seats are limited so please and ensure your place in the unique session—usually HELCOM high level sessions are not open to all public. The session on
18 May 2016 at 13-15 in Turku, Finland will also be streamed live and can be watched via the . The participants from the Baltic sea countries and EU, including the European Commissioner Karmenu Vella and Minister of the Environment of Finland Kimmo Tiilikainen, are invited to discuss about how to protect the marine environment while enabling sustainable use and blue economy. They are expected to present the best cases of successful cross-sectoral cooperation that benefit the marine environment and bring up new ideas for improving the governance of the seas. Efforts are already underway both at HELCOM and elsewhere to reach out to sectors and jointly discuss possible solutions and measures for marine environmental protection. Some attempts are more successful than others; one reason is the mismatch of scales. The regional level is the most suitable scale to address marine environment problems in the Baltic Sea due to special characteristics of the sea and transboundary effects. This, however, does not necessarily hold true for sectoral policies. The role of the Regional Seas Conventions in marine governance has been a successful one in many regions of the globe, as they engage neighbouring countries in specific actions to protect their shared marine environment. A healthy marine environment underpins sustainable blue growth. An important part of the debate, attended also by HELCOM Chair, will be looking into the future, as the session will initiate a series of high level gatherings prior to the next HELCOM Ministerial Meeting in 2018.    * * * Note for editors​The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission, usually referred to as , is an intergovernmental organization of the nine Baltic Sea coastal countries and the European Union working to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea from all sources of pollution and to ensure safety of navigation in the region. Since 1974, HELCOM has been the governing body of the ‘Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area’, more commonly known as the Helsinki Convention.  * * * For more information, please contact:Johanna LaurilaInformation SecretaryHELCOMTel: +358 40 523 8988Skype: helcom70E-mail: johanna.laurila(at)

New inspiration for the Baltic Sea environmental cooperation sought after in Ministerial session on 18 May-