HELCOM is an intergovernmental Commission, which works to protect the marine environment in the Baltic Sea region. The Commission was established by the Baltic Sea neighbors. It is based on the Helsinki Convention, which was adopted in 1992 and entered into force on 17 January 2000. This agreement replaced the Helsinki Convention of 1974. Extends the Helsinki Convention was through supplements in the years 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2007. HELCOM can only make recommendations, but not adopt resolutions or guidelines.

HELCOM members are:

  • European union European Union
  • Denmark Denmark
  • Germany Germany
  • Estonia Estonia
  • Finland Finland
  • Latvia Latvia
  • Lithuania Lithuania
  • Poland Poland
  • Russia Russia
  • Sweden Sweden

In addition, Norway and the Czech Republic signed the Helsinki Convention.