The history


The history of HELCOM Ministerial Meetings, Diplomatic and High Level Conferences, goes back almost 40 years. These prestigious sessions have significantly contributed to regional actions for a healthier Baltic Sea.

1974 • Helsinki
The Baltic Sea coastal countries signed the Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area (1974 Helsinki Convention).

1988 • Helsinki
A 50% reduction goal set for the total discharges of nutrients and hazardous substances by 1995.

1990 • Ronneby
An ad hoc high level Task Force established to coordinate and prepare for a joint comprehensive programme.

1992 • Helsinki
The new Helsinki Convention signed by coastal countries and the EU. The Baltic Sea Joint Comprehensive Environmental Action Programme (JCP) approved and the Programme Implementation Task Force established.

1993 • Gdansk
Resource mobilisation for the JCP discussed.

1994 • Helsinki
Agreed to develop a system of Coastal and Marine Baltic Sea Protected Areas (BSPAs) and to complie data on threatened biotopes.

1998 • Helsinki
Progress considered in the 50% reduction goal set in 1988; the objective set to continuously reduce pollution.

2001 • Copenhagen
Measures adopted on the safety of navigation and emergency capacity in the Baltic Sea area.

2003 • Bremen
Priority issues for HELCOM agreed: ecosystem approach including nature conservation and biodiversity, joint monitoring and assessment, maritime and response activities as well as eutrophication and hazardous substances. Joint session with OSPAR.

2007 • Krakow
HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan adopted to radically reduce pollution to the Baltic Sea and restore its good ecological status by 2021.

2010 • Moscow
The Baltic Sea coastal countries presented their National Implementation Programmes to achieve the objectives of the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan.