HELCOM’s main tasks are carried out by the five main groups. However, HELCOM projects, or ad hoc groups, can be established to provide an adaptive and flexible system for dealing with specific issues from a more thematic perspective. Such projects and groups can help to create useful linkages between the work carried out within the different permanent working groups.
HELCOM Projects have time limits and clear result-oriented Terms of Reference defining specific inter-sessional tasks that cannot be carried out by the permanent working groups at their annual meetings, since they require more in-depth discussion.
HELCOM Projects may be funded by the Contracting Parties, from the HELCOM budget, or through external sources.
The need for a project may be identified and proposed by a Contracting Party, the Commission, one of HELCOM’s five permanent working groups, the Heads of Delegation, or the Executive Secretary. The proposing party should provisionally appoint a Project Manager, and prepare a draft Project Description according to the Project Guidelines.