The permanent international Secretariat of the Council of the Baltic Sea States was established following a decision confirmed by the 1998 CBSS Ministerial conference in Nyborg, Denmark. It started its operations in mid-August and was officially inaugurated on 20 October 1998.
The mandate of the Secretariat includes:
- providing technical and organisational support to the Chairman of the CBSS and the working bodies and structures of the Council (Committee of Senior Officials and three Working Groups)
- ensuring continuity and contributing to enhanced co-ordination of CBSS activities
- carrying out the Information/Public relations strategy of the CBSS
- establishing and maintaining the Council’s archives and information database
- maintaining contacts with other organisations operating in and around the Baltic Sea region, national authorities of the Member States and the media community.
The budget of the Secretariat is formed through contributions paid by the governments of the 11 CBSS Member States (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden).
The Secretariat edits and publishes the official monthly Newsletter of the CBSS, BALTINFO (issue # 44 came out of the print shop in January 2002) and the CBSS Internet Home page, www.cbss.st.
The staff of the Secretariat includes five full-time professional members (Director: Mr. Jacek Starosciak; Senior Advisors: Mr. Serguei O. Sokolov, Dr. Axel Krohn, Mr. Alar Olljum and Ms. Rasa Kairiene), and Secretary, Ms. Claire Nyström. On 3 April 2000, an Energy Unit consisting of Head/Project Manager Mr. Seppo Silvonen and Project Assistant Ms. Nijole Jovaisiene, was added to the Secretariat. In January 2001 the Baltic 21 Unit was added to the Secretariat, consisting of Head of Unit Mr. Marek Maciejowski and Senior Advisor Mr. Lars Westermark.
The staff members are employed on the basis of three-year individual contracts; rotation (replacement upon termination of contracts) of staff members is foreseen, with consideration given to the professional skills of candidates, as well as to adequate geographical and gender representation.