The Convention for the Protection of the marine Environment of the North East Atlantic (“OSPAR Convention”) is the legal instrument guiding international cooperation on the protection of marine environment of the North East Atlantic. OSPAR Commission is the body that manages the work under the OSPAR Convention, consists of representatives of governments of 15 contracting parties and the European Commission. The OSPAR Commission is the forum through which the contracting parties cooperate. It normally meets once in a year and the annual meeting is hosted by one of the contracting parties.
The Commission is supported by six main committees. In addition, the heads of the delegations of the contracting parties meet often to prepare the meetings of the Commission, to advise the management and to foresee the development and implementation of the agreements made. The Commission is also supported by meetings of the group of jurists, linguists and the committee of chairmen and vice chairmen.
The meetings of the OSPAR Commission are attended by observers from observer organizations. These organizations include other intergovernmental organizations and international non governmental organizations. The non governmental observer organizations include industry and trade organizations, regional and local authority organizations and environmental campaigning groups.