The Council of the Baltic Sea States is an overall political forum for regional inter-governmental cooperation. The Members of the Council are the eleven states of the Baltic Sea Region as well as the European Commission. The states are Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden and a representative from the European Commission. The Council consists of the Ministers for Foreign Affairs from each Member State and a member of the European Commission. The Presidency of the Council rotates among the Member States on an annual basis. The role of the Council is to serve as a forum for guidance and overall coordination among the participating states. The foreign minister of the presiding country is responsible for coordinating the Council's activities and is assisted in this work by the Committee of Senior Officials (CSO).
The Council does not have a general budget or project fund. Members are responsible for funding common activities and/or for seeking and coordinating financing from other sources. Since 1998, the CBSS Member States have financed jointly the Permanent International Secretariat of the CBSS.
Its flag is white with its logo. It consists of wave like green and blue ribbons, with name of Council around it. Proportion is 2:3.