The Blue Paper on Integrated Maritime Policy COM(2007) 575 and the Communication outlining the main components for integrated maritime governance COM(2008) 395 laid down that the principle of stakeholder participation belongs to prerequisites of a proper maritime governance framework.
The idea of an all embracing Maritime Stakeholders Platform started to concretise at the European Maritime Day Stakeholder Conference in Rome on 20 May 2009. Stakeholder representatives agreed to set up a "Steering Group", based on the five pillars: industry, environmental NGOs, science, regional authorities and recreational "users" of the sea. The initiative is headed by Johan Vande Lanotte, the former deputy Prime Minister of Belgium.
This platform will contribute to the implementation of the EU Integrated Maritime Policy, stimulating dialogue among different maritime stakeholders and between them and public authorities. It would become a primary interlocutor towards the European Commission, setting priorities for the Integrated Maritime Policy in the different fields.
The platform is based on the following five pillars: