Stakeholder participation is vital when introducing and implementing ecosystem-based management (EBM) at any scale. This paper presents the results of a survey covering four European Regional Seas (Baltic Sea, Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and North-East Atlantic Ocean) aimed to collect stakeholders¿ perspectives on their Regional Sea governance to implement the European Union (EU) Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). In this survey, drivers of good governance including stakeholder involvement, willingness and capacity to cooperate, efficiency, institutional ambiguity and decision-making were explored. The results indicate a clear gap in perception between the current, the ideal and the foreseen situation regarding the implementation of the MSFD. The preferences for the future governance structures vary between stakeholders and across seas although some similarities can be found. Based on the results of the survey, this paper concludes that tailor-made rather than off-the-shelf solutions will be needed to accommodate regional cooperation in the European marine environment for implementing ecosystem-based management under the MSFD.